Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chasing away the blues

This morning I woke up in a dark mood. The sky was gray and overcast, and the temperature was 51 degrees. If I could run, it would be a perfect day for running. But because I have a broken foot, I can't run. Waaa! I've always been a fair weather biker. 51 degrees just seemed so...cold for cycling. My mood got darker and I began to feel sorry for myself, stewing about all the bad things that have happened this week...

Yesterday, I was stuck working with a moody medical assistant. Who was giving me attitude. As the day went on, I started to fear asking her to do anything! When I asked if I did anything to offend her, she told me she had "a lot on her mind". My regular medical assistant in on vacation in Disney World with her kids. So far she has posted 300 pictures on FB. They are having the trip of their lives. Good for her. Bad for me...

Monday night, at my son's 7 on 7 football game, I sat next to one of my good friends, who hasn't been so good to me for a while. We met through our sons when they were in kindergarden together. Now in 8th grade, there have been some rocky times for the boys and she's taking it out on me. Like I have any control over that...

Yesterday, my oldest son went to the dentist for a cleaning. Since he recently got his braces off, they did xrays and he has 6 cavities that need to be filled. Of course, it isn't his fault. So he tells me. But guess who gets to pay for that...




Ok, enough of the pity party. I knew I needed a fix and I needed it bad. I looked at the forecast for the next 3 days:

....and I knew it was now or never. Running was out, so it was time to get on the bike. I mulled over my wardrobe possibilities. What do cyclists wear in the cold weather? I thought back to last winter and pulled out my CW-X compression tights, figuring they'd keep my legs warm and maybe even help with the sore quads. I looked through my running tops and pulled out my lululemon purple scuba zip top that one of my students gave me last year for a thank you gift. Certainly over the top generous, every time I wear it, I think of her! And that made me smile. I put a long bra top on underneath that, pulled on some smartwool socks, switched out my dark lenses on my sunglasses for clear, and hopped on the bike. 

As I began to pedal, the cool breeze blew right through me. "I can't do this," I thought to myself. But as I smoothly moved forward down the road, I reminded myself of all those runs I did this past winter in the bitter cold, horrible weather. Lots of miles! I also knew that I would warm up as my heart rate increased. I headed towards the bike path.


The sky actually brightened up a little bit, and I could see a little circle of sun through the heavy cloud cover. The foliage along the bike path had really filled in since my last ride just 2 days ago, and I even noticed something green on my tires, probably from the pollen. The creek that runs along the path was really high from all the recent rains, and I wondered if it had overflown its banks. Some canadian geese were in the path walking their little ones, and one of them came after me, hissing and wagging its tongue at me. I've never had a goose come after me when I was running, for sure never while I was on my bike, and I screamed and pedaled a little faster. Yikes!

I started laughing to myself. I saw a few other bikers and some runners on the path, and everyone was super friendly, greeting me as I passed. Maybe it was my smiling face? The frogs were singing in the ponds as I rode by. Golfers were on the course. I saw a lot of birds, and some white cranes in one of the forest preserve ponds. 

The other thing I noticed is that my legs were not one bit tired. Was it the foam rolling and the yoga I did this week? Or was it my CW-X compression tights? Should I get some compression shorts? I've never really been a believer in compression gear, but now I began to consider the possibility that maybe compression really was helpful. I plowed up those hills like nothing (although my heart was beating pretty hard!). Hmmm.

I crossed that busy intersection where I've so many near death experiences without incident both coming and going. As I headed home, I realized that I turned my mood around. What if I didn't go for a ride? What if I just sat around, feeling sorry for myself? How easy that would have been. I'm so happy that I have something like running, like cycling, that I can fall back on to lift my mood. This is why I run!

As runners, we know the mental benefits of movement. When we become injured, it can really take a toll on our mental state. I've been here before, and I'll most likely be here again. But I know one thing: I have to keep moving. Whether it is on my bike or on my feet, exercise is my therapy. 

Just do it.


12 comments :

  1. What a beautiful post and thank you so much for sharing. It is the posts like these, the ones where we bring ourselves back up, that are so amazing to read. We can all relate and I am glad you found your sunshine. I am certain I will find mine later too! Thanks!

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    1. It is so easy to get caught up in self pity! The good mood lasted for the entire day. Taking control is so empowering! Hope you found your sunshine! :)

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  2. Good for you for getting out there. I'm glad it lightened your mood! Boo for all the negatives around you lately. They too shall pass, right? Pretty purple!

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  3. Yay for the awesome ride and getting some of those thoughts out of your mind for awhile. I am a new cyclist and still am never quite sure what to wear for a ride!

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    1. That is the hardest part about cycling for me...what to wear!

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  4. Just Do It is right! Nike really lucked out when they hired whoever thought of that.
    And I'm glad you did just do it- exercise works wonders on moodiness!

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    1. I had that same thought today about the Nike slogan!

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  5. You are such a great motivator. You probably don't even realize that how many people got up and exercised after reading that! I'm sorry you had a bad week. Sounds like you had a great ride though. xoxo

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    1. You are so sweet! But when I read this, I think, really? That stuff gets me down? What do they say? First world problems? I'm glad I have an outlet. And friends to motivate me, like you do!

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  6. sooo true when injured I actually started listening to audiobooks like Louise Hay and Wayne Dyer while I walked. Those uplifting words did a tremendous amount to help me when I couldn't get the same endorphins

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    1. When I'm able to walk with an injury, I listen to my running music playlist. That lifts me up!

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