After fighting on September 1st, I took a six-day break from boxing that felt long. I enjoyed a short work week due to Labor Day, and I had the luxury of getting a full week off for Fall break right after that. This was my ideal picture of how I wanted to spend my break: 1) boxing every day, 2) catching up on paperwork a little at a time, 3) laying around the apartment reading and 4) sleeping.
On the first day of my much-anticipated break, exactly a week after my fight, I woke up with a sore throat. My policy for any sign of illness is to ignore it, so I went to the gym just as I’d planned to do. It was good to be back at boxing, though I felt uncoordinated and unfocused when it came time to work pads. I headed home feeling completely out of it and much more spent than usual.
I started aching all over after I got home. I was expecting to be sore, since I hadn’t trained for almost a week. This, however, was not a normal “I worked out” feeling. I didn’t know it then, but this was a “you’re in for it” feeling. After a few hours, I ached even more: my skin started hurting and my throat was worse. I got hot, so my roommate took my temperature. (I don’t do things like go to doctors, take medicine, etc. I suffer through like cavemen used to do.) I had a fever of about 100.6 degrees. My bed called me, so I collapsed and slept for over thirteen hours. I was four pounds lighter when I woke up, which I figure is due to all the sweat that was dripping off of me all night.
And so I realized that I was sick.
Which made me mad. During the whole week of my Fall break, I literally spent more time asleep than awake, because I slept for 12-16 hours every single night. I spent most of my waking hours half-asleep in front of a laptop screen. I re-watched boxing matches from the Olympics. I watched random fights on YouTube. I discovered allthebestfights.com. I scoured the blogosphere for posts about boxing and read all of them. (Well, almost.)
I also played many, many games of Minesweeper and even won the expert level once. (Regarding the 798 seconds it took me—I read blog posts every time I got stuck and then returned to the game for a fresh look.)
Most of all, I was frustrated that I couldn’t go to the gym. I was mad that I felt so miserable on my Fall break. I wished that I had the strength to at least get some paperwork done, but everything productive seemed beyond me. In short, I felt robbed.
When I was finally able to go back to boxing (and work), I was still snotty and had a sore throat, but all the other problems were gone: no fever, ears didn’t hurt, no aching joints, no sensitive skin… I was good to go. I actually felt pretty darn rested, too. I was faster on the pads and more focused. I happily resumed my regular routine of boxing five days/week.
Until I got sick again. This past Thursday, I came home from work and couldn’t stay awake. Skipped boxing; went to bed. I woke up with a pretty bad head cold on Friday, so I stumbled through the work day and then went to the store to buy medicine. (Yes, I’ve gone over to the Dark Side. For now.) The head cold was preferable to the full-body aching during my break, but it still made me mad by stealing my weekend. I was supposed to go to a college football game with friends on Saturday, but I ended up sleeping on the couch all day. I felt somewhat better on Sunday—perhaps due to the medicine—but I still felt like the world had conspired against me.
Of course, there’s no use in complaining. I’m sure a number of factors happened to come together at this time to make me sick:
- I just had a fight.
- At least half the girls at the gym were sick during this period, too.
- I teach Pre-K, where I am regularly sneezed and coughed on.
- Other teachers were getting sick.
- It’d been a while since the last time I was sick.
The biggest problem is that I’ve been trying to burn the candle at both ends for a while now. Staying up late and waking up early to fit in all the things I want to do. It’s easy to think that staying awake another half-hour won’t make a difference. Then that half-hour turns into an hour, which turns into two hours…
If I’m going to bike to school, teach 22 four year-olds all day, bike home, box for a couple of hours and then work on lesson plans in the evening, then I need all the rest I can get. Yes, need. This is a basic physical requirement, doofus.
You know what’s ironic? It’s 2 am right now and I’ll be waking up for work too soon. It’s October 1st, and September seems to have disappeared—just like the last few hours. If the last month taught me anything, it’s that I need to get more sleep. The question is, did I learn the lesson? When I’m thirsty, I drink. When I’m hungry, I eat. It only makes sense to sleep when I’m tired.
That’ll be my October resolution: to sleep when I’m tired. Instead of looking at sleep as empty time, I need to think of it as time that allows me to do all the things I want to when I’m awake.
I’m not off to a good start for October, but I’m going to do better. And, by Jove, if I get sick one more time in the near future… I’ll sleep more. (And complain.)