All of you that think you are the only one that suffers from depression, the blues, the blaahs, laziness, lack of motivation, etc…, pay attention. Today was my day (again…).
I had some errands to run early this morning in Albuquerque. My errands didn’t go so great so, while I was in the big city, I stopped at a bike swap meet and a few bike shops to lay my hands on what is available in a full suspension mountain bike (MTB). Let me tell you, there is a LOT. After my White Mesa ride, I am really excited about trail, single-track, double-track riding and I simply MUST to do more of it. I am thankful for my existing bike but it is a full rigid and just not the right tool for the job so some additional equipment is in order. However; everything is so far out of my budget that it isn’t funny. Actually, it’s worse that not funny – it is depressing. A reasonably well paid single guy can’t afford to buy a bicycle… See, I told you, that is depressing.
So, I came home – frustrated and depressed. For me, that means one thing – time in the kitchen. Yes, those are two of the triggers for me to eat. I’m a fan of thin crust meat pizzas and I typically keep one in the freezer for a “reward” day. I thought about going for a good bike ride instead but it was cloudy, the wind was blowing, and I just didn’t feel like it. I pulled the pizza out and stuck it in the oven. A short while later, it and I were sitting in front of my Tablet watching NetFlix. “IT” was the whole pizza – not a couple slices which is my normal reward – the whole thing – as in ten tenths.
I watched a romantic-comedy while stuffing the whole pizza into my face. A romantic-comedy is a further depressant. It makes me lonely and miss my love even more than normal. I real downer. Plus, now I was stuffed, loaded with carbs, bloated, and feeling… well… horrible.
This is all a great recipe to start a pity-party and that’s what I did. I moped around for a couple hours – feeling miserable, trying to decide if I should just go to bed (two in the afternoon seemed a little early) . A tiny little voice kept saying “you need to get on that bike and go for a nice long ride”. I heard it and I’d look outside and see the clouds and the wind and go back to feeling sorry for myself.
At some point in all of this, I remembered this Mind Control post that I had just wrote a couple days ago. I went and read it again and that was that. I filled my water bottles, put on my riding gear, and thru my bike in the car. As I drove to the nearest, least populated, long roads in the middle of nowhere place; my body started figuring out what was going on. My mood started to lift and by the time I got to my starting point, I was excited about the ride. That is not to say that there wasn’t some arguing going on en-route, there was, but I took control.
My body seems to have a little “hurdle” at the two-three mile point in a ride. Up to that point there is generally a fair amount of mental gamesmanship/questioning going on. My muscles keep asking me questions like “Uhm, are you sure about this?”, “Why are we doing this again?”, and “You could turn around and we could be back on the couch in just a couple minutes ya know?” After a couple miles though, this stops. I have my “second wind” (sorta) and the ride is on. Things were no different today. You just gotta push thru all this. I’ve noticed that sometimes some music helps. I often listen to my MP3 player for the first fifteen minutes or so and then it is off so I can think and enjoy the sounds of the road (it is generally on if I’m near a lot of traffic – vehicle noise is in no way helpful to me) – anything to kill that anti-exercise voice.
I picked a route that would offer more of a cross wind on the entire route and more headwind during the first half. This worked out pretty well. The cloud cover helped to keep it comfortable as well. Overall, a pretty good day in the saddle. Please ignore the fact that I forgot to turn on my GPS tracking until I was a couple miles into the ride – happens to the best of cyclists, I hope! 🙂
I made a big loop that I was hoping would equate to 30 miles but I came up a tad bit short – three miles. Bummer…
It was a HUGE SUCCESS! Twenty-seven miles instead of laying on the couch fat and depressed is a HUGE victory – Yay ME!! Do not let that depression and self-defeating attitude back in. Yes, it is a constant battle but it is worth it. I’m not going to agonize over what happened earlier in the day nor about all the pizza I ate. It is over and done and I have done something great in response – I will dwell on THAT!
You can do the same!! Get out there and do something! A walk, a bike ride, anything. Do not let your emotions control you – take control of them and squash them! It is not the easy thing to do but it is the necessary thing if you want to take your life back! You can do it – I know you can!!