I awoke around 2am this morning... again. I tossed and turned through sunrise, and I am starting to lose track of how many nights this has now happened. After having a sit-down with my coach, Connor, this week, some dragging training sessions and feeling like a zombie more often than not, I am finally starting to come to terms with what my body is fighting off: Lyme Disease.
It is rare when I am not accessorized in bruises or scratches; it comes with the territory of my hobbies. What I thought was a bruise on my hip for a few days developed quickly into a large bulls-eye-ish rash and prompted an immediate trip to the doctor. I was never in and out of the doctor's office so quickly in order to pick up a prescription.
Thankfully, not only was I able to pinpoint possible infection to within three weeks of my diagnosis (a weekend in Harriman State Park and another in Vermont), I developed the infamous bulls-eye rash, which I later discovered is not apparent in all cases. If I did not get that rash, I would have never gone to the doctor, as I can easily associate fatigue to training and increasing temperatures. I feel lucky that it was caught early enough to probably nip it with a cycle of antibiotics and that my symptoms are not as crippling as I heard they can be. Disruptive sleep, body aches and the occasional headache are not welcomed, but I am able to train through it most days, usually at a reduced intensity, but I can still do what I love to do.
That being said, I will not be reuniting with my fellow Death Racers this weekend, as I cannot predict how I will feel on a daily basis. More importantly, even though my mulishness tends to power me through the grind, the risk outweighs the reward; over-stressing my body and pulling valuable energy from fighting this ailment in order to partake in an event of unknown length may have severe negative consequences on my treatment. So for now, I bow out of an experience I love, an experience that has changed my life in many ways, but with the comfort in knowing that this decision will allow me to do even greater things in the future.
Good luck to those partaking in the Death Race or any event or adventure this weekend. If times get tough, find a smile somewhere inside of you and remember the bigger picture of why you are out there.
...and don't forget to check for any little arachnids that may have found their way onto you.