Posted by: twistsoffeet | July 18, 2011

I can not wait


I am sitting here in the sweltering heat feeling wasted and nauseous. No I am not sick except I am sick of the heat. I have discovered I have not even come close to being recovered after my hospitalization in Missouri. Sure I no longer have the bug that decimated me but that little bug wiped me out physically so that I am uncertain how long it will take to fully recover. My muscles haven’t recovered and I am incredibly weak. My endurance is pretty much non-existent. My mind seems weaker and not operating properly kind of dazed and confused without the music and colors. The only thing I still have going for me is my stubbornness. There have been times in my life where being stubborn   was not the most admirable of traits and in fact my stubbornness got me into trouble on more than 1 occasion. But now it is about the only thing I have going for me that will get me through this tour. My stubbornness is keeping me from throwing in the towel and giving up. Too be completely honest though giving up and quitting is quite impossible for me at this time. I mean what would I do just leave my bike beside the road and stick my thumb out leaving everything to the wolves or whatever nature would care to throw at it.
I am tired and hot and so very weak. These days of +105 heat index are just not manageable for me right now. I ride early so I can quit early but that leaves me sitting around in this abysmal heat in sweat drenched clothing just waiting until it is dark enough to crawl into my tent  where I can sweat lying down. The towns up ahead keep getting further and further apart. That means it will be more difficult to replenish my water supply and a greater chance of dehydration. This concerns me greatly.
I think the worst part of all this is it’s effect on my psyche. I always thought sunshine would help to ward off depression but it seems to be leading me towards it instead. I am not a depressed person and in fact as I type this I am actually a bit happy, happy that I am actually able to find the energy and focus to type this post. I am not a weak person and have pushed myself joyfully many challenges. But this heat combined with a lack of proper diet and having had an illness that devastated my body. all of that combined with an essential loneliness  and desire to spend time with my family and friends has visited me with a strong bout of depression.
When I told people I was going to do this tour they all talked about living the dream and while parts of it still are and much of what has come before this definitely were living the dream, part of it has turned into living the nightmare. I have lived real life nightmares before and come out ahead. I have learned from those nightmares and in turn prospered from them. And I imagine i will not only survive this nightmare but I will somehow prosper from it. I just do not yet see the path to that prosperity. By the way by prosperity I mean prosperity of the mind and soul and body as well as hopefully financially. In the mean time I will be bored frustrated sick hot tired and depressed.
On a more positive note I did not sleep to badly last night considering there was nowhere to escape the street lights in the park I was in. The groans of the windmills in the park serenaded me to sleep somewhere around 01:00 this morning. I woke up at about 05:30 but did not hit the road until 07:00. I rode to a town called Tilden about 12 miles where I filled water bottles I had drained on the ride. I then rode another 13 miles to Neligh NE where I filled empty water bottles with Ice and water while I also enjoyed the air conditioning of the little convenience store. This store also happened to be a Godfathers pizza place so they had Parmesan cheese with herbs and salt on the little tables and the woman running the place allowed me to replace some of the sodium I had lost already today along with some Parmesan cheese to help the salt go down a little easier.
I then rode over to the city park where a little league tournament was taking place and watched the Battle Creek Braves beat the Albion team. There were several other games but since I had b een in Battle Creek last night I felt some sort of a connection. I did speak to 1 of the mothers who also happened to be the wife of 1 of the coaches who told me if she had known I was at the park I could have stayed at their home last night. Oh well.
Any way after the game was called due to a horrible beating by the Braves over the other team I rode over to a park north of town. This park is a little dump, very tiny and beside the highway so it is noisy. But I am alone and only 100 feet from the Cowboy Trail. I do have electricity but am uncertain of the safeness of the water so just used it to launder some clothes. There is a shelter that is keeping the direct sun off of me and fortunately there is a little breeze. I am uncertain of the value of this breeze as it sometimes seems to have turned the regular oven into a convection oven and I really do not want to cook any faster than I am.
As for my RA well old Arthur has not left me for days. Walking is difficult as is sitting and typing or even lying down. I would guess that old Arthur also is playing a big part in my state of mind at this time. If there is anything good about Arthritis it is that it is at the very least predictable. A dependable force that is always willing to let me know that it is still there and has no intention of leaving me. It makes no pretense at being my buddy or pal and never promises to make me feel good. Arthritis promises pain and always delivers.

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Responses

  1. It’s a rough time of year to be out there, and this may be the worst heat wave in 20 years. Hang in there!

  2. Please be careful. It sounds like you might be handling heat stroke! This is nothing to play around with and since you are traveling alone…well you get the idea. I surely hope you at least have a cell phone on you? I am all for people following their dreams but I am not so sure about this particular adventure of yours right now. Any chance you can waylay it until the early fall and then pick up where you left off?

    • Although heat stroke is a real concern in conditions such as I am now facing I am not at that point at this time. I am being extremely cautious in fact I may be being too cautious after my experience in Missouri where I was hospitalized. At times I would love to delay this trip or postpone finishing it and the thought of abandoning it has crossed my mind more than once. However I designed this tour with the knowledge that once I began there would be no backing out. There is no escape for me short of abandoning my bike and gear and sticking my thumb out.


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