Thursday, 8 December 2016

Periscope up


Remember me? Hilarious blogger who's kind into running? Yeah. I don't remember me either. It's been ages since I've written anything here. How are things with you? Good? Yeah, I'm great too, thanks for asking.

Well, I'm great now. I wasn't doing so great there for a while. I must have stumbled during one of my runs straight down a rabbit hole, and landed in Wonderland. The less wonderful kind of Wonderland. The kind where you try to remember how much you love running but all you end up doing is finding amazing and imaginative excuses to get out of doing it. Like, ”These dishes won't do themselves” (yes they will, we have a dishwasher), ”the cats are tripping over themselves to get my attention, I should give them it” (they spend most of the day sleeping, eating and pooping, and they manage all that completely without my help) and ”there is a surplus of chocolate in the cupboard, I should really eat it to make some space for all the kale, spirulina and chia seeds I am totally going to buy next time I'm at the store” (yeah).

As amusing as it was watching my own waistline expand to a level where it should be attracting its own moon (any day now) or at least a falling apple or two, the underlying cause of it was less so. A couple of really tough months at work (which poked the sleeping bear that is my doubts about my career choices in life), at the end of what was an endless, stressful period getting things fixed around the house, coincided with November. My least favourite month of all the -mbers. Pitch dark most of the time, grey and miserable the couple of minutes the sun manages to drag its arse over the horizon, it doesn't exactly make anyone happy. But this year November was being even more of a gigantic a-hole. Global events made sure of that. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

So I crawled back home each day after work and hid under the covers, the thing that would most definitely make me feel better looming above me like the most intimidating monster: running. I found no motivation to get out there, no matter how hard I tried. And the harder I tried, the less motivated I felt. The few times I did get out there were great, but not great enough to convince me that sticking my head in the sand for a few hours every day wasn't the best idea ever. If I waited this month out – no, strike that, this year out, then things would once again get sunny and beautiful and I'd go back to having my characteristic permasmile tattooed on my face.

Needless to say, this tactic didn't work. Avoiding running leads, shockingly, to even less running. I forced myself to get out there instead. That worked, in so far as I collected a few measly kilometres per week that I might have otherwise skipped, but I didn't enjoy them.

I was worried. I was getting to a point where running was the last thing I wanted to do. The realisation was terrifying. I mean, I'm a runner. I love running. What kind of a runner am I if I never want to go running? And if that means I'm not a runner, then who the hell am I?

That's why you keep coming back to this blog, people. It's all about the deep, philosophical questions.

It's too soon to say that I'm out of that particular black hole (and you can never, ever really escape black holes, because SCIENCE) but a few things have helped me peek over its edge. First of all, the last couple of weeks at work have been a stroll through the park compared to the previous 2 months. I've even had time to go to the loo! Second of all, I've opened up to friends about this and they have been tremendously supportive. The mountain of stress, depression and general dysphoria has been shrinking and is now currently a hill. I've been climbing upwards for days now, with renewed energy and determination.

Yesterday, I ran my first long run in over a month, right after I joined the gym. I'll also be doing the Cannonball Read again next year, and I have a couple of other little projects I'm going to be working on. All very exciting stuff. Watch this space.

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