Posted by: pursuingsub17 | August 9, 2012

On life’s treadmill – moving forward but going nowhere

If you’re in a bad mood, don’t read this. Or if you believe that misery loves company, go ahead. I’m not going to apologize for what I’m about to say. When I started this blog, I was very upfront that I’m not holding back on anything I’m going through – good or bad – because this is a personal journey, not how to complete a 13 hour Ironman. I’m writing in here for me and those of you like me who are going through the same thing. So if I sound like I’m whining and that there are people worse off, you can keep that to yourself. Sometimes, you can’t keep things bottled in. It isn’t healthy. I’m writing this because it’s helping me sort through life’s shitty days and personal demons.

On Tuesday morning, after the long weekend, and after my fourth night of insomnia, I felt like I was about to cry. I was drying my hair – miserable because I couldn’t sleep again, and not wanting to go to work so bad I thought I was going to break down. I fought the urge to cry and kept drying my hair – suddenly becoming empty. I’m not going to say “what’s wrong with me?” because I know damn well what’s wrong. I’ve studied psychology and I know what the signs are. I’ve been slipping into some sort of depression the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure if the lack of sleep is causing the depression or the depression is giving me insomnia but I feel completely empty.

What the cause is, I don’t know. Is it a really bad bout of post-race depression – the worst I’ve had since I took up running – or mid-life crisis? My boss’ first reaction would be that I’m having a mid life crisis. What is mid-life crisis anyway?  If it’s that moment when you realize you’re 44 years old and you’ve done nothing spectacular in your life that makes you feel content or satisfied and you’re running out of time, then, yes. That’s what I’m having.

Part of these heavy feelings are my lack of enthusiasm for my line of work. I’m not getting into that again. Safe to say, I need a change badly. Yes, my boss can be frustrating but the atmosphere and work environment are actually really good. I just don’t like what I’m doing anymore. There’s no challenge or feelings that I’ve accomplished anything other than letting the staff and my boss beat me up or stand on my shoulders. I feel like a drone at work. I’m totally numb towards what I do. I do it. I do a good job. I get paid. I go home.

A lot of my melancholy, however, is that I feel like a shell. There is no me. I don’t exist anymore. I am merely here for others’ successes. I am a robot domestique. In cycling, that can be an honour – like the king’s first knight. The domestique is bestowed with being just as much a hero – treated as such by the fans and the media and (hopefully) the other team members. But that domestique is human with their own aspirations and the opportunities to accomplish them. I’m a machine. Opportunities are not allowed for me. I move forward, keeping everyone’s dreams alive, but I go nowhere.

What I want out of life now isn’t lofty, extravegant or grandiose. They’re simple – but I can’t have them. I have two in particular but I can see the way things are going that it isn’t going to happen. I’m tired of sacrifice. I feel like I’ve been doing this forever – now I’m half way through life and still not allowed to have what I know will bring me some sort of inner peace. Everytime I want something, the door slams shut and I’m told to wait. I’m running out of time now. It’s too late to start my life over and get that little piece of self. What’s the point now?

I used to be angry, then anxious. Now I’ve just reached a point where I can’t see any hope in achieving those goals. They aren’t even a dream anymore. They’re just gone. It’s like my future just broke off and fell into an abyss – non existent. Now, I’m just a drone moving forward through the years until I get old, wrinkly and die. The only memories that I have is that I kept putting off what I wanted in life so I could be there for others – giving and never getting back.

But I deal with it by waking up in the morning and putting on a mask – because no one wants to listen to me when I’m sad. I’m not allowed to be sad or depressed. I’m supposed to be the one that is happy and joyful and lifts others’ spirits. My mom competes with me over sob stories. I don’t even bother telling her when I’m sad. My boss is miserable 70% of the time and needs me to pick her up. Everyone else around me “needs” me to pick up the pieces and keep things together. So I can’t have that future anymore – and I can’t be sad about it. At first, the mask worked –  but now I wear my mask with a hopeless kind of exhaustion – like the kind you see in an old circus bear who doesn’t even fight or growl anymore. They just dance with an empty look in their eyes – and deep inside they don’t care anymore.

This August, I am signing up for Ironman Canada 2013. At least, thank Christ, I have that. I forced myself to go to the gym last night (as for the 30th night in a row, dark thunderclouds appeared, bringing hail, torrential rain and all things chaotic). I had to talk myself into it by saying “just do 20 minutes on the eliptical trainer.” I wound up doing a 30 minute run. My legs are still tired – so I ran 4.5km instead of 5. But that’s okay. It also felt good and gave me a pick me up. Today, I realized, I have actually all my races picked for next year without thinking about it too hard. So this has given me a good distraction from my emptiness. Like I’ve always said, this is one goal I can set for myself and not let anyone prevent me from doing so. I just hope that I can somehow do the same with everything else in my life. This domestique wants to retire.


  1. Girl I feel you! Totally… Sucks to be stuck in the same damn rut…day in, day out. No end in sight…and seems like everytime I try to climb out I just make it deeper. *Sigh*

    I was going to comment something positive but I’m in the same dark hole with you. I got nothing. I don’t think you’re whining…you’re being honest with yourself and your supporters. That alone is something to be proud of because not many people can.

    Hang tough and know that YOUR DAY IS COMING!! One day we’ll look back at this and laugh 🙂 Control what you can (race schedule) and take the rest as you can stand it – with a glass of wine if necessary…LOL!!

    When all else fails know that you’re not alone. I have no whine limit so whine all you want. I’ll probably whine right back. We can become pole dancing mimes and call our act the Whining Divas… 🙂 But no matter what BE GOOD TO YOU!!

    Your RutMate,

    • Yeah – what’s up with us? I can see you’re going through that too. Like I said, there’s a lot of people who are the domestiques in life and I think they’re told not to say anything, put up with it and tough it out. How long do you have to tough it out? I don’t mind being a helper for a little bit but surely to God, we should be allowed a little piece of the pie sometime. Are we not agressive enough? I don’t know either my friend. But, as they say, the meek shall inherit the earth. So, I hope, that our day will come! Until then, there’s always wine…uh, ahem…whine. 🙂

  2. It is good to have sport… It clears the head and keeps a person sane. I don’t know how the non-athletic people do it on a daily basis. I cannot wait to do an Ironman myself…


    • Yes, and that might be the answer to the question, “what makes you want to be a triathlete?” (or any sport)

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