The Daily Sweat meets Freeing Sisyphus: Trying to stay balanced while logging the interstate miles, eating road food and dealing with one sore butt
(pic courtesy of internet as I passed this thing at about 12am, going 75mph)
(Originally posted 8/12/11 on wordpress)
Typically when I talk about soreness and logging miles it’s after an extremely hard or long run. Not this week….Oh no. As mentioned by my sis, Freeing Sisyphus has taken a huge step toward what I hope will be a quality of life improvement moving from the frozen tundra of Minnesota and the horrors of I-494 to the diverse and transient community of Philadelphia (much better suited for a transient like me). Although Philly has its own commuting nightmares, I chose a location such that my commute is a 20-minute trek through a tree-lined, rolling hills, horse-farm viewing route versus a 45 minute car-fume imbued crawl through strip mall hell.
But, I get ahead of myself….
As most of you know, “the man” is really never thinking about what’s best for you. As a result, my work relocation has been interesting to say the least. The up-in-the-air details finally got close to being finalized until Friday when I got a call at 2pm asking me if I could be ready to move by 8am the next day (Saturday) instead of some yet determined time late on Sunday. Suffice it to say I still had organizing to do before the packers came. But, I had to go with the flow as I needed to be out of my apt. I got up at 4am and scurried around cleaning and trying to figure out what would come with me in the car versus what would go with the packers. Have you ever worn your Garmin heart monitor while cleaning or moving for giggles? I have. Once, I burned 1300 calories in 6 hours of cleaning. Yeah, my apt was a little messy.
The packers came at 8am, and although I promised my sister I would take pics for the blog, the packers blew through my apt like a typhoon (man, those guys were in shape), and I never got a chance. By the time I even thought about it they were hauling my 300lb kickboxing stand into the elevator and the doors were closing. All of my junk went onto a truck I never even saw. I finished up some cleaning, errand running, and believe it or not had to go to work for a few hrs, but finally hit the road at 7pm CT. I hadn’t really eaten all day besides an Advocare meal replacement shake blended with frozen peaches and bananas (was too nervous to eat solid food), but by the time I realized I NEEDED food my only option was McDonald’s. Ugh, had a quarterpounder with cheese and a smoothie, but have to admit their frozen strawberry smoothie wasn’t too bad. My plan was to make it past Chicago and stop for the night and get up early to log the rest of the distance to cornfield central. Something happened around 1am, and I just decided to keep going. I hit Indiana, and the corn fog started to roll in, pesticide perfuming the air. Visibility was reduced to about 10 ft, so after a few hallucinations I finally decided to stop around 5am (that’s right, I was up 26 hours straight). Slept for 3 hours and then, thanks to my daily Spark packet, made it to Karin’s house by 10:45am having logged 570 miles. The visit was short and sweet (and already chronicled in one of Karin's posts except for the cool part where I bonded with the nephew and brother-in-law over our favorite new sci-fi series Falling Skies).
I climb into my car on Sunday with only a slightly sore butt (visions of a run with a sis went out the window after waking up way too late) and my car sputters to life, trembling and shaking, the check engine light blinking at me ironically (yes, ironically, b/c I had my car tested from top to bottom only the week before trying to plan for all eventualities). I drive around the block and the sputtering continues, so decide to take it to the dealership during which time the sputtering and shaking stops. After being given wrong directions by the attendant at the dealer and finally getting the right ones, I arrive and they hook my mischievous Altima up to a machine. $100 dollars later they tell me that a coil misfired and they couldn’t say whether or not it would happen again, but if it did, I would be stranded. I said, “look, if it were your daughter driving in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere would you let her get on the road.” Unexpectedly, they said yes. I leave the dealership somewhat assured, maneuver through rush hour traffic and leave Indy around 6pm. So much for not driving late at night again.
200 miles later I realize I haven’t eaten dinner and luckily found a truck stop with a Subway - grabbed a turkey sub and an Energy Vitamin Water to get me through the next few hours. Below is my sad attempt to take a picture of the “Smile you are inPennsylvania, the state of Independence” sign at the welcome center rest stop. Spent 10 minutes trying to get that pic from different angles to compensate for the reflective writing on the sign (my sister yelling at me in my head) while suspect truckers slowly drove by.
Does this story ever end, you are asking? Fast forward: stayed in a scary Super Eight, butt really hurting, get up again, race down the PA turnpike fielding calls from work, buzz, buzz, buzz from the blackberry and make it to the leasing office of my new apt around 3pm to get my keys looking like a recent lobotomy patient. My BB dies, then comes back to life, I can’t track down my relocation agent to find out if my stuff was coming as promised the next day and my sore butt and I sleep on the floor b/c those rockstar packers packed my air mattress pump before I could grab it. Arrive at work the next morning bright and early where the person who is supposed to set me up is nowhere to be found, 2 days behind in work, no cup for my oatmeal I brought with me (thank God for Clif bars), and after 3 calls and 2 emails, get a call from the relocation company to tell me that my driver had mechanical difficulties and my stuff won’t arrive until Monday. At this point, I felt probably as unbalanced as one could possibly feel.
Sounds a little like life, right? Finally get sorted, stay at work until late catching up, take a nice walk in my pjs along the river to stare at the moon and then pass out on floor – butt a little less sore.
And, then Eureka, I get up yesterday morning, 1200 miles proudly behind me, do a quick run on my new path along the Schuylkill river, drive my serene commute and........sigh of relief......somewhat of a normal day.
Anyone out there have a “moving” horror story to share, or any other life event that sent them teetering? How did you recover?
Lesson learned for me: life will always send us teetering, but if we take it step by step, we can quickly recover and find balance again. Perfect eating, perfect exercising, perfect “being” will never occur, so Sisyphers and Sweaters, sometimes we have to cut ourselves a little slack and give an inch to take a mile.
Freeing Sisyphus (aka Melody)
Putting the shoulder to the boulder and taking small steps each day to achieve freedom from the mundane.