Tuesday, July 19, 2011

'Ameliorate' is one of my favorite words.

This morning I woke up at 7 when my alarm went off. The plan was, "Get up, eat breakfast, go riding, come home, eat lunch, be a productive and fully functional adult."

Except I opened my eyes and my first thought was that someone had been beating my quads with sticks. Possibly several someones, and possibly with Alloy 1090 Carbon Steel sticks, which I've recently learned is the hardest metal known to man. When you talk about things harder than Alloy 1090, you have to use words like 'diamond' and 'ruby,' neither of which make good beating sticks.

I optimistically rolled out of bed, thinking that maybe getting a little blood flow into my legs would ameliorate the problem, but as I hobbled across the basement, I squinted up the stairs and thought, "No freaking way." And if I don't feel like climbing six stairs, I really don't feel like riding 30 miles.

So I went back to sleep. I'm okay with skipping a day of riding, because I've put my legs through hell lately, swapping between two kinds of bikes which put stress in different places, doing all the aggressive hip flexor strength training the Orthodoc prescribed, and trying to ease into running without easing too far out of biking. I'm running around the track tonight, and I'm hoping having the fresh(er) legs will pay off for me.

No, I'm still not gonna push it and try to actually do a track workout, but I might aim for under a nine minute mile while jogging around. I think that's achievable. My ankle really hasn't hurt lately, except in places when I'm 99% positive it's the brace keeping it from flexing the way it wants to. I can't wait to get out of this brace.

I just considered and nixed the idea of posting pictures of the scabbing, irritated sores on my ankle because of the brace. You're welcome. Moving on.

So I slept in.

Well, I slept until 10:30, and that feels really late to me. Then in the spirit of being a lazy unemployed bum like I'm told I am, I woke up, rolled over, put my glasses on, and resumed watching the episode of Food Network Star I had paused the night before.

It felt unspeakably lazy, but I think I really needed it. When I finally got up, I did my morning calisthenics and went to make coffee. When I brought my joe back downstairs, ready to watch the latest episode of Masterchef, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

And then I stopped and looked again.

Because for the first time in about two weeks, maybe more, I liked what I saw.

My self-esteem is a strange and fickle thing. It's cripplingly low and annoyingly high, occasionally at the same time. I generally think I'm attractive in my opinion, but that other people probably don't see me the same way I see myself.

Usually the mental battle for me is to convince myself that it doesn't matter what other people see so long as I like myself. I genuinely believe that anyone can be attractive if they have confidence and believe in the themselves. Lately I haven't been able to look at myself in the mirror and see anything worth being attracted to. Is it the lack of running? The social and personal failures? I figure it's the same reason I want to go on a solo road trip so badly I could cry. There's something ungrounded bouncing around inside of me and I don't like it. I don't feel like people should want to be around me right now. I'm a shell person - something hard and superficial, hiding something secret, soft, and waiting to be subjected to heat and seasoning.

But this morning, I liked myself in the mirror again. And that's a step in the right direction. You have to learn to scramble before you can poach, right?

I'm going to break the 4th wall of the egg metaphor to mention that I don't really know how to poach an egg. I know the basic technique but I've never liked soft yolks so I never bothered to try it out. I've poached pears but that's really not the same thing. I like pears, but they're only good for about five minutes of their life span - all the rest of the time they're either too hard (which is when I usually eat them) or rotten.

That right there is as close to a discussion of recent events and my feelings as you'll ever get out of me. I'm really looking forward to track tonight.

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