On mornings when I'm having trouble getting myself going I have a bowl of cereal with a scoop of ice cream for breakfast. When I'm feeling burnt out I lose my appetite along with most of my energy.
By the end of a busy week my personal demons have drawn up teams and are using me for a soccer ball. Some of these scrimmages are rougher than others.
I have to say, the ethical and professional climate has improved somewhat at the old day job. That helps unbelievably after the dark years when we were running the retail concession at Jackson Ski Touring. I was doing battle with forces of cowardly backstabbing there in winter, and dealing with "creative differences" in the bike shop in summer. Even so, I can come out of the work week feeling pretty chewed just from the challenges I face trying to keep the cycling public happily rolling.
In the summer the repair shop goes from crisis to crisis. People's vacations are at stake. The challenges are fun. Unfortunately, a lot of great material gets lost. George and I start riffing on just about anything to keep ourselves amused. With no time to take notes, I lose all of it by the time we get through the work day and I ride home.
We keep thinking we might have the basis for a good reality TV show, but we don't have any divas or flamboyant idiots to provide the kind of showy antics TV requires. It would still be interesting to set up a camera for a few days to collect some of our raw material.
I stagger into Sunday evening and flop face down on the living room carpet. Somehow in the next two days I get the most vital chores done and reconstitute myself to return to work.
Each day's commute takes me through a stage of fatigue. Day one usually feels pretty good. By the end of day five I'm in survival mode. This evening, with tree shadows strobing across the rough, black chipseal of Route 28 I felt like I was hallucinating. Nothing seemed real. I pedaled as if in a dream. Home was a distant concept, many hills away. Just pedal through the tiger-striped shadows.
I don't get to turn off the alarm clock yet. Tomorrow morning I have to test two river sites before 9 a.m. and then meet with a sub-committee of the conservation commission. I dabble in sustainability in my spare time. Just in case the human race turns out to have a future I try to contribute to the scientific basis for it.