I woke up in stage ten anxiety/stress mode this morning.
I have no idea why or what was the initial trigger. I tried staying in bed till I could calm myself down, stretches, music, etc... but nothing was helping. I was feeling myself spiral down into this deep sense of irritation and uncontrollables. I proceeded with my day - made breakfast, poked around on SP, turned on some acoustic music, but still I couldn't shake it. I wanted to scream and cry all at once and was furious that I couldn't figure out why (I like to solve things)
So I went to the gym and worked my a$$ off.
Damn did it feel good. I hopped on an elliptical, blared some of my favorite music, put the intensity up, and flew threw a whopping 400 calories in 30 minutes. I moved into some calmer activities from there - stretching, walking, taking deep breathes - and felt so much better afterwards. I still don't know what was eating me this morning (note that I did not eat back). I know what broke my patience and brought me to the gym, but that's never the heart of the issue.
I've recovered since this AM and found something productive to do with my anxiety on a non-work day. Now if only I could go outside and run around the block when students have reached my last nerve... I like to think this is my first stress buster personal challenge.
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While I was there (on the elliptical working through unrequited rage) it reminded me of all the times I would enter the pool as a teenager (and later in college) when I was mad. During practice I would tear through the workout and eventually one of my team mates would say, "feel better now?". It was always a chance to decompress in an intense way (I can be, admittedly, intense). Since college I've suppressed a lot of those qualities (and my swimming), which is where I believe food has come into play as an outlet for me.
That being said I realize how much I miss swimming and at the same time am so mad at myself for letting all that go ( I was a competitive swimmer for 18 years). At one time I was training for the marathon swim around Manhattan and now I don't think I could confidently bust out a 500 free within even two minutes of my personal best. This has led me to some honest reflection: I've been trying the C25K program to no avail because I just don't enjoy it. I find the treadmill intimidating, outdoor running unappealing, and the burning sensation in my shins unpleasant at the very least. So I'm going to listen to my heart and return to the pool. In the same vein, I want to pursue yoga. Stretching soothes me, as does core strength attained beyond a weight machine.
Now I just need to shut my brain off and stop making excuses...