Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Taper Jitters and Bad Dreams

Wondering if I'm in shape.

Praying about the weather.

Checking the Weather Channel app on my phone daily. 

Trying to figure how to run twenty miles that week and take off Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Fretting over the last order of T-shirts.

Fuming over no returned calls from people I reached out to in an attempt to publicize the swim. What else is new?

Wondering what surprises await me, us on that fateful day.

If you recognize this, you have either been on this journey with me before or you also have trained and planned for an endurance event over a long period of time and know the frustrations and terrors a taper and the impending big day brings. I am there. Almost. I have one more long training swim planned and then it is full on taper. But all the other stuff has hit full-bloom like a big patch of algae in a fish pond. I am covered up in nerves, anxiety, and well, I don't know, I'm just covered up.

I'm also having weird dreams. I don't know if that means anything or not. I guess truth be told, I always have weird dreams. But it seems they have reached a new level of lunacy lately. To make a short story long, I have two types of dreams. One is the amorphous type where everything is unclear and people don't look like themselves. Settings are wrong but I know what the setting is supposed to be and who the people are supposed to be even though they look nothing like they should. The other kind I have is full of detail and color and people look exactly like they do in my waking hours. It's the latter type I have had the last three nights running.

These dreams not only have been full of detail, but in the last two, I saw people who have passed on already. In both cases they were younger than they were when they died, but not young. WK Goss was about sixty in my dream. He was mid-eighties at his departure. Carrie Coats, likewise was a good twenty years younger when I ate a meal with her the other night than she was when I preached her funeral. What does this mean? Does it mean anything? And often these dreams contain a level of violence that leaves me shocked, stunned, and saddened. Why does my mind go there?

Last night a dark-skinned man in a light suit-- so light it was almost white but not quite-- spoke with a foreign accent and behaved in ways that made it obvious he was not socialized in America. His suit had very small brown up an down lines in it, maybe one for every six square inches and they were only a thread or two wide. The man who beat him up in church wore a dark green suit. His offense, the white-suited man's, was to shoo away with his hand and voice a little girl who was moving from one side of a pew to the other like children are apt to do. "Away, girl, away from here and back to your people," the man said to the shock of everyone around.

Not exactly cool, but nothing calling for strokes. But strokes is what he received. 

After the shooing, one woman's jaw almost hit the floor. Then a tall (maybe 6'3') man who must have been 85 came around the pews in front of the raised platform and headed toward the pew where the offense had occurred. A woman, much shorter and younger, had a hand on his chest and wasn't trying so much to stop him it seemed as to hold him up and prevent him from falling. The old man, I presumed the girl;s great-grandfather, walked on an aluminum walking stick. His face was a mixture of horror and rage. He made his way down the pew and pushed the white-suited man down. A lot of ugliness ensued and nobody did anything. I remember thinking, "Somebody ought to stop this," but I was one of the ones who just watched in horror. 

These dreams always leave me a bit unsettled. What would I do if this happened in real life? Like everyone else there, I did not want to get involved and I certainly didn't want to escalate the situation.

Enough of dreaming and back to reality. The Chicot Challenge is now ten days out. I did my last monster workout yesterday. I'll write about it soon.