Friday, January 29, 2010

Addiction, Muscle Atrophy & Fat Bulges (on top of the fat bulges I was already OK with)

The other day I was just asking myself why I have been feeling content running only once a week, when just several months ago I was driven to run every day. And then after my 1st scrimmage practice back it hit me: I was driven to run out of sheer shame for how slow I naturally am on skates. Fuck.

Okay, okay, that’s not really the truth. I know I feel better when I exercise regularly and it’s THAT feeling that drives me to run every day, but shit, right now I’m just beginning to transition back into an active lifestyle, and I have to tell you: it’s hard. I’ve gained 15 pounds since September, my muscle mass has been replaced by an extra layer of laziness (aka, my fat rolls have fat rolls), and when scrimmaging the other day I felt as if I was skating through mud. I couldn’t physically make my body move laterally the way I expected it to – the way I’m used to my body following my brain. I was like, “OK, I need to be there”, and by the time I was mid-movement, the small window of opportunity for my being there to do something was already over. And, I was sucking wind.

I suppose the good news is that I know it can get better. I look back over my participation in sports as a kid and I really think that I never broke through either level where you get a second wind, because I just never pushed hard enough. For one, I would bitch and complain until my coach let me stop whatever was tiring me, so I never got that single athletic session second wind. At least in part because of that, I was never able to get the type of second wind you get over time either – the one where you actually kick your own athleticism up a notch. Then came derby and I broke my own barriers. And now I’ve let myself fall to shit. At least a little bit.

The problem right now is that I’m stuck in this transition from one drug to another. “Drug?” you say. Yes, drug. I firmly believe I have addiction issues – pussy ones – but issues nonetheless. When I injured myself and stopped skating and then got depressed about my dog and my not skating, I substituted food for exercise. Both cause a similar chemical reaction with serotonin in my brain. Both give me an immediate reward. Both drive me to keep using them to get that serotonin surge. And because my dog is ill and I feel guilty for leaving my house, it has been WAY easier to choose food than exercise for the last 4 months. The bad news is that excess food consumption that drives my serotonin habit also supplies fat rolls to my fat rolls, while excess exercise that drives my serotonin habit makes food a lot less attractive to me, because I already have my fix. Problem is, I’ve made a habit now of getting my fix from food, and it’s really hard to pull myself away from that. Regardless, I know it can be done. It just sucks royal donkey dick. Make that two royal donkey dicks.

Getting back to practice is a motivator for me to exercise more, and I’m doing both (going to practice and exercising more), but it feels like a long, slow journey, when I really want it to happen like I want everything else to happen: now. Well, fuck me, the world doesn’t work that way? Sorry, sometimes I forget iPads aren’t available to stop all my hemorrhaging wants in life. I need some zen in a big bad way, people. Some motherfucking zen.

At this point, I need to just shut my mouth and take some old advice I’ve given many times on here: just do it. Less talk, more action. I can do it. I will do it. Stay tuned.

In other news, the city of Baltimore has officially named tomorrow Charm City Roller Girls Day! This is in no small part due to an avid derby fan (and CCRG superfan) who just so happens to work for the mayor. Thanks to him, we’ll be receiving an official citation from the city at tomorrow night’s bout. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a “day” named after me before. It makes me want to break all sorts of rules and then stick my tongue out at the rule enforcers and taunt “But it’s Charm City Roller Girls Day, so I can do whatever I want!!!”. Although I envision myself jumping off the hood of a car with cans of spray paint in my hands and a road of mass destruction behind me as I say that, I’ll probably wake up and have a pretty normal day tomorrow. Something like this does put things in perspective though. Don’t sweat the small shit (which I do all too much). Enjoy the victories.

Happy Charm City Roller Girls Day!!!


Midlife Crashes said...

Your addiction comment was right on the mark. I know I've spent my life addicted to one thing or another. All I can do is try to keep steering myself toward the healthier addictions! Moderation, it seems, will not be learned by me in this life.

Barbarian Librarian said...

I am in the same place you are right now, I share your pain!!!

Shaun McTague said...

addictions.. combined with the libran extreme balancing act...

am new to derby but all my hobbies are addictive, just glad i couldnt afford proper drugs!! why are all the bst foods the worst to eat!! abyway currently on my fistdiet ever and lost 10 pounds so far, and exercise is now all skate related after all these years of upper torso and arms for swinging swords... think its called SCA in the states...

anyhoo, good luck with your special day and keep on rolling!!

Shaun, apprentice ref, London Rockin Rollers... home of Rae Hooligal!!

Haren Mahkeester said...

Thank goodness my addictions are (in order) Derby, Ringette, money, tasty-unhealthy food. If it weren't for derby and ringette, I couldn't enjoy food the way I do, and wouldn't have the drive to do whatever it takes to make enough money to keep the sport/food train rollin!!
Derby does the world good!

Sinead O'Clobber said...

That is awesome! The CCRG day, that is!

Your second paragraph described every practice I've ever participated in. Skating through mud, sucking wind, seeing that window of opportunity close before I could get there. Dammit it sucks, and it motivates me to work harder in the gym. I'm not going to get better at roller derby on a treadmill or a weight machine, but it can help make me lighter and more nimble. Get rid of that skating through mud thing.

I enjoy your blog. It's really inspiring me to keep working. I linked to you, too.

Civy said...

I really enjoy your blog. As a newbie to derby, and one struggling for self-acceptance of her body, I get a lot out what you have to say. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

OMG..this could describe my life at the moment. I had been out since May 2010 with and injury and returning to running and skating has been challenging. It's hard to not be where you used to be/want to be or think you should be.

Anonymous said...

May I ask an honest question without people getting pissed and defensive?
Why are so many derby girls so overweight? It will only hinder your performance, but it seems to be accepted in the sport. What gives?