It’s Over, I Quit

The Thing I’m Doing This Year #29

I quit. I gave up. I gave up on the Impossible Goal. For now it truly is impossible and I need to get my body right.

I had been away on trips for a couple weeks after my last, fairly successful, hike to the camp. When I returned, I biked to work a couple times. The ride home up all those hills with a backpack hurt my back, lower left of the spine. One weekend morning, I got up early, pulled on my hiking clothes, but when I bent over to tie my shoes, my back said, “I think you should seriously reconsider your plans today.”

My back’s already hurt. I decided that hiking for five hours probably wouldn’t improve things.

Another time I was in our cramped closet and I bent over to pick up a shoe. I didn’t bend my knees and felt something tug on the right side of my right heel. For the rest of that weekend, that spot pulsated and hurt. It got better when I started wearing my orthotics regularly.

mountain treeSo after all of that I decided to go on another hike, my last of this year. Instead of doing an interval of 6 ½ minutes on and 30 seconds rest to 9 ½ minutes on 30 second rest.

That shit was working. I was going pretty good. I got to the gate, the incline and the 7.8 sign a few minutes faster than my last camp hike. I assumed I’d get to the camp at 2:10 or maybe a little faster.

After the 7.8 sign … a piano fell on my back.

I couldn’t go fast. I couldn’t go medium. I could only go slow. And then it happened again. I stopped at the side of the trail to rest and I got real light headed, like I might pass out. This has happened to me before a couple times. It’s the feeling you get from standing up after squatting, but I didn’t squat.

Before when I felt this sensation, I just thought, “Well, that’s weird.” This time it was more concerning. Why is this happening? I wondered if it could be related to my weekly diabetes shot that I haven’t exactly been taking weekly. I hate doing these shots, so I accidentally/on purpose forget to take it every week.

Later I’m just trudging along and this couple of senior citizens comes up from behind. They are both decked out in colorful running garb with compression socks and arm sleeves. He gets my attention. I take out an earbud. He asks, “Has you pack sprung a leak or are you just sweating?”

He has noticed that my shorts in the back are completely drenched.

I want to tell him to fuck off, but even I can’t tell an old dude to fuck off, so I just put my earbud back in, turn my head around to the trail, ignore him and walk on.

No response to the old man’s query.

They pass me, leave me in the dust.

This final section is taking forever. Nearly to the camp and both of my calves start cramping. Not a good feeling.

After getting off to such a good start, I was hoping for a good time. It was not only possible but expected after the 7.8 sign, but my body shut down. I went backwards and crossed the tape at 2:17. That’s only two minutes slower than last time, but it might as well have been two hours slower.

I get to the cabin and the senior citizens and striking some sort of yoga poses, stretching on the deck. I really wanted to shove him, but he probably would have kicked my ass.

On the way down, I twisted my right ankle twice.


That’s it. The experiment is over … for this year. I need to pack it in. I somehow managed to gain weight during this whole thing. I stopped working out consistently because of all my travel.

I watched a Dana Carvey special. He talked about how he gets hurt doing nothing nowadays.

“I’ll get the phone … OH MY GOD, my shoulder!”

That’s me.

I need to get stronger. I got into great shape last November and December when I added pushups and weights to my routine. I need to get back to that, maybe if I do it right I can strengthen my easily injured body. I stopped doing weights last year because my elbow got hurt.

But that’s the plan. Lift weights, lose weight. Get stronger. Come back and finish the impossible goal.

Here’s the deal. It’s not impossible. I can and will do it.


This is the final installment of “The Thing I’m Doing This Year” … Go back to the beginning here.

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