I think most athletes will agree working up a sweat is so much more than exercise to us. Over the years it has become increasingly more important for my mood and my energy levels. I get the equivalent of hangry when I don’t work out now. And, when life gets challenging my body’s immediate reaction is to want to run, to swim, to bike, to yoga…and it always makes me feel SO much better when I do.
Last week was a crappy week! On Tuesday nearly half of our department at work got laid off. Unfortunately, lay-offs are not uncommon in advertising, and despite the agency’s best efforts to keep up morale for those of us remaining; it was a sad week for everyone. My closest friend and cube neighbor was one of the unlucky ones, and seeing her empty chair everyday has been beyond depressing. My body responded accordingly.
I woke up early every day needing to work out. There were no excuses in my head like there are normally, I actually wanted to get up and go. I even ran in drizzle one morning; 100% reason to sleep in when you live in OC 😉 I needed to get out there and feel that sense of control that comes from pushing yourself and feeling every muscle respond. I am also able to switch my brain off and be completely in the moment when I am challenging myself physically which is the best remedy for a crappy mood.
The silver lining to my week was I finally had a good training week.
I did 4 short runs since I am still building my mileage back up after the injury (a total of 16 miles), and I actually rode my bike outside on the road for the first time in a few weeks. But, what I really enjoyed was swimming. I did an early morning swim before work one morning right as the sun was rising, and then another on Sunday with the girls at Kelly’s new apartment complex.
They have both been so dedicated to swimming the past few months and it has really payed off…they were kicking my butt. We ended up swimming 3300 meters (2.2 miles), which may actually be one of my longest swims ever.
As always we ended the workout goofing around, taking pictures and this time doing handstands and flips in the pool. Kelly’s new neighbors must think we are nuts (or 12).
I can always count on training and my triathlon friends to bring me back to my happy place!
What makes you happy and snaps you out of a bad mood?