Notes To Assist Rehabilitation Of Multi-Day Adventure Racers
Now that you’ve survived several days racing in the wilderness, these handy tips from Eddie Winthorpe of the Nav4-JRP Team may help as you attempt to reintegrate into polite society and the world of work.
• Food is often supplied in a container other than a zip-lock bag. It is possible to consume food using shaped metal items called cutlery. It is not necessary to eat each and every hour of the day, but instead at fewer, more substantial “meals”. It is customary to have exactly three meals each day. You may have several items of food at once, even using a sequential timed arrival system, of “courses”.
• Assume that you are not expected to arrive when you do: no-one is following your progress on the internet and a marshal did not radio ahead to warn the receptionist. Remember to introduce yourself by your own name …and not just your team number. Sometimes it will be necessary to start a dialogue with a trivial preamble, or other cordiality, before getting down to business. Do not announce your arrival at meetings by shouting “where do I dib?”
• Not all vendors will accept your team number in order to offer credit. Not everyone with information you need will be wearing a “race official” bib.
• You do not need to announce to your colleagues that you’re having a drink, nor expect them to do the same. It is possible to drink from cups, mugs and glasses: not just bottles and bladders.
• It may not be acceptable to shout “have you got any lube?” to your colleagues.
• When someone goes to the toilet, it’s not necessary for you to try to go at the same time. It is not acceptable to turn your back to the group and relieve your bladder at any time you chose, including brief pauses in conversation. This is especially important in meeting rooms!
• Forgetting to take your mobile phone to work, will be inconvenient, but will not result in a penalty.
• No matter how tired you feel, you may not rest your head on your desk and close your eyes. If you think your colleague’s concentration is waning and that they may feel sleepy, you may not punch them to wake them up. Having a 20 minute power-nap is not allowed in the office. You should go to sleep in a bed. Although they may initially look inviting, doorways, bus stops, wheely bin and grass verges are not acceptable to sleep in, unless racing, or on a stag weekend.
• If you sniff your armpits and announce that you stink …your colleagues will expect you to take immediate remedial action. Work attire may be chosen on criteria other than weight and breathability. You can select your own clothing without referring to your team. When not riding, you are expected to carry your cycle/motorbike helmet by hand …not simply wear it all day long because “it’s the easiest way of carrying it”
• If there’s a helicopter overhead, it’s probably the Police …not a film crew. If there’s a photographer pointing a camera at you …it means there’s someone famous behind you. There is no need to walk/run/ride/paddle faster and behave more “heroically” while in shot.
• Often, you will not have a map. It’s ok not to know the exact time for sunrise and sunset, nor the mountain weather forecast. Similarly, it is not necessary to know your altitude: simply knowing what floor you’re on will suffice.
• Caution: if your work attire reveals your bruises, your colleagues may assume you’re suffering domestic abuse. If your feet are too swollen to wear shoes, explain that you dropped a heavy box on them: it’s easier to comprehend than the reality. Likewise, if your hands are swollen, best to say you’ve reacted to a bee-sting. Similarly, paddler’s wrist is easier explained as RSI from too much computer work.
Finally, do not expect any of the people you interact with at work, to truly understand the experience you’ve just had. They have ten toenails each and rely on eight hours of sleep each night. As you explain your epic journey to them, they may smile and nod politely at your anecdotes, but the reality is: you’re merely further cementing their already-held opinion that you’re a freak and somewhat unhinged.