Riding Life’s Lows & Highs

Blog Update #6

December the 11th, 2019.

I’m not gonna lie it’s been a difficult and miserable couple weeks for me for multiple reasons, at the start of December I was hit with an all too common bout of depression. I’m used to these though and it’s normal for me. It comes and goes just like the suicidal thoughts, so I’m able to accept it and push through, things just get harder. It’s not just the depression thats made these weeks difficult but a combination of factors. One of these factors being the financial situation I’ve put myself in. As most people know entering these ultramarathons and climbing mountains is not cheap. I’ve been able to do what I’ve been able to do this year because I’ve spent pretty much all my savings from the past 2 years of working my ass off. However all things come to an end and as I’ve entered more and more races and climbed more and more mountains my bank account has pretty much been wiped out. The financial stress I’ve been feeling lately largely comes from the stress of paying off what’s left to pay for the the upcoming Aconcagua trip, my third of the seven summits with the little money I have left. Flights, equipment, permits, these are all expenses I underestimated and I’m paying for now. I know it’s all first world problems and my fault and no matter what I’ll still have a comfortable house to live in, food to eat and water to drink but it’s stressful nonetheless. At one point all I had in my bank account was $400 (I need a minimum of $3000 by the end of January) and to stay afloat I sold my bike. Then in the same week my car breaks down and needed fixing and I remembered I had to buy a wetsuit for the 10 km swim I’ve got coming up, so there went the bike money back to square one. It’s not like I’m earning a lot either, again I’m at fault here but with my main job at the moment being delivering pamphlets via walking, I’m only earning about $500-$600 a week, granted I’m only working about 30-35 hours per week so I shouldn’t be complaining.

Another reason the past couple weeks have been hard is I’ve been injured and haven’t been able to run (one of my coping mechanisms for depression). My hip stabiliser muscles have been injured and weakened from the fall during the GSER100 and as a result my back and hips have been causing me grief, nerve pain is all to common and I can’t seem to activate my left quad and glute whilst running which makes running nearly impossible. I’ve adapted and have been using the stiarmaster and elliptical machine instead however its not the same. What made this extremely frustrating was I had The Hallora Marathon booked for 8th of December which cost me money and I was in no mood to waste money (more anxiety). Anyway I ran that marathon, I hadn’t run for 3 weeks and I tried to run 2 days prior with no luck but somehow I started and although the first half was very uncomfortable I managed to push through and finish with a time of 03:37:46 on a course with nearly 500 m or 1640 feet of ascent. That was the first and only day in the past 3-4 weeks were I felt mentally good and not overwhelmed with depression and anxiety.

I’m not writing this to say poor me, or it’s not fair this was all self imposed and I’m paying for the consequences now. In reality it’s a good thing it’s taught me a few good lessons when it comes to saving money and planning. Now I don’t have $20,000+ in the savings account I need to be more cautious with the events and trips I book. It’s best I learn these lessons now whilst still living with my parents rather than when I’m on my own. It’s like an apprenticeship in life. We stuff up, we learn and then we become better. Just like the depression all this will pass, I’ll be better for it and then look back and go “what a whiny B**tch” you call that a struggle? We need lows to have highs and this was and is a low, but the good thing is I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m starting to build that money back up, my injuries are healing and that depression and suicidal thoughts (weak thoughts) are subsiding. I’ve got my first marathon (10 km) swim in 3 days with my new wetsuit that I managed to buy even with all the financial stress and difficulties I’ve been having and Christmas is coming too. I think I’ve beaten this low that life has thrown at me and I’m going to ride the inevitable high that always follows for as long as I can before another low kicks me on my ass.

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