The Cold That Brought Life to a Halt

Sickness sucks!  Of all of the ways mother nature can tell you to take it easy, sickness is one of her most brutal.   The soar throat, the aching muscles, the dry nose, the congestion, the dizziness, and watery eyes all add up to utter misery for a period of time.

And so, I started this week feeling a bit odd.  Granted the local Santa Barbara weather had gone from gorgeous to down-right nasty Seattleness with heavy fog, myst, drizzle, rain and significantly colder temperatures.   Sure, the lack of sunshine will depress me, but the oddness was of a different sort.   A sort that meant business.

I felt it first when I set foot in the pool on Monday night (read: Running up Jesusita and Swimming with Lightning).   It was that a feeling that my body was very serious about taking it easy, staying warm and taking it at a slower pace.   Of course, as triathletes, we don’t really listen that well.  In fact, I pushed on and on throughout the week, keeping up with appointments, and projects, all the while feeling more and more odd each day.

Then on Wednesday, mid-day, the body said no way, stop.  While I didn’t exactly stop, I did find myself cancelling plans and hanging out at home, working.   But, with the Malibu Canyon Trail Run taking place on Sunday, I felt the pressure… lots of pressure.   As my only event this month, to get sick and not do it was more likely to kill my ego and motivation than anything else this year.

Feeling better after taking it easy on Thursday, I got up early on Friday morning and hit the gym for strength/cardio workout.  This was early…  even before the sun was up and I felt odd, still recovering from my Wednesday.

In fact, the workout felt great.  Arriving at work that morning I felt better than ever, but then it was all the downhill from there.  By Friday evening, my head had become completely congested, my muscles ached (I attributed this to the workout), and I started to feel that tingle in the back of the throat.

To make a long story short, life came to a complete halt on Saturday and Sunday.  I was so miserable, so sore, and so congested, that death seemed life the only cure.   Sleeping off and on, taking cold medicine, clearing my throat every few minutes and shivering from a fever, mother nature took it upon herself to say “stop!”

Stop I did.  And so, I didn’t participate in the Malibu Canyon Trail Run like I had planned.  I was not in any shape to drive 2-hours, let along run 1,000 feet up a muddy mountain.   As sad as this makes me, I think it is forcing me to take a long look at the balance, or lack there of, in my current life.

Of course, I’ve talked about how out of balance my life has been throughout the 2010 season.  We all know that this season has been true test.  But when mother nature knocks you on your ass for two days straight, you must stop and simply listen.

I’ve heard what she has to say.  It will be a hard change, but it is better than having another cold that brought life to a halt.


Update 10/25/2010 – After consulting with my doctor, it is apparent that I contracted the flu.  The title of this post should probably read “The Flu That Brought Life to a Halt”, but I like the cold better.  😉