Here I sit on the couch. Past the blur of post-season fatigue, I’m alone and it’s quiet. I can hear the birds outside, the cars on the main roads a few streets away, the odd voice from an open window in the small gathering of houses that surround our rented apartment but it feels completely quiet. Maybe I mean peaceful.
It’s taken almost a month for me to comedown from last season. There were seven countries, long-ass training days, gruelling races, fantastic accomplishments, a car accident, new friends, financial hardships, big improvements, facing of fears, two sets of tyres, one pair of lost goggles in the sea, tons of cookies, 1000 bananas, and the most fun I’ve had in my life. With all that packed into one year, stopping meant it all caught up with me.
As I endured what I can only describe as the physical guerrilla version of spring cleaning, my body went into recovery over-drive and my motivation to do…pretty much anything was almost non-exsistent. I moved from the bed to the couch sloth style, all while my bike sat dirty still adorned with race numbers from my last event. Wrapped in a blanket on the couch, I snuggled with my laptop and caught up on work, counting my blessings the Internet gave me the freedom to work from a distance (and in my pyjamas).
My will to live came back in rollercoaster waves. One day I would be ready to slide on my shoes and hit the trails for a run, the next I would be ready to retreat back to bed at 9am. Even when I did feel the urge to go outside and play, fatigue and lack of fitness would have me huffing and puffing in less than 10 minutes. I’d wonder how on earth I managed to train, let alone race, day after day.
Without realizing it, the good days became more frequent and normal life activities didn’t seem like a massive chore. Still on couch arrest, my brain was the target of all my energy and, needing a sense of purpose, there was no to-do list I couldn’t tackle. That’s when I realized how tired I had been. You get used to being tired and resetting what “rested” normally feels like was the final step in recovery. Now, it’s time to build up again.