Poor life decisions

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:

  1. Get off work at 6:00 PM
  2. Start running at 6:15 PM
  3. Finish running at 7:15 PM
  4. Go to the hotel and be in bed by 8:00 PM
  5. 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:

  1. Get off work at 6:00 PM.
  2. Drove to Walmart and purchase an entire package of pinwheel cookies, plus a large chocolate milk.
  3. Ate most of the package of pinwheel cookies, and pounded the chocolate milk.
  4. Drove to the hotel by 6:30 PM.
  5. Crashed into bed.  Slept fitfully until 7:30 PM.
  6. 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.


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