I went to Europe for five weeks. Five weeks of gallivanting around gorgeous countryside, quaint seaside towns, stunning landscapes and metropolitan cities.
And guess what?
I fucked up.
See, I was toying with whether or not I even talk about the fuck up on here (also called the elegant belly flop back into the comfort zone of old), but what’s the point of having a project and documenting the experiences if I leave the important shit out? The shit where I tell you that while I had every intention of working out along the way — hell, I even bought ankle weights and a resistance band, and looked up where spin classes were in the cities I was visiting — I worked out twice.
The first full day in Bangkok and my first full day in Prague. That is it.
Oh, and I ate all the pasta, and foccacia and pizza. ALL OF IT.
And, I drank all of the wine. And amazing coconut beer (yes, it is a thing). And even dappled in some sensational honey brandy in Slovenia.
But, the mother of all fuck ups isn’t that I didn’t work out, because hell, I was walking across what seemed to be entire cities during my trip. And I was carrying a bajillion kilos of luggage up thousands of stairs. And I was trekking up hills overlooking cities. And hiking through wine terraces along the Ligurian Sea.
And the mother of all fuck ups isn’t that I ate whatever I wanted because I was exercising, even if it wasn’t dedicated cardio, I was moving. Nearly constantly. Like Shana from Fitweek suggested to me earlier in my European planning, I opted to stand whenever I could instead of sit, take stairs instead of elevators (even when my body was becoming bruised from hauling awkward luggage up stairs at train stations).
And the mother of all fuck ups isn’t that I drank because it is Europe and not drinking in Europe would be criminal. Criminal, I tell you.
No, the mother of all fuck ups is I lit up that first cigarette. In Milan, when I was coming down from a week of being with my friends and embarking on being solo and not really wanting to be solo and wanting my sweet old nicotine friend to join me while I waited for the train to take me to Trieste.
And, the fuck up continued the next morning when I was wandering Trieste and came across the Adriatic because the Adriatic has some serious heartbreaking memories for me, which flooded me as soon as I saw the sparkling sea. And then, it continued even more when I got to Ljulbjana and was alone and wanted to make friends. By then, the cigarette damage had been done. I had reasoned my way into smoking again.
“It’s like what you wrote about — the cigarette and travel just go together,” I said.
“It’s how you meet people at a hostel,” I told myself when the first night at Hostel Celica I met two girls traveling and immediately joined them at their table, bonding over rollies and wine (’cause I was totally drinking).
So it went from there. The rest of the trip. What started out so innocent, so disgusting tasting, so ill-feeling, once again became my stupid sidekick. My break from writing. My filler in between ordering food and eating. My wasting five minutes while I wait for a bus/train/boat.
The thing is this, I got mad, but not mad enough. Because, when I returned to Thailand a few days ago, I decided I was going to keep on being Fun Diana for the weekend. Seemingly, in the moment, I thought Fun Diana only comes out when beer, wine and cigarettes are involved. So, I drank. And I smoked. And I partied.
This afternoon when I went to the gym, I nearly cried.
I couldn’t do three sets of 15 tricep dips against my weight. My trainer smiled, laughed a little and said “Ah, Diana, today you only do 12 each set.”
My body, which had become accustomed to holding a plank for almost 40 seconds without collapsing, could barely make it to 25 without shaking. And my arms, my arms which I have looked at from every angle as deltoids and biceps and triceps emerge, well, they let me down.
I let myself down.
I’m not even going to get started talking about spin class, because that was just an embarrassment.
So, yes, I crashed. Yes, I burned. Yes, I didn’t work out. I drank. I ate all the good food. But, I had one hell of a time doing it. And, I wouldn’t take back those experiences in Europe for anything.
I would certainly take back the cigarettes though. But, that’s what TCZP is about. It isn’t just about triumphs, it is about trials, too. It’s about falling down, and then standing back up, brushing your knees off and holding your head high and saying, “Yeah, I fucked up, but it’s OK. I’m back on track.”
Today starts another Day One for me. But, tomorrow is Day Two and that will be easier. And spin class tomorrow night won’t be as hard as tonight. And my lungs won’t hurt as bad. And, I will go from there … because this the ride I’m on. Thank goodness I’m driving.