On Sunday night I flew to Houston to visit my company’s egg roll manufacturing facility. Monday was a completely normal day, but Tuesday started at five AM, and went until 6 PM. And Wednesday started at two in the morning.
Based on that schedule, I knew that exercise and sleep were going to be hard to come by on Wednesday. Using my calculator, I figured out that I needed to go to sleep as soon as I got off work in order to be away and chipper for my early morning plant visit. And I would need to find at least an hour or so to squeeze in a run as well.
Here is what I should have done:
- Get off work at 6:00 PM
- Start running at 6:15 PM
- Finish running at 7:15 PM
- Go to the hotel and be in bed by 8:00 PM
- Wake up five hours later, at 1 AM to get ready for the day.
I did not do that. Here is what I did do:
- Get off work at 6:00 PM.
- Drove to Walmart and purchase an entire package of pinwheel cookies, plus a large chocolate milk.
- Ate most of the package of pinwheel cookies, and pounded the chocolate milk.
- Drove to the hotel by 6:30 PM.
- Crashed into bed. Slept fitfully until 7:30 PM.
- Realized that sleep was a losing battle, and started to read my book “La Reina Del Sur.”
Not sleeping happens to me sometimes. Usually when I really need to sleep – like I am stressed about something, or when I have to get up early in the morning. I used to get really frustrated, flopping around in bed, and mentally berating myself. Now, though, I am much more chill.
For example, last night I just sat on the couch in the yellow and brown hotel room and red about Teresa Mendoza and Sinaloa. Every so often I would walk over to the window and stare out at the neon McDonalds sign. See if I could close the shade any tighter.
At about 11:30 I straightened the sheets on the bed, and got to sleep. It felt like a victory.
An hour and a half later my alarm went off.
In the car on the way to work I finished off the rest of the pinwheel cookies. Pinwheel cookies are chocolate crackers with a marshmallow on top, the whole thing covered in chocolate. They are really, really good at 2 AM or so. But they are horrible if you are intent on preserving your self esteem.
At 7 AM I took a break from work and ate two sausage and egg McMuffins for breakfast. Plus a doughnut.
At 7:15 AM I started feeling pretty queasy. I reviewed the past day or so of eating in my mind, and realized that “pretty queasy” was a mild response considering the quality of food I had eaten recently.
The rest of the day did not go any better. I ate some egg rolls. And then a gas station hot dog. The kind that leave a thin film of fat on the inside of your mouth when you bite into them.
I did not get in a run. Either day.
Then, that night, when I was supposed to fly home, I missed my flight. By three minutes. Ridiculous.
“If there is a William Brodegard in the terminal, please make your way to gate E7. This is your last call.” Said the voice over the loudspeaker.
“I am coming!” I said, as I raced through the jetway. Holding one bag, the other one strapped to my back. But when I got to E7 the door was closed. The plane was still there, but that closed door – that is a bad sign.
So I drowned my sorrows in a milkshake.
And then a diet coke on the eventual plane ride home. Plus those little biscuit cookies that they give you, and a bag of pretzels.
“Could I have another diet coke?” I asked the stewardess.
The stewardess looked at me. “We are getting ready to land, sir.” she said.
“Some more pretzels then?”
After the flight landed I hopped on the light rail to the VA medical center, and unlocked my bike.
It was dark and cold. It had been a long day, full of dubious life decisions, diet cokes, and doughnuts. And that greasy hot dog. sheesh.
My eyes hurt to keep them open, and I was still feeling pretty queasy from all of the calories I had stuffed into my face.
But I was riding my bike under the yellow street lights, my shadow catching and passing me, just like I remember it doing when I was ten, and falling in love with biking for the first time.
And It felt good. Maybe the best thing I had done all day.