The best part

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I haven’t been sleeping well. I’ve been sleeping a lot, but it isn’t quality sleep that energizes you, makes you want to take on the day, it’s heavy, draggy, groggy sleeping. It makes me feel sluggish, and want a nap around 3:00. When I was on crew, all sleep was good sleep. Crashing into bed at 9:30, crawling back under the covers after practice to sleep until my first class, shutting my eyes for a moment while working in the library reading room, and oh man, sleeping in the launch when it was my turn to sit out of the boat, and I was all wrapped up and warm in my space suit,  it was all great. Sleep (and food, for that matter) was wonderful, because I earned it. I was working hard. And now…I’m not. I go to work three days a week, and I do grad school appliactions, and practice mandolin, but those things don’t count compared with a full course load and a varsity sport. I need to step up my game. When I was on crew, my favorite part of the season was winter training. I loved actually being on the water, but I joined in the winter, and so that’s when I really fell in love with the team. I loved waking up in the dark, and walking through the snow to the barely-lit gym, and going around to the propped side door because the front was locked. I really loved seeing all the rowers from all over campus walking over, like ghosts. And once we got inside, I loved the hard, punishing work we did. Strength training, erging, and cardio. Our giant team would break into three groups, and we’d work through the stations until we were sweaty dripping messes, and then we’d go eat breakfast, and it tasted like manna from heaven. That was fun. There wasn’t any drama (to clarify: I didn’t personally have drama) during winter training. There weren’t any boat selections, or comparison traps, it was just a group of women working themselves like mad, trying to be their best. Which could have been how it was all season if I was a different person, and didn’t have my heartbreaking combination of lack of athletic ability (not physical ability, because I can work really hard, and lift decently, and run, and even kind of erg, but I am bad at sports), and caring deeply about doing well and being recognized (not necessarily as awesome, just as someone who tries really hard would do, but that wasn’t really the environment I was in. Everyone was trying hard, so I didn’t get a prize for showing up, even though it was often a pain in the neck and a little appreciation would have gone a long way. I’m not saying my neediness is acceptable, but it’s relatively easy to manage because I am willing to subsist on crumbs of approval). And now I’ve gotten slightly off topic because even stories about how great it feels to get sweaty end up being about feelings with me. That wasn’t the point of this post though! I need my own winter training. I’ve tried going to the gym after work, and it doesn’t work a lot of the time because I’m tired, and hungry, and burned out by 5:00, and I just want to go home and veg. I thought I was done, but I think I might have to get back to waking up in the wee hours and working out. It’ll be harder than being on crew, since I won’t have teammates to walk with, and I won’t have the fear of a call from my coach to get me out of bed, but it’s worth a shot.

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