Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pour Some Coffee...

…On me.

Really, I’ve had enough of this and I’m not that impressed.

Hear me out: you know how you have a bad habit that you think it bad because everyone says it bad and so you spend your days wondering would I be a better person without my bad habit, would I look better, feel better or have a better quality of life if I just could break my habit once and for all…

The answer is no. It’s all a lie. In fact, I’m starting to doubt research supporting that caffeine is a stimulant. Because if you asked my body, there is no proof.


For the past 3 days I have sacrificed my sanity. Forgive me oh strong perky legion of coffee drinkers for I have sinned. It has been 3 days since my last caffeinated cup of coffee. And let me say that nothing significant has changed.

Nothing. Again.

Many doubted me. Many asked why. Is she pregnant? No. Is she on some strict diet? Oh please, no. Is she out of her mind? Maybe. Are there some very cold residents in hell right now? Of course.

Because I gave up coffee. For THREE WHOLE DAYS. Cut it out completely.

Well, sort of.

Tuesday started the experiment. I woke up around 7:30 am which was really 5:30 am Phoenix time but really 6:30 am our time before Daylight Savings Time. It was complicated and I knew that my body would know that. So I figured I had a shot at tricking it with no caffeine. Everything was going ok. I was busy and distracted and happily buzzing along without my morning buzz. But then….it happened. I got on to the Eisenhower to drive down to the city. Everything was going ok – until that. Caught up by the hypnosis of the highway I realized I was not nearly as alert. I was foggy, hazy and couldn’t drink straight. I was thinking about coffee and where would I get coffee and how would I teach my class without coffee. After 35 minutes of incessant coffee chatter in my head, the only thing that could cut through a decaffeinated fog so thick, I arrived at Well Fit and blurted out to Karin:


She looked at me. Puzzled. And came back with the only thing that made any sense:


I don’t know. I just thought it would be the right thing. Everyone has me thinking that coffee is so bad and I’ll feel so much better off of it. Come on, it’s a drug! I am addicted to drugs. Might as well be crack! Right? Wrong. I don’t know. I think coffee is cheaper. Then again, I paid $4.85 for a latte a few weeks ago.

Quickly I looked for something to save me. There just had to be coffee there. Then I saw it – a mini coffee maker with little packages of decaf. I need something. I need that. I don’t need the caffeine I just need to pretend I am drinking it. The time between Karin and I figuring it out how it worked and waiting for the sweet sound of it finally drip into the cup was like waiting for...the coffee tree itself to grow. Or something like that. And then it was done. I drank the decaf. FOR THE RECORD: I drank the decaf. I didn’t feel perked up but I finally felt “at ease”. I could now function as a grown adult and feel safe operating heavy machinery. Or at least operating the Computrainer computer system and communicating logically with 15 athletes.

The next day I wanted to stay off the coffee just to prove to myself that yes I can. I was determined to not be beat and didn’t consider my fall from decaffeinated grace a mistake. Just a way to slowly peel myself away from the only friend I have had next to me FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS.

How sad – coffee could be my oldest friend.

Anyways, my day started ok with some breakfast and then a run. Wait – would I be able to run? Can I run without coffee? The answer is yes. I ran just fine. I felt fine. No headache. Hold on, where is this headache everyone talks about? LIES LIES LIES. There were no headaches. No feeling tired or grumpy. In fact, other than THINKING about coffee, I felt totally normal. I have no idea what this all means other than somehow coffee has infiltrated itself into my head to send messages as DRINK ME DRINK ME DRINK ME with no other withdrawal symptoms.

On Wednesday I found myself at Starbucks. I have walked into temptation and the grinder sings its siren song. I can beat this. So I order a decaf. I had to order something! And I will not order tea.

Not yet!

Is this fair? Two days off the coffee but twice with the decaf. Does that count? Does it matter? I’ve given up caffeine, folks. Please don’t scold me for drinking the noncaffeinecaffeine. Because the taste of decaf (a splash of dirty water with a hint of ass) is punishment enough.

Trust me.

Day 3 – I am alive. I wake up unaided by alarm or coffee. This would be the real test. Could I make it through masters swim as my new decaffeinated self. I show up at the pool to find Jack and Tugboat Tom. Perfect. I will lead the lane. Half way through Tom ousts me as the leader and I start to think – maybe I should blame coffee? Hmmm. The mainset was 40 x 25. That is my least favorite workout because 25s are just too short to do anything. Each time we had to wait until the clock ticked to :30 to send off and it felt like eternity. I find myself thinking – you know what would speed that right up?


