Sunday, December 25, 2011

Crazy Train

The other day, I woke up in a crabby mood.  As is usual during the holidays, I felt overwhelmed and stressed out about work and the end-of-the-year craziness.  I had worked late, stayed up too late watching "It's a Wonderful Life" with Doug and the girls and did not feel good.  Rather than just rousing me from that drowsy almost-awake place like it usually does, my alarm jolted me out of bed.  Nevertheless, I sallied forth at 5am for my run.

UGH.  It was horrible.  My feet hurt, my knees hurt, the weird ache in my right bottom cheek flared up, my tummy was upset and I had overdressed so I was hot.  I made it up to the clubhouse, pottied and went on my way. 

I did not feel good enough to exit the neighborhood for my usual loop and bargained with myself about the easiest way to get my miles in.  I ran down to mom and dad's house and dropped off their paper, then headed back towards the clubhouse, thinking I'd just avoid the giant hill and maybe do loops of the regular neighborhood.  Stopped again for the potty.  My tummy was very bad and I started to think I might actually be sick - lots of viruses going around at school right now.  The general malaise that usually only comes with a fever enveloped me.  Rather than attempt any hills at all, I ran back to mom and dad's house (it is mostly flat to their house) and realized that running anywhere without bathroom access was going to be a very, very bad plan.  So, I hit upon the idea of running slowly up to the front of the neighborhood (2 miles uphill) since I could hit the golf course bathroom on my way if necessary.  If I felt good, I would turn around and return home the long way and go by mom/dad's one more time to hit my mileage.  If I continued to feel badly, I could just head straight home.

In addition to the tummy issues, my mind was in a bad place.  I could not erase my frown and the heaviness of being in that bad place made every step irritating.  I was mad at Doug for making ants in trees because it was giving me the GI distress.  I was angry at the work folks for all needing everything done at once.  I was crabby with myself for not being more efficient with my time.  Something had to give.  I gave myself a stern lecture. 

You have to snap out of this! 
Do you remember the T.V. show "Fame," where Debbie Allen says "You want fame?  Well, fame costs.  And right here is where you start paying"?  I told myself a variation:

You want to feel better?  Like a human? Well, you need a run to burn off the bad.  And this is your run.  This is where you make it better.
It was not working.  OK, maybe a little. But then those angry thoughts kept creeping back in to try and pull me down and exacerbate my foulness.

So, feeling a little desperate, I thought of something Rebecca told us at Hot Vinyasa class.

You have two sides, two wings - the feeling and the action.
Identify the emotion you are feeling, take it out and hold it in your hand.  It is good to have feelings.  Everyone has them.  Examine the feeling, its breadth and shape.  Then, YOU decide what to do with it on the action side.

I took the hard, gnarled stub of my frustration and held it in my hand.  It was ugly.  It was muddy green and brown with an irregular knobby shape and needle-like thorns and it smelled like rancid meat.  I rolled it around for a minute and let the points bite my fingers and palm.  I thought about how I could be more productive and how I could have eaten less of the ants in trees.

Then I put the feeling back and kept on with my run.  The run to the front of the neighborhood plan was a good one because the long uphill is rewareded with an easy, non-GI-irritating downhill.  I made it to the front of the neighborhood and while the running part didn't feel any easier and my GI was still protesting mightily, I felt like me again.  Sure, I still had to stop at the dark golf course bathroom and I went home the short way so I didn't get all of my planned miles, but I got most of them and felt better for it.

A year ago, I read The Cranky Princess's exercise logs and Kate from Big Peach's blog posts about yoga and made faces.  Yoga might be good for them, but it was not for me. 

But after that Hot Vinyasa class, I thought, maybe it might be OK.

And this coping skill, the two-wings theory.  It might just prove it.

Or that I'm on the crazy train.  Either way.


Elena L. said...

1. I can't believe you just quoted Fame....

2. I'll get on that crazy train with you. You are honest with your feelings and true to who you are. Crazy or not, you're a good person (who, by the way, has finally seen the Yoga light! Awesome!).

Karen said...

So I'm a little late reading your blog... happy Christams and New Year!! Just wanted to say thanks for your entry..... I have been on the crazy train at work full speed for three weeks .... I like the imagery of the nasties.... I'll see if it works today! Thanks :)