Thursday, August 15, 2013

The funk

We all get it from time to time. The funk that we just can't shake. It makes us not want to get out of bed in the morning. It makes us want to complain about the little things. The funk gets in your bones and makes your body ache. It makes you want to sit around all day but simultaneously makes you restless.

When the funk gets a hold of one part of your life, it's important to do damage control and contain it before it gets to other areas. It's like a cancer that threatens your entire body. It's like an oil spill that threatens and entire ecosystem. It's like a brushfire that threatens to devastate an entire forest. As soon as you first detect it, you've got to fight it.

This funk I'm in now, I've got to remind myself that it's nothing compared to the depression I once had, and nothing is worth going to that place again. It's one thing to have negative thoughts, but it's my own fault if I decide to listen to them. I've got to keep on keeping on.

You see, for the first time in a while I just don't want to run. I've tried all of my normal inspirational tools: watching Salomon trail-running videos on Youtube, reading, looking up race reports. But it hurts... not just my body but my spirit. There's something humbling about stopping 9 miles short of the finish line and it just takes a while to come back.

On top of the running apathy, I've just felt a little lost about what I'm supposed to be doing with my life. For most of my (albeit short ~5 years) working life I've been in the outdoor industry and I'm just feeling a little burnt out and confused. I have a drive to do something that makes an impact in my community which seems to be increasingly revolving around other athletes, but I'm just not sure where my next step is supposed to be.

When I get work reviews, I'm told that my biggest problem is that I care too much. It's true. I get really passionate and excited about things and when they don't go as planned I am crushed. Over time, after losing things and people that I'm passionate about I've developed this coping mechanism that I call the apathy button. When I start to realize that something won't work out, I push the apathy button and suddenly all motivation and desire is gone. It's scary.

But I've come to realize over time that it is not healthy. I don't want to push the apathy button on running. It's not necessary. Things will bounce back. I've tried hard to resist it and things are already starting to get better. I have a running buddy now in the form of a live-in sister-in-law. With very little training she keeps up with me and never ceases to amaze me. I have races coming up but I have no training plan in place right now. I run hard when I can and I take it easy when it's been a rough day. I give my body what it needs.

I know the funk will go away. It always does. You've got to have the lows to enjoy the highs.

And completely unrelated... the story of Old Gregg and the Funk. May Old Gregg never die.

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