I know I need to process this,
But every time I try to write,
Try to think things through,
The wall between,
The panic,
The anxiety,
The madness,
Feels so paper-thin,
Feels like it could collapse,
At any moment.

The fear drives me,
Drives me to seek refuge,
In munching biscuits,
In going shopping,
In watching science fiction,
But the avoidance,
Only works for so long,
Before I am driven to do,
Something else.

I felt I was ready,
Ready to be part of something bigger than me,
The games seemed to be solution,
Something I thought of doing,
For seventeen years now,
A chance to celebrate my second life,
To remember the death that preceded it,
To show what transplants can achieve,
And raise awareness of those still waiting,
And those that are dying whilst waiting.

Yes it is a competition,
But it is the taking part that is important,
It is isn’t it?
The required qualifications for the world games comes in,
As an email attachment,
I read it out of curiosity,
This is serious stuff,
You only qualify if there is a good possibility of a podium place,
That sounds like a real competition,
When did the games get so serious?
I have a sense I have made a mistake,
But I have signed up,
It is easier for me to continue,
Down the road I have chosen,
However bumpy it gets.

Out of curiosity I try to find,
The swimming times at the last world games,
And fail,
Perhaps the UK times are available?
They are,
Bloody hell,
There are some seriously fast times here,
I don’t think I can get anywhere near that,
So what?
It’s the taking part that matters,
Isn’t it?
What about all the training you are doing?
I want to do my best,
But you probably wont win!
It’s the taking part that matters,
Being there will be challenging enough,
Finishing the race will be a bonus,
It is not all or nothing,
Whatever your brain tells you!

More emails,
But these lead to more questions,
Patience,
I’m sure the answers will come,
But it’s not just travelling the first day,
It’s registration,
It’s a parade,
It’s making a World Record,
It’s going out for a meal,
What are the distances involved?
Can I walk everywhere?
I don’t think I can face taking taxis,
What should I wear?

Take it one step at a time,
You know the Glasgow – Birmingham trains,
You know the train to Glasgow times,
Just books the tickets now,
That’s one less thing to do,
How does that feel?
How about finalising the dog’s stay with friends,
Yep, see that text is another tick off the list.

The rules of competition email now,
So at least you know,
They definitely supply archery equipment,
And from the definitions,
It is okay that you are in the beginner rank,
Except they are shooting at 80 cm targets at 10 metres,
And you’ve lost count of the number of 60cm targets you shot at 20 metres,
But that was three decades ago,
You do not have your own bow,
You do not belong to a club,
You are a beginner,
God, I hope I don’t win,
What am I doing Friday?
Is it ten-pin bowling?

When I think about the swimming,
I imagine being in the pool,
How do I make sure I am warmed up enough?
How do I keep warm?
The last thing I need is another injury,
Will I hear the starter?
Will my goggles stay on when I dive?
Will I touch the end with both hands?
How will I know if they stop the race?
The adrenaline surges through my veins,
My heart is thumping in my chest,
I tell myself this is a good reaction,
I can practice breathing through the panic,
I can use this to swim faster,
But I know that sometimes,
In the pool,
The stress gets too much,
And I just have to stop,
And relax,
At least no body else will be in the lane with me.

I don’t want to talk to anybody tonight,
I barely make it through dinner,
Listening to my wife discuss the latest plans for a conference,
I try to engage,
But the thin-wall is still there,
I need to process this,
I need to do something,
I finish eating,
And excuse myself from tidying,
Escape upstairs,
Where I can pretend to be alone,
I can put my headphones on,
And put the relaxation tape on,
I make it through the first half,
Before the thin-wall’s structure begins to collapse,
I need to do something,
I need to process this,
I write,
I want to define the structure,
But let that go,
Write,
Write anything,
Otherwise I don’t know where this spiral will end.

 

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