“What’s wrong with your eyes?” asked my mom on our last weekend trip to So Cal.
“She doesn’t get enough sleep,” answered my hubby.
Our weekend trips are too short. We pack a lot of foodie/drinking adventures into 48 hours, but I’m left wanting more.
Then, I wake up at midnight. The bed feels so good, with a snoring puppy at my feet. I want to keep hugging my hubby. Eventually, common sense kicks me out of bed. After taking a shower, brewing a fresh pot of coffee and watching the first block of our 11 PM news, I leave behind my sleeping hubby and puppy.
I wonder if my skating career has somehow led me to graveyard shifts. When I was growing up, I hated going to bed during daylight savings. I can smell BBQ on the grill. I listened to my family laughing and chatting as I tried to fall asleep. I didn’t have any curtains in my bedroom, so I felt the sun glowing as I closed my eyes and burrowed under the covers.
My mom woke me up before dawn. I ate breakfast in the car: bagel and peanut butter. I warmed up with my mom’s blend of hot cocoa and coffee. I’m on the ice by 4 AM for my figures session. The chilly drafts kept me awake as I cut circles on the ice with my blades.
The next hour, I’m racing around the rink for the freestyle session. I’m jumping and falling. Sometimes I get lucky and land those double and triple jumps.
A few hours later, I’m back in class. I’m fidgeting around in my wooden desk, trying to ease the pressure on my bruised tailbone.
Looking back, I’m still trying to figure out if it was worth it: the crazy hours, pain, stress and drama. Other skaters, parents, coaches and judges said I was a good skater. For a long time, the only time I felt beautiful was when I was competing on the ice. I finally had an experience that topped that feeling – my wedding day. Plus, I don’t feel ugly or fat when my hubby looks at me. It doesn’t matter if I’m making an effort with a dress and covering up the bags under my eyes with make-up. Or if I’m waking up in my PJ’s. He says, “You look beautiful.” I believe him.
Just one of the reasons why I don’t want to leave my bed to get ready for my graveyard shift.
I need a real vacation.