I blame the cat. And my phone. And probably my bladder. All three really. I think they were working together to ruin my night’s sleep.
Specifically, about 2:00am on Wednesday morning, I was wakened by either my bladder or my phone. Even more specifically, I think my bladder was bringing me out of deep sleep and the vibration of the phone — due to, evidently, the fact that it was my turn in a game of Words With Friends — brought me the rest of the way out.
I went and peed. I shall not bother you with details of this event, because it was more or less uneventful.
By the time I was most of the way back to bed, the cat was scratching at the bedroom door. So I went back and opened the door so she could come in.
The extra time on my feet woke me up, just a little.
So I thought, “Hey, I’ll just take a quick look at the Words With Friends game and see what move someone made at this ridiculous hour.”
It was a pretty good move, in a game I am losing badly (I lose every game of Words With Friends, and do not know why I continue to play).
Then — fatefully — my mind turned to the blog post I wanted to write (this one).
And that was that.
No more sleep.
I was awake, and my mind was fully engaged in mentally outlining and writing the post I wanted to write. The title. Headings. Key phrases. Where the story would end.
I knew — knew! — from long experience that once this mental train leaves the station, it is not returning. My night’s sleep was over.
But for form’s sake, I stayed in bed ’til about 2:30. Pretending it was possible that I’d go back to sleep.
I did not go back to sleep.
So I dressed, went downstairs, and started writing. Knowing full well that the three hours of sleep I had had that night would not be enough.
Using the tactic (or was it a strategy?) of a more or less continuous consumption of caffeine, I made it through the day. I’m sure my co-workers didn’t notice at all. Ha.
And then, finally, I was back home. So tired that I just wanted to fall into bed, but so excited at the combination of plenty of daylight, perfect weather and ideal trail conditions that I had to get on my mountain bike for a couple hours.
So I did.
And — instantly — the tiredness evaporated. I felt good. Clear-headed. For the first time since about 7:00AM, fully awake.
I tell you, biking cures — temporarily — pretty much everything.
I climbed up Hog Hollow, feeling fine. Feeling totally lucid and clear-headed. Thinking about the fact that I was totally lucid and clear-headed.
“I feel totally lucid and clear-headed,” I said to The Hammer.
“Interesting,” she replied. “Because you’re picking horrible riding lines and you’re slurring like you’re about to fall over on your side.”
So it’s possible, I suppose, that I felt more awake than I seemed.
Even so, it was such a relief to feel good again.
Perhaps Not All Better
And then the descent began: down Rush, one of the more technical descents in the Corner Canyon riding park.
It twists. It turns. It’s banked and steep and has dozens of places to catch air.
It let me know, almost instantly, that I wasn’t operating at optimal capacity.
I came out of the first hairpin turn fine, but . . . off. I couldn’t — still can’t — tell exactly what was wrong, but I could tell that I was wobbly in the turn, and came out of it without much momentum and pointing in a strange direction.
“It happens,” I thought. And I was right, because it happened again, almost immediately.
And that’s when I made the connection. I might feel awake, but my brain was still not working at top speed. (Here’s the place where you can make a comment to yourself along the lines of, “Does it ever?”)
I changed my ride plan from “Charge!” to “Take it easy, take no risks, and get home without crashing.”
Which, in fact, I did. I had a great ride, felt fantastic (if even less coordinated than usual), and got a nice little vacation from the deep exhaustion I had felt the whole day. Thanks, biking, for your astonishing wonderfulness.
Then I got home, put away the bike, and immediately felt the crushing sleepiness once again pin me down.
This time, though, I welcomed it. I was in bed by 9:30.
And I have no idea whether the cat, the phone, or anything else tried to wake me last night.