Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How to get out of a funk

As you know these past few weeks have been hellacious. I went through a bit of an upheaval, even though I did not think so at the time. Technically Stuart and I were supposed to move back to Switzerland this coming March. However, the company was thinking of moving us to Frankfurt-Am-Main , so the toss up was going to be between the US and Germany. Although I felt that I still had some unfinished business here, I was rather looking forward to Frankfurt. I guess there are things in Europe I miss more than I care to think about!
Anyway, things went back and forth for several months, and on 18 December (the day we left for our holidays), we were told that we were going to stay in the US - permanently. It's all very well having 'unfinished business', but to stay permanently? I definitely was not ready for that shock. It only started sinking after the holidays. It was a very strange feeling, and it all seemed to have happened so suddenly. Anyway, long story short, I felt lacklustrous for the entire month of January. I really battled my demons - because suddenly nothing held my interest. And there is nothing worse than trying to run/do yoga/anything, when you actually think that it is a waste of time.
Perhaps I am not explaining all of this very well, but whilst I could process all of the logic, I just could not marry up my emotions to that logic. So there I was in a rather grey wasteland. I do not know if this can be classified as an official funk, but it certainly felt like one to me! I did manage to do the odd run and cycle a bit too, and tried not to analyse it too deeply. I think a very important step toward feeling back in control, was to finally get back on track with my eating. The ribs/chips/beer fest that I had indulged in over the holidays had left me feeling sluggish, tired and irritable. With all this other stuff going on, I knew that the only thing I could really control was what I ate. So I did just that, and have slowly started feeling a lot better physically.
Once that kicked in, I started thinking about how excited I was when we first moved here - all the goals I had set myself, and all the things I still wanted to do. I started thinking about running more and tried to get to the gym in the evenings, as my morning runs seemed to be a thing in the distant past. Well, last Saturday I had my Race up Boston Place - which is a stairclimb to raise money for the American Lung Association. Last year I managed to run up 82 flights of stairs (789 stairs) in 10:29, and this year I was hoping to improve a bit.
Thursday night I felt a bit panic stricken as I had not trained for this event at all. So I ran up the stairs in our building a few times, and afterwards felt like I was on the verge of a collapse of sorts! Running up stairs is a fantastic but painful workout for the unfit. Well, that was all I could manage by Saturday, and since people had actually sponsored me to do this race, I had to go. The race was hard and it took me 13:19 minutes to complete it. But it made me think about why I do all these things in the first place - firstly because I can and there is no reason why I cannot, and secondly because it gives me joy.
I got home and decided to get things ordered and sorted. Well, I still have 2 bags of mail to sort through, but the house is sans newspapers, journals, piles of magazines and general chaos. Once that was ordered, I went out for a run on Sunday. Then on Monday morning at 6:15am, and again this morning. Yes, I am finally feeling the love again! And it's great. I have decided to go for the half-marathon in Hyannis, as there is not enough time to get back with the marathon programme. But at least I am going to try and make it a fantastic half!


  1. Welcome back from Funkville--a place we all hate to visit. I think funks are what happens when we become complacent, and take for granted what we can do. When we come out of them, we appreciate everything more. Good luck with the half. Thanks for the support.

  2. Funks are hard to deal with and there is no "snapping out of it" until mentally you're ready. I know I can verbally tell myself that but until I've let go whatever I'm holding onto, then it won't happen. I'm glad that you have worked through your funk and come to acceptance of staying in the states.

    Good job on the stair climb. Were you super sore the next day?

  3. Thanks Frank, yes it's true about the complacency bit.....one thinks one can just 'pick it up again', but getting back into groove is hard work! Sounds like you have been there yourself?

    Christina, I am very happy to be staying on in the US....I guess it was just the initial shock of the news. In the end you do not miss a place, you miss your friends etc. But I have a whole bunch of new ones here, so I guess if we had gone back, I would be upset at having to leave my friends here!

  4. By the way the stairclimb was ok...it wasn't my legs that were sore, it was my lungs! Oh did they burn, and did for the next day too.