Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mellow Dog

"Hi. Uhm, my name is Greyhound."

"Hi, Greyhound."

"And, . . . uh, . . . wow, I'm kind of nervous. I've never really been to a meeting like this."

**it's ok, Greyhound. We're all here for you.**

**deep breath**

"OK, well, it's been, like, 21 days for me since I've had a drink."


"Yeah, I've turned on to my higher power and tried to make amends and all that, and it's been hard but I haven't had any."

"Awesome, Greyhound. Isn't that great everyone?"

**general affirmation all around**

"Uh, gosh, thanks. Like I say, it's hard going into work every day and smelling the Starbucks stand and the lattes in the elevator, but I made it, so far. I haven't had a coffee in 21 days."

**horrified gasps circulate around the smoke-filled room**

"NO COFFEE??!!! What kind of sick bastard are you?? Get out!"

Yes, gentle reader, while this pretend 12 step meeting never happened, part of the story is true. Inspired by some of the bloggy friends that have gone before me, I have secretly kicked the habit. I had been a heavy and habitual drinker of all manner of caffeinated swill for most of my life. Now 40, I started drinking the devil's brew as a young teenage musician on rehearsal breaks with the older musicians with whom I performed.

I wondered what would happen. I tapered back and mixed in half a decalf without significant side effects and really only had one mild day of headaches on the day I quit completely. Now, I don't need it to get energized in the morning, and my energy is more constant all day. In addition, I'm not masking tiredness and disguising potential overtraining. I am listening to my body, which (I hope) will return me the courtesy rather than cast me into hellish paroxysms of pain.

Perhaps most importantly, the Greyhound temper (which you, thankfully, have never seen) is much less flammable. Not sweating the small stuff is actualy possible now.

Don't get me wrong. I loves me a beautifully rich cup 'o dark and sensually erotic . . .

what were we talking about?

Oh, sorry. I meant to say that I don't anticipate being a tee-totaller. I'll save the coffee for a weekend treat or with friends. I think I can be a "social drinker." But right now, going without has me feeling better than I would have thought.

Duuuuuuuuuuuuude, it's, like, totally melloooooooooooooow.



TriSaraTops said...

I quit too!

*high five*

Yeah, it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be. I still need something warm in the morning, but have been having decaf, decaf tea, or hot cocoa. It seems I'm programmed to have a nice warm beverage in the morning, or at least when it's 10 degrees out. :)

21stCenturyMom said...

Oh my..... I applaud you and others but really.... I have 1/2 decaf in the morning and that's it for the day. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! But good for you - rock on!

Brent Buckner said...

Well done!

You might consider putting the "tea"-totalling to rest on race days - check the literature on caffeine (pills) and endurance events.

Iron Pol said...

While I've never been a coffee drinker, I did make a major shift off of soda, this past year. I went from a lot (3-6 cans/day) to virtually none (dinners out, occassional can at home).

The caffeine never had much impact on me, but the calories did. Imagine cutting 400-500 calories out of your diet overnight.

Of course, all the money saved on soda had to go to buying all new pants.

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Inspiring. I drink waaaaayyyyyy too much coffee in the morning and have thought about quitting. I'm pretty sure that I'd need to taper back rather than go cold turkey. I once went a day without coffee (not by choice) and it was NOT PRETTY.

IM Able said...

I actually found kicking *booze* and *smoking* after 15 years was easier than caffeine!!

More power to ya, man. I just can't seem to do that one last step... but if I do, I'll warn everyone just in case you have stock in Dunkin Donuts!

Curly Su said...

wow--that's amazing. me and my black tea? we're best friends...and you can't abandon your friends, right?


Flatman said...


Bolder said...

dude, you abstain from caffeine until RACE DAY!

you too can be running through aid stations yelling COLA COLA COLA! like a complete PR'ing idiot!!

you can also abstain from sex until after RACE DAY.

but, i don't recommend it.

Triteacher said...

AAAHH... Na, na, na... I can't hear you!

(Cuz if I don't hear you, then I won't get the sick idea that I have to try this myself.)

Taconite Boy said...

Good man. I quit in January, but sadly the coffee demon was too much...;( Well I am 1/2 and 1/2 now so it's not to bad. I do like the way that you can tell when your body is needing rest from training. Rock on brother.

TriBoomer said...

Way. To. Go!

I personally know how hard kicking the habbit can be and I also know how good it feels to be off the java.

My fight began in June.

A mellow dog is a good dog.

Stay tuned...

seaducer said...

Quitting is not easy. A few years back I quit Mt Dew cold turkey from like 9 cans a day. That was a serious hangover. Now I do 1 cup of delicious fresh ground in the am, whatever else I need is all decaf. Seems to work for me...Drew in NJ