June 22, 2012

Where to start


When you are feeling low, it can feel like you are in a hole you can't climb out of. Depression hands you a shovel.

The feeling feeds on itself. You keep digging deeper and deeper, farther into yourself and away from the world. Where you used to be able to see a way out, and all you needed was a ladder, now the light seems impossibly far away. You stop looking up, and you don't even notice when someone throws you a rope.

Melodramatic. Maybe. But if you have gone through it, you understand. If you haven't, I don't know that a few more paragraphs will land any punches.

And of course, procrastination dovetails nicely into all this. The farther you dig, the more things back up, and the less you feel able to tackle anything - much less all of it. Vicious cycle.

Well, I have stopped digging. If I think about all I need to do to get out of the hole, I will be overwhelmed. I just need to start making steps in the right direction. If I can make positive steps, it will feed on itself just as the negativity that got me here. Attitude and perception are everything. If I feel better, I will see things better, and I will do better. Rinse and repeat.

I am starting with the basics - how I feel physically. For the first part of this year, I have been running haphazardly. If I felt sore or tired, it was all too easy to put off a run for another day. Though I have maintained a relatively healthy weight, I haven't been feeling all that good. I am running out of  "another day".

My friend Sean has run every day for a month a number of times, and it not only gave him a great physical base, but it ingrained the habit of running. There was no debate whether this was a running day or not. You just ran. I have never really been tempted to do this. Even at the height of training, I typically only run three times a week, and rarely two days in a row. I always felt that running more than that was inviting injury.

My roomie actually gave me the inspiration to make the leap. Matt has been running consistently for nearly two months. And when I say consistently, I mean every day. He has now run 51 days in a row, and has dropped over 35 pounds. You can just see how much better he feels.

So I have started a regimen of my own. I plan to run 30 days in a row, and today was day 11. Now as soon as I roll out of bed, I put on my running clothes (well, after feeding the insistent dog). Doesn't matter whether I feel like it or not, I just run. No putting it off, no procrastination. Habit begets habit. Things get checked off, the load gets a little lighter.

And I am checking things off on the backlog. I am eating a little better and the head is a little clearer. There is lots left to do, but the first steps are being made on the open road.


3 comments:

matt said...

Way to go!

Something that helped me was to prioritize all the urgent projects I had in my life and commit to working on one project a day (the most urgent one at the moment). Once I had done all I could do on that one project that day, I relaxed.

Next day, do the same.

This required the courage to admit that some very urgent things might not get done on time - but I felt I was doing all I could do.

Lemme know what I can do to help!

Holly Linden said...

You GO!

Spicy said...

Way to go! I find that when the world gets to be too much, i just smile. It always makes me feel better. Probably the reason i like the sign at the beginning. You can either laugh or cry but everyone looks better laughing. :-) i am always free to chat if you feel like it.