Is it wrong to think about coffee – like, a lot? I think about all of my favorite coffee places and see it piping hot in a cup. I miss the taste. I miss the smell. I miss watching the cream swirl into dark forming swirled, liquid clouds.

This afternoon – it is temptation once again. I have another meeting. At Caribou. If only these coffee shops knew how much I use them as an office they would ask for rent. Especially in this economy. I have been waiting all day to go and have my…decaf.


Really, I want caffeine. And tomorrow is Friday. Which traditionally has been coffee Friday as in go out and buy coffee Friday. I think I am going to celebrate and treat myself to a 20 ounce cup of something. Pour about 3 inches of cream into it and take advantage of free refills because I’ve got 3 days of missed coffee to make up for.

So, until further notice, let’s just refer to these days as “those 3 days that Liz tried to give up coffee” or “those 3 days that we do not talk about” because as I have learned it is not that I myself become unbearable without coffee, it is that the world becomes a little less bearable, a little more cold and a lot more empty.

Perk you later! TO COFFEE!


D said...

When I first read the no coffee thing I though, "well that's stupid, but ok... let her have her time". Glad to hear you're back on it, cuz why cut something you like? Well, unless it's crack. We really shouldn't do crack. Much.

By the way... decaf coffee still has caffeine in it. I know, I just burst the bubble.

BriGaal said...

I'm glad you're back on the sauce. Coffee is happiness. I hope you're oldest friend takes you back so easily after you dropped her!

Amber Dawn said...

OMG You have no idea how relieved I am. Relieved that giving up coffee did not improve your life. It didn't open you to some cosmic force unknown to caffeine junkies. You didn't have more energy or faster reflexes or a clearer head. Phew.
Me and my coffee are safe :-)

Stef said...

Oh thank goodness I am so glad you are coffee are getting back together. It's about time! :-)

Angi Axmann said...

Did you know that since you are a habitual coffee drinker (see your last blog, coffee has been in your life for some time), coffee and caffeine can have NO effect on you. In fact it could actually lower your heart rate AD your blood pressure. Research has been done on that, I did some too and caffeine has basically no effect on me, sometimes it lowers my heart rate (tested in the Lab after jugging 2 red bulls). When I did research on coffee in EXS, I found more positives then negatives to drinking coffee, but just don't go over about 4 cups a day:-) Then the negatives can outweigh the positives.
SO: Glad that you are back!!!

ADC said...

Yay, Liz is back on coffee. time to celebrate. Enjoy your cofee today!!!!

Kim said...

It could be worse.. we should thank our lucky stars that many of us are not on drugs because we have the personality types to not do well with it! Many say training is a drug..well, I choose getting my body into better shape and getting fit to make me feel better..if it is a drug - so be it. We will erase the last three days from teh record. Glad your back. Go COFFEE!

kerri said...

YESSSSS. You scared for me a brief moment. Cheers to the java with CAFFEINE. WHAT the hell is the point of DECAF Liz!!!!!!!! Furthermore, you need some espresso to make up for the other days. ELF without coffee is just NOT the same elf... Sorry. Your coffee antics are the perk of some of my days. DRINK, GRIND, BOTTOMS UP. WHEW!!!

Benson said...

Going cold turkey is tough.
it takes humans 3 weeks to develop a habit.
Coffee or no coffee?
a lot or a little?
addictions are tuff bastards to deal with. you're tuffer.

Ange said...

I've been anxious to hear how it was...if it was a breakthrough in how you performed or felt day to day. I was one of those who thought, "why?" Is coffee that bad? I think not. Enjoy!!

IronMatron said...

I'm glad you're back.
I felt abandoned. Coffee felt abandoned. Thank God you came to your senses.
Thank God.

allyson said...

Wow, 3 days without caffeine, i dont think i could go 3 hours. I wish I liked coffee, i have tried and tried again, even with a ton of sugar, but diet coke is my drug of choice.

Jason said...

The world does become a little more cold and unbearable doesn't it? I suspect that if we all lived in Kona year around, we might all drink less coffee because we would be warm and relaxed. Alas, as most of us are rooted in the dark and dreary winters in Seattle, Chicago etc. it really just isn't viable without that trusty cup of coffee. :)
Perk on!