Ripping Open My Soul

I’ll open this up with saying I’m a pussy. I reckon the rest of this post will just be a proverbial load of verbal ego gratification so I’ll start it off with that.

Ill justify that statement because without one I’ll seem ingenious, a few months ago we’re meant to have some indoor rowing competition against another school. Basically row 2k as fast as you can. Anxiety hits, I freak out, I begin to imagine all the problems and baulk out of the problem, make up some crappy excuse and miss it.

Yesterday we get told this week’s erg is a 2k test, this race thing again. I freak. The weekly thing we get set is about 3 or 4 sets of 500-750 meters at a stupid slow speed, this is somewhat quadruple that and against every other person in the club.

I manage to catch anxiety. We’re meant to do it straight after school. I make some crappy excuse saying that I had computing coursework to finish and that I’ll do it myself at the local (a euphemism for skipping it). Last few hours of the day I properly have a crisis of self. I discuss it during French with another rower, she seems pretty unflustered about it and I realize I’ve got it all wrong.

I shouldn’t be so scared, I should do it because it’s my doggone duty in life, I should hit this no matter what happens. But this voice in my brain whispers my greatest fears, he tells me it’ll hurt so bad, it’s not something I’ll ever do, I have no basis on doing it – my endurance is jack and I should train a few more months to work on it. But I tell myself that I have to do it – if I listen to my stupid primal brain and quit on this ill just keep quitting everything hard and I’ll have to live life as a poor person.

I spend biology preparing for it. For the first half hour I make a joke of it, searching for anxiety stuff. Actually at this point I’m still anxious as hell, scared of failing, of dying and of being a failure. Most of these things are irrational but I still believed them at the time.

Then I move onto motivation, surrounding myself with positivity and drive, trying to fix my mind and place it into the right zone. I’d say I hit it. I reached that spot that Redbeard talks about, you become connected to something bigger, you have purpose. I’m pretty damn excited I basically swear at my teacher and start drumming the tables. I’m ready.

We get down to rowing and its getting worse. I forget how to breathe and feel like I’ve never moved before, we have to wait a good 20 minutes where I slowly lose my zazz.

I don’t remember to much of the actual row only that I was ready to stop at just about any moment, then I would watch the distance go down and keep going. I closed my eyes last hundred metres and tried to destroy myself. I finish and hit the ground. Ruined.

There’s not much you think about after something like that. Everything trivial just kind of fades, you realise the futility of teen drama, your petty exams, what you think stress is. I hit an epiphany then, but it seems I’ve lost it. All I know right now is I really need a shower, food and a good book.

Sidebar: I’m pretty sure life looks brighter, either that or I’m being a pansy little shit.


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