Sunday, February 21, 2016

Begone Winter Demons!

This week, I hope, is the start of something different.

Fall and Winter are my favorite times of year.  I hate hot weather, and hate humidity more.  I'd rather be sitting by a fireplace under a blanket than at a back yard BBQ sweating and swatting bugs.  I'd rather be splitting wood outside at 20 degrees (F) than mowing the lawn at 85.

But Winter took its toll on me this year.  The past month has been especially hard.  Week after week I feel further into a funk.  It started with a sinus infection just after the holidays.  There were things I should have been doing outside, but weekend after weekend I'd say "it's too cold," or "it's too windy, and I don't want to get sick again."  This basically amounted to saying "screw it, I'm staying inside today; I'm tired and I earned it."  As things went on, I couldn't seem to get enough sleep, and the sleep I got has been intermittent and elusive.

My funk extended to games.  I've been in EVE very little although I have plenty to do.  I've been on the laptop on the couch a lot; but felt lethargic towards much of anything, including EVE.

The physical toll began to mount.  The longer I kept wollowing in my funk the worse I felt.  Aches, pains, swollen joints, and generally just feeling ... old.

Last weekend the weather was bitterly cold, but began to shift.  The sun came back and through the week the temperatures rose.  I decided it was time to expunge the Winter Demons and get on with Spring.

The only way I know how to do this is to flip the bird to feeling old and getting off my ass to MOVE.

On Monday, I reset my diet and began eating very precisely again; measured amounts at specific times of day.  It takes effort to do this, but it was something I could focus on.

Tuesday we went to a concert downtown at a small, historic theater and ate a fine dinner at a hundred year old building across the street from the venue.  The music was Mrs. Durden's choice, and was good, but perhaps more importantly we were out of the house and doing something social surrounded by young people.

On Wednesday we hit the gym, and I climbed on the spin bike for a 30 minute tempo session.  Instead of doing a precise "class" style workout against one of the Youtube videos I have on my phone, I queued up some of my favorite music and worked on my cadence.  I backed up and repeated my favorite songs and the session went quickly.  Doing something impulsive (vs. the regimented workout I had planned) and getting into music that I hadn't heard in awhile made the time fly by.

On Friday, I got the bike out of the garage and took a 30 minute loop around a training circuit that I like to use. It was windy but warm - 50 degrees (F) but wind gusting to 30 mph - and at times I was leaning so hard into the wind that I felt like I was riding sideways.  Rides like this can be a real grind; the brutal relentlessness of the wind can really take its toll on you.  But I had gone out impulsively by choice, not by guilt, and ignored the speedometer.  But the return leg was mostly downhill and with the wind and I simply flew home.  I hung up my bike in its place and thought, "this is why I ride."

On Saturday, we were signed up for a 5k trail run at a venue about 45 minutes from the house.  This was basically a bonfire party with a run somewhere in the middle.  We showed up early and hung out by the fire, and then hit the trail.  I hadn't run since last July and was doing the event very much unprepared.  While last weekend was bitter cold, this weekend was spring-like and I was shedding layers of clothes by the time I hit the 1/3 mile mark.  The crowd was big, but friendly.  The trail was challenging, very muddy, but along a gorgeous lake shore on a bright sunny day.  More time by the bonfire and then I splurged on the diet and had a cheeseburger and fries as a reward for a hard race.  We came home tired, but good.  We have already signed up for next year.

Today, I spent about 2 hours doing yard work - pruning my stand of Walnut (aka my retirement fund) - and I feel more alert and alive.

Checking the weather, it looks like Winter will attempt to come back for at least one more try this week.  But as far as I'm concerned, it is already beaten.

1 comment:

  1. "The only way I know how to do this is to flip the bird to feeling old and getting off my ass to MOVE."

    This, generally speaking, is the only thing that works for me as well. It hardly matters what the 'out' is as long as it's 'out'. I usually sulk sullenly for the first bit but eventually, an hour or two into 'out' I look at my companions with genuine surprise appreciatively stating, "Thanks for dragging me along. I needed this."


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