The Effort — Day 8, 244.2
These posts don’t happen in real time. In real time, I’m on day 15. I’m pedaling on a stationary bike and writing this on my phone, like I usually do. Outside, there’s a neighborhood farmer’s market. There’s kids and bikes and old and young and after work traffic. Gym’s busier than I usually experience. I’m kind of throwing up French vanilla protein shake in my mouth. There’s a nice picture of my kids from a few weeks back that I posted apropos of nothing that I saw while distracting myself from having to write.
I didn’t want to do this one. I’ve been trying to find words for a week and I can’t.
I don’t want to write about one of the worst days of my life. I don’t want to search my soul and spew up honest words of anger and sadness, like I’ve done in the past. I don’t want to talk about that night, ever again. I don’t want to have to mine my brain for honesty for art’s sake. I don’t want to tell every story I know because sometimes, it’s not just my story to tell. Especially, not this one.
I want to make dick jokes.
I drank too much, Jameson and beers. First alcohol in more than a week which I dunno if I’ve been able to say since I was 16. My wife could smell it on me. I thought about collapsing in exhaustion, but I didn’t. 10:30 pm, I did something surprising, at least to me: I went to the gym. I ran my ass off and poured sweat instead of tears. I lifted heavy and I swore.
In the past, I’ve used moments like this to give up, but I didn’t. In hindsight, this was one of the most remarkable things I’ve done; to just keep trying.
Bad things happen. Annoying things happen. Setbacks happen. Terrible things happen. Tragedies happen. Life-changing events occur at a flash; a phone call at a stoplight can destroy a lifetime of preparedness. The thing I can’t do is wallow and let the grief win. I can’t. Not anymore.
I will continue to make the best possible choices for those two numbskulls at the top of the page. I will tell the stories I want to tell. I won’t give in to tragedy or despair. I will keep pedaling. I will forever try.
I might go buy a peach at that farmer’s market when I’m done here.