Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Scratching the Itch

I don't know what's more exhausting: exertion of the mind, exertion of the body, or exertion of the pocket book, but it doesn't matter, because you can chalk me up to being depleted on all accounts. With gasoline now approaching $4 per gallon (the price of which has a positive first and second derivative, with the second exceeding the first exponentially . . .), the end of an exhausting, arduous academic year, and the physical ailments that come with being a 34 year-old without an ACL who consistently tries to do the physical acrobatics of an 18 year-old, on the precipice of what some call Summer Break, I'm currently at my nadir professionally.

In a marriage, they call it the 7-year-itch (and with Marilyn Monroe as your upstairs neighbor, who WOULDN'T cut a hole in the subfloor?) In the business world, they call it burn-out. Aside from the impetus for extra-marital affairs, I suppose my symptoms come from a slight case of neurosis and expecting too much. Or perhaps it's just the realization that my increasingly redoubled efforts are producing increasingly diminishing results while the administrative and parental mandates increase 10 fold? There isn't even the temptation of a "more attractive" teaching position out there, much less one wearing high heels and a white dress, the itch at this point just feels more like a rash. I'm calling the Zensal Company.

In a new book chronicling the amazing Running feet and feats of Bart Yasso, "My Life on the Run," Bart reminisces on his amazing races around the globe that seemingly defy human capabilities, if not human resolve. His most difficult race ever? A simple 10-K race . . . . with a recalcitrant burro! For a man who earned the nickname "Badwater Bart" for running one of the craziest races in the world, a 146 mile race starting in Death Valley and ending atop Mount Whitney (a 14.5-er!), his most exacting involved pulling an unwilling burro 6.2 miles across a finish line. Mr. Yasso's burro racing experience has given him a taste of what it's like to be a high school teacher during the last six weeks, when students are more interested in going a different way than down (or up) the prescribed path. I'm looking forward to letting go of the reigns soon, to running solo again at my own pace in my own direction. That is . . . . if I can even run at all.

I'm still hobbling and limping around like a drunken pirated with a peg leg since my astonishing stunt of jumping off some monkey bars. In fact, people are STILL talking about it: how foolish it was, I deserve what I got, when will I learn, . . . With shooting, periodic pains in my left ankle, and what feels like a dreadful case of tendinitis in my ACL-less knee, I'm lucky to be walking at all. Yah, I'm the guy walking down the hall with the grimace, humming a melancholic tune, keeping perfect time with the "clicking" noise each time my knee bends.

Thank goodness for Ace Bandages, Epsom Salt, Bio-Freeze penetrating ointment, Advil, ice, comfortable recliners, and of course, math.


Anonymous said...

7 more days of school.
One more week resting your knee.
3 weeks until you see your old AP buddies.
48 days until Disney.
2 1/2 months to Colorado.
It's not all bad.
Hang in there. There is always renewed hope for next year.

Anonymous said...

Never fear, after a summer of following your own path you will be back in the fall more determined than ever to drag all those "burros" across the finish line in May. Hang in there the light at the end of the tunnel shines brightly.