The Night Shift

Tonight is my first night shift for my new dispatching gig at my current job. I have been mentally preparing for this for about a week now. When it came down to it, I was just nervous. Nervous that I would be fighting my body to stay awake, relying on coffee to keep me awake instead of the delicious flavors it brings for me to enjoy, and being unable to function in my day to day activities of school and cycling.

All of my work has been finished. Now the moment of occupying my time for the remainder of my shift has approached. I am by no means exhausted. I made an effort to get a nap in before work and to bring some backup coffee just in case the night called for the brewing of midnight brews. No coffee was consumed except for the cup of Costa Rican I had this morning from the newest roasters opening up shoppe in the arts district of Los Angeles. I even got a 50 mile ride in before work. Feels like I’m in good shape. School four hours from when I’m off might be a little difficult. Thankfully, I have a five hour break in between classes on Thursday, so I can get another nap in so I am able to function for the rest of the night.

Being up at such a late hour can be relaxing once all is said and done. I still feel alert enough to function for all of my basic work tasks. Now that I have an office job, no heavy lifting or extra attention needs to be paid in the same way as working “in the field” as we call it. I see myself getting homework, stretching, and writing done with this free time. 

One of my motivators to keep me up through the night was considering the tasks a challenge rather than a drag if that makes much sense. Something about pushing the body to do things it normally doesn’t do can very well be a passage in every cyclists’ philosophy whether it be training, racing, or getting from A to B at whatever speed you so desire. I will try my hardest not to rely on stimulants and keep the fuel in the tank as naturally high octane as possible (with an emphasis on “naturally.”)

For the remainder of my stay, I will be performing some yoga poses and will try and do some meditating before I leave. The more I can bring my mind and body to a relaxed state without falling completely asleep the better. My goal is to use the least amount of energy possible to get me through the night, such is the same mindset of the yogi, that of efficiency.

When I think about myself accepting that I will eventually get used to this work routine sounds so odd right now. I am imagining all of the questions I am going to be asked once I have done this a handful of times unsupervised. It’s like being a vegetarian all over again (great….)

I have often wondered what the felling of staying up all night felt like. The last time I can remember doing that was having a sleepover at a friends some some eight to ten years ago. I was never (and never hope to be) the type of student who ended up pulling all-nighters  out of necessity for an optimum grade. This idea took the unusual pleasure of pushing your body to stay awake from sunset to sunrise. More energy is required of the all-nighter tasks and I don’t feel that I would be able to make a habit out of that.

Now that I think more about it, I have friends who have worked the night shift for over seven years and haven’t turned into nocturnal zombies. Hell, they’re the ones asking me if I want to go ride bikes all the time. As stranger as it may sound, I can get used to this lifestyle change and new chapter in my life. I know work relationships will be tested, but that is a story for another day. Here’s to new beginnings

-DFJ

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