06 February 2013

Recovery. Of the athletic and non-athletic types

This week has been a recovery week, something that I see as a bit of a treat - a chance to sleep in a little bit some mornings and have a few evenings free of a workout. A good mental and physical break. Sadly, I still struggled a little bit with fly in the pool today, I think my arms were a little tired from strength training yesterday and maybe the timing of my kick is off, but I felt like I couldn't get my shoulders and arms out of the water. I've been watching a few videos of good swimmers doing fly just to see how it is supposed to be done (and in a desperate attempt to have my body learn through visual osmosis). I'm sure I'll figure it out in the end, it's just a little frustrating because - for a time - it seemed like things were going really well and I was on a fast-track learning curve.

Today was one of those days where I wished I had a gold star calendar. I was awake at 5am, out of bed by 5:10am, and out the door for my run by 5:20am. This is a very rare occurrence (SO lazy, SO tired, SO unmotivated 99% of the time) - so rare that I don't remember the last time I had my running shoes on before 6am. Let's add to this list of anomalies - after my run, I went to the pool, arriving at my usual time. When it was all said and done, both my swim and my run were done by 8am and I felt like I had conquered the world (or at least my typical morning laziness).

I've been on a book-reading hiatus for the first 6 weeks of 2013. After cramming 7 books into the month of December, I wanted a break. Anyway, tonight I finished my second book of the year - Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff. As the title says, it's a father's account of what it is like to have a son addicted to meth (among other drugs) and the effect the recovery-relapse cycle has had on him and the rest of the family. He talks about his son's life, from the very beginning, and the signs of how experimentation turned to addiction, changing his son into an unrecognizable, hollow, terrible shadow of who he once was. I know I was (and still am) completely naive about the prevalence of drugs and, in particular, their availability to kids in middle school and high school. Perhaps it was because I hung out with a squeaky clean group of people, but I wouldn't have known who to buy drugs from in high school and I always figured the worst drug on school grounds was pot. Reading this book was eye-opening. It is easy to view drug addiction as a choice (nobody forced you to take a hit of something) and blame the addict for relapsing and making a mess of his/her life. But this book was a visceral description of the day-to-day struggle addicts go through. Every day was a struggle. It's something I can't fathom because the closest thing I have an addiction to is chocolate, completely not in the same stratosphere. As a reader, it was difficult to see all the ups and downs, lies and deception, pain and heartache that the author's son put his family through. Each time it sounded like he was getting better, he would relapse. You could see the transformation in the father over the course of the book from his high hopes for his son's recovery, doing anything and everything necessary to facilitate it, his happiness completely dependent on whether or not his son was using or clean - to a person whose feelings have been hardened by the lies and deceit and disappointment. Gosh it was so depressing. If you have someone in your life that you care about who is an addict, this was a good - depressing, yes - but extremely good book to read. Eye-opening, really.


bradleyd3 said...

Aren't those the best mornings? My weekday training is at night, but weekend long stuff (run/ride/brick) is early morning. I love knowing that I'm done for the day by 9am......

Caroline said...

I'm super good about getting up and getting things done in the morning during the week, but I've gotten into the habit of sleeping in and taking my sweet time on the weekends when it comes to going for a run or getting on the trainer - I need to snap out of it!