STOP THE PRESS: I Went Outside!

Welp. That was embarrassing. You know what I need? I need me one of those “IT HAS BEEN ___ DAYS SINCE AN ACCIDENT IN THIS WORKPLACE” signs, except for missed blog posts.

Oops.

The oopsier part? I don’t have a decent excuse, other than Big D got a hold of me. I know, it’s such a bummer, but it’s true. Didn’t want to get up, didn’t want to do anything, slept too much, felt stressed about lack of productivity. Rinse, repeat.

To be honest, I don’t really know if it was a bout of depression caused by inactivity, or a bout of inactivity caused by depression. Either way, I’ve spent the past week locked in my house, not doing much of anything. It’s been a HOOT. And since I’ve been a big bag of empty only getting a sense of satisfaction from playing Sims 2 and seeing my virtual people get promotions and buy houses and other stuff I’m not doing, I’ve kind of kept my head down and out of reality for a few days.

The simultaneously wonderful and terrible thing about these grey days is that I don’t know when they’ll go away. While I’m in a funk, I feel like I’ll never be cheerful again (H/T Ron Weasley). But once I make that turn, I’m back to being productive and creative and happy again like the dementors had never even shown their faces. Their terrifying, soul-eating faces.

Shadowland by Joel Robinson. He's kind of amazing.
Shadowland by Joel Robinson. He’s kind of amazing.

Quick sidebar: I know JK Rowling has said that dementors are a metaphor for depression, but let’s talk about how infinitely grateful I am that depression doesn’t actually have a physical form. SWEET MOTHER OF GOD.

Okay, so anyway. I’m not sure what it was about yesterday, but without really thinking about it, I got out off the couch, put on my hiking boots, and drove to the trailhead over by the firehouse on Sierra Madre. I got out of my car, I put in my headphones, and I just started moving.

And it felt TERRIBLE. But in a good way! I’m so out of shape, you guys. I’ve lost some weight since getting sick (coming up on 20lbs now, yikes), but I’ve been pretty much couch-ridden since Thanksgiving. So stamina-wise, I am about as fit as an asthmatic walrus.

Image
This is my patronus. No wonder the dementors are kicking my ass. Via.

But I did it! I dragged my heaving sweating hindquarters all the way up that mountain, and it was worth it (although I wouldn’t have agreed while on the ascent. Don’t make me sweaty. You won’t like me when I’m sweaty.). I haven’t done anything more than a short walk through the neighborhood in months, so this steep climb (1000ft+ gain in just over 1 mile) kind of kicked my ass. I kept making deals with myself: get to that switchback and you can take a break. Make it to that tree and you can have some water.

It’s kind of pathetic, but it worked. Just when I thought “I honestly can’t make it to the top, I HAVE to go back,” I turned the corner and saw the peak. And then, I shit you not, Get On Your Feet by Gloria Estefan came on. Who can give up with that kind of musical cheerleading?! So I hauled myself up to the top of Azusa Peak and was rewarded with a pretty breathtaking view.

hiking-san-gabriel-mountains-azusa-peak-california-fitness-outdoors-nature
My view of the Misty Mountains.

So what did I do when I got to the top? I looked around to make sure I was alone, then I ran down the path yelling “I’M GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!” Bilbo Baggins style. And then as the sun started to set, I ran down the mountain. I’d like to say it was a wild rush of endorphins, but honestly it was only because the path was so steep that if I tried to walk I would have just rolled down. So I hopped and skipped and jumped my way down.

And today? Today I am sore. And tired. But not tired in my soul, like I’ve been this week. Tired because I got outside and did something. So, here’s to hoping I can use my mountain-running momentum to get my sickly hippopotamic ass in shape and start taking care of myself a little better.

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6 thoughts on “STOP THE PRESS: I Went Outside!

  1. It’s a beautiful world out there, but it needs more of you running down mountains. Somehow I missed the dementors/depression metaphor. How? I have no idea. Having had my soul sucked out before (I should send depression a thank you card for finally returning it) I would have thought it would be obvious to me. Perhaps I could not see the forest while I was sobbing under the trees. In any case, I’m glad you got outside because, like I said, the world is better when you’re out in it.

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      I read something she wrote about depression and it seriously diminished my feelings of shame about struggling with it, to know that someone as accomplished and talented as she had the same struggle: “depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced. It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very dreaded feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts but it’s a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.”

      Also, thank you. You made me cry, you big jerk. But thank you. I MISS YOU.

  2. b^2

    Forgive the tardiness of this comment…I totally read this shortly after it was posted, but have since been busy being a tool of/recovering from being a tool of the master class.

    Anyway, good for you for getting up and out! Nature and exercise are both great healers, when we can work up the energy to engage them. Jerks; why don’t they ever come to me? Why do I always have to make the first move? (Yeah, I know, that’s what he said. TMI!)

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      Ugh, right? I always feel better when I get outside and do something. Too bad there’s not a credit system, like “give me a hit of how good it’ll feel so I’ll be motivated to go and earn it properly.” This layaway system is BULLSHIT.

      That analogy makes no sense. Just humor me.

    1. Nicole Mojan Pirshafiey

      Oh, don’t worry, it’s not all sunshine and butterflies shooting out of my ass when I’m out and about myself. There’s a massive sigh of relief when I limp back into my fortress of solitude. But shutting the door and flopping back onto my couch after proving to myself that I can go outside and be productive? That’s a double whammy of good feelings.

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