This was an unusually busy week. Monday, I worked. Tuesday, I was in a leadership program all day. Wednesday, I had meetings in the morning and a continuing legal education course in the afternoon. Thursday and Friday, I again was in continuing legal education. Every night except Wednesday, I had meetings, some of which lasted until 9pm. And two nights, I ended up working after my meetings because I was spending so much time out of the office. This morning, I did a 30-mile bike ride. And suddenly I’m exhausted. It’s 8pm, and I could fall asleep. What is going on?
In my younger days, I would work and workout and go out and stay up late and wake up early and be just fine. But now, one week of lots of activity, and I’m beat. My eyes burn. I know that if I close them for more than a few minutes, I’ll fall asleep. And I’m trying hard to stay up at least until 9 so that I have a shot of sleeping through the night. I think I’m old, and I don’t like it one bit.
I want to be energetic. But I also want to sleep.
As I rode today, I could feel how little I’ve been on my bike. Last Saturday, Dave and I rode outside for the first time this year. We did our standard 18-mile ride and felt pretty pleased with ourselves for a first time out. This week, we did 30 miles. At first, it felt like my legs were not going to wake up, but about ten miles in, we hit some real hills, and those woke me up in a big way. About fifteen miles in, I remembered how much I like to ride and even how much I like hard efforts on the bike.
Then with about eight miles left, Dave said, “See you at the end,” and took off. I watched him speed ahead. He got a ways ahead of me, and I watched him get smaller and smaller in the distance. Then something in my brain clicked. I shifted into my big chain ring and started to chase him. I was pedaling with all of my might, determine to catch up with him before the ride ended. My heart started to race and my legs started to burn, but I pushed past the chatters and the young people. I flew by some old people and even some big and strong dudes. With each pedal stroke, the big and strong dude I was chasing appeared to be growing more and more. After what felt like miles and miles, I caught him and surprised us both. He said, “Babe, I was moving! How did you catch me?”
I felt a great deal of pride and satisfaction in that effort. The chase hurt, but damn, was it fun. It took a bit for my heart to calm down, but it did. We rode the last two miles together to the finish at a leisurely pace given the narrow road and various turns and cattle guards in that stretch.
How did I catch him? I wore myself out, that’s how. I’m pretty sure I’m paying for that effort now as my eyes are watery and I’m struggling to stay awake.
When did I hit the age that what I do to myself affects how I feel? I’m not sure when that happened, but isn’t that the definition of old?
I’m old. I’m tired. And I’m pretty sure I’ll be falling sleep with the laptop by my side because I have no energy to walk it back over to the table where it normally rests.
Is it 9 yet? Please please please be 9.