Now it's back on the trainer and back off the feed bag. The scales in the bathroom scolded me yesterday and the ones at the clinic where I had my physical only confirmed the bad news. I've become significantly more massive since I went on the Enola job a few months ago. The hours are different on this run and the mileage considerably longer and as a result, I've pretty much stopped working out. Comfort food and I have also obviously become much too well acquainted. Now comes the payback. I was really slamming the weights and 'mill at the crew hotel up in Saratoga but this trip is quite a different ball game so I've fallen by the wayside more than I care to think about. Besides, we tend to get out of there as soon as we're legally rested which means sleep fast and saddle up again without much extra time to fool around. Then there was the holidays...
I tried to keep up the pace for a while on the new job but the gym in the hotel where we stay is pretty sparse and the treadmill has a deck that's harder than sidewalk so it hurts my knees to run on it. There's also a communal 'fridge and microwave in the exercise room with the resultant continuous foot traffic in and out. It sort of breaks up any attempt at concentration and makes your workout kind of like running laps in the lobby of a Burger King. You're trying to be good when some guy strolls in and nukes two dozen wings and half a pizza then pauses to watch Oprah on the big screen while he gnaws it all down to bones and wax paper. In the meantime another yahoo ambles over and chats with Mr. Sausage and Pepperoni about what's good at the nearby sub shop while his leftover apple pie from McD's warms up. Picture yourself in Planet Fitness if they moved it to the food court. To say I had a hard time staying on-task is putting it mildly.
As I was running with this sideshow going on, I got thinking of the idiot who wound up in the bed next to me when I was in the hospital last year...now that's another story: I've probably told this one before...or not...
I was on a zero-food restricted diet for over a week prior to surgery which in and of itself isn't all that bad once you get over the hungries at the beginning. The bad news came when in the midst of not eating anything that couldn't go in the tube in my arm, they imported some sort of Hatfield/McCoy type with a broken hip and an appetite the size of Ohio to be my roommate. This skinny guy with a traction rig couldn't get out of bed but he certainly could and did eat everything that didn't eat him first. He must have had the metabolism of a nuclear reactor to demolish the food he did, lay still for months and still not weigh more than 160 including all the rods and screws holding his lower extremities together. It was an awesome thing to behold. He destroyed the hospital menu first then sent two of his kin out for more vittles. They passed the end of my bed on the return trip with about four bags each full of delicacies from every fast-food joint in a six block radius. I'm not much on greasy burgers and deep-fried anything in the best of times but when you haven't had a morsel in days, everything smells good. I was in agony trying to block out the sound of lip-smacking and trough-wallowing, not to mention the scent of eau-de-french-fry that came through the privacy curtain. They repeated the ceremony about five times in the first day alone. I was convinced that if I heard one more chorus of, "Did you try the cheese fries honey?" or "How about some more nuggets Sweetie?", my ears would bleed. I could cheerfully have murdered them all if I had had a way to get loose from the IV. I figured I could plead insanity or self-defense and no court in the land would convict me.
Worse yet was the flip side to all that chowing down. After the menagerie trotted off in the evening to tend the still or whatever, the bottomless pit in splints started whining for the nurse to bring him a bedpan. By the time that stunning performance came to a noisy and pathetic close, the poor floor nurse was gagging and I was close to strangling myself with my own heart monitor. I vainly hoped my ailing gall bladder would simply explode so I could die quickly and never, ever again experience such olfactory misery. I wished repeatedly for firearms to use on either him or me. At the time, I didn't care which. Requests to ship the bum back where he came from got nowhere for another full day until Chris reached the end of her rope and lost her cool with the head nurse in a very vocal fashion. This is one of her specialities when the going gets tough and it's usually spectacular if not always effective. This time it was both. In pretty short order (no pun intended) after the blast, I was suddenly moved out to a suddenly available room down the hall to spend the duration with another patient in straits similar to my own ie., no food unless it would fit through a needle. I left the reddest of the rednecks to consume himself to death and digest in peace for all I cared.
The rest is another tale.
But I digress...it's a good story (it even happens to be true) but only a sideline to where I started and convincing evidence that I have the mental focus of a squirrel these days.
Where was I...oh yeah; As I was saying before I so completely distracted myself...
I usually feel better when I'm working out a lot so I'm endeavouring to get motivated again. And since spring will undoubtedly show up and the salt will eventually wash away...I'd like to not start from scratch when I hit the road with the Trek this year. Getting passed by 6th graders on big-box mountain bikes and the local beer can guys towing shopping carts is pretty humbling so to avoid any such embarrassments, it's time to get back at it. I've got a Tour to get ready for.
I better stock up on tires and hope I have only one gall bladder to lose.