“I’m sittin’ in my room,
I’m starin’ out my window
And I wonder where you’ve gone
Thinking back on the happy hours just before the dawn”
“Another Park, Another Sunday” – The Doobie Brothers

The last month has not been ideal. I’ve been sick off and on for two months, with whatever it is that has been trying so hard to confine me to bed, finally able to claim victory. The CrossFit Open started, and for the last two weeks, it’s been just about all I can do to simply get my Open workouts judged and my score submitted. Work has been overwhelming (still love my job though), my dating adventures have gone a little off the rails and there have been days (ok, most of them) where I just didn’t know how I was going to get up and face the day.

“Outside the wind is blowin’
It seems to call your name again
Where have you gone”

My cold/flu had finally eased enough to allow me to a) sound like I was only smoking half a pack a day; and b) get back into the gym two times before it was time to submit my last Open workout score. The Open is a big deal to me. Not in the “if I screw up it’s over” way, but more in the way that I use it as a way to gauge my progress each year and it takes care of my need for competition so it doesn’t bleed over into other areas of my life. Being sick took that away from me. I felt like my last two scores were not indicative of what I am able to do and I will admit to being disappointed with my performance. And where I beg others to give themselves a break when interruptions to their training occur, I struggled to do the same for myself.

“City streets and lonely highways
I travel down
My car is empty and the radio just seems to bring me down”

I have often thought myself to be a fairly good judge of character when it comes to humans, but for the last few months either the frontal lobe of my brain is playing a big fat joke on me, or I’ve been fooling myself all this time. Though the former would be nice, I’m sincerely afraid it is the latter. I’ve misjudged people and situations lately and it’s made me question whether I should trust my decisions and conclusions regarding the people in my life.

“I’m just tryin’ to find me
A pretty smile that I can get into
It’s true, I’m lost without you”

This Sunday, my life came to a tipping point. I had been pushing myself hard – coached Saturday morning, worked over 6 hours of OT at work – and my weekend, which should have been a time to refuel and refresh, had become a non-stop schedule of things I had to do, to the point that I actually scheduled in 5 minute breaks intended to be used to remind myself to breathe. My Sunday looked especially rough – I needed to do my Open workout and then I was going to drive to Merced to pick up my youngest son for Spring Break, then drive home (OK, so I get to go to In-N-Out) and get myself ready for my Monday morning routine. Don’t get me wrong; I was excited that I was going to get my son – the conversations we have on the way home are some of my favorite conversations ever – but I was tired and something just seemed so “off“. He texted me late Saturday night and told me that he had to decided to stay in Merced for now, so driving to pick him up was something I could cross off my list. Sunday morning had arrived and I had trouble getting out of bed. I needed to have energy, to feel strong and to have some fight in me but there was none. I went to the gym, gave the workout what little I had and left disappointed.

“Another lonely park, another Sunday
Why is it life turns out that way
Just when you think you got a good thing
It seems to slip away”

I came home and climbed in bed. I felt lost. I felt as though I had no purpose and it bothered me. I no longer had to make the almost 6 hour drive to Merced and back, and was free to do as I wanted. But I was paralyzed. I had so many things that needed to be done, yet I didn’t have the energy to start a single one. I curled up on my bed and texted my best friend, asking what she was doing and would she want to meet me for coffee? She said she would love to. I now had some human interaction to look forward to and a purpose. I had a reason to get in the shower, wash my hair and actually put on some clothes. I decided to boot up my laptop for a minute to submit my Open score and that’s when I saw today’s date, in big letters across my screen: MARCH 25TH. Then it hit me like a car crash. My “off” feeling, and my desire to just climb in bed and hide made total sense to me.

“It’s warm outside, no clouds are in the sky
But I need a place to go and hide
I keep it to myself
I don’t want nobody else
To see me cryin’ all those tears in my eyes”

On March 25th, 1973 my Dad died. I was only 10 when it happened, and it has been 45 years but I can tell you about that day as if it happened yesterday. I see it in my head like a movie – the Navy chaplain, my Mom, the soft wetness of my pillow, and the feeling of just wanting to stay in my room with the door shut until the end of time. There has not been a single day since that I haven’t – in one way or another – thought about him. And every year, this day is an “off” day for me. I never wake up knowing what day it is or pre-emptively think about it the week before. It’s just a day where I feel lost and alone without knowing why until later that day, when I realize what day it is and then it becomes OK. Everything becomes OK.

“Another park, another Sunday
Why is it life turns out that way
Just when you think you got a good thing
It seems to slip away”

So today I am completely OK with doing nothing. I’m OK with not achieving, producing, excelling, and shining. Today is a day when it’s OK to be quiet and solitary, unproductive and to allow my smile to be just a bit sad. It’s a day where melancholy is just fine – I allow myself to wonder what my life would have been like if he had lived, and I allow myself to wish that things had been different. I let the sad little girl come and when she knocks on the door, I let her in. We talk, we cry (ok, she cries…you know me and crying), we pull the covers up over our heads and shut out the world. But tonight when I go to sleep, I will politely tell the ghost of the little girl with the sad smile that it’s time to leave and that I will see her next year.

“Another park, another Sunday
It’s dark and empty thanks to you
I got to get myself together
But it’s hard to do”

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