A Bad Case of the “I Don’t Wannas”

I’ve been in a difficult headspace these past two days.

Yesterday’s rest day was indeed restful, but I spent most of the day feeling guilty that I should be “doing more.” I should be doing more as a teacher, as a wife, as an athlete in training. I shouldn’t have half a chocolate bar. I shouldn’t eat that rice because I am also eating potatoes and those are two starches…

I went for a walk yesterday and listened to a couple of my favorite podcasts. It wasn’t a fast walk; I was more wandering than walking, I suppose. With all of the limitations from COVID-19, I feel lost. I live on the boarder between Wisconsin and Minnesota and I’m within a two-mile walking distance to a tourist town. I wanted to wander through the state parks and do a little mental and spiritual self-care by being in nature, but because everyone is outside and using the parks (which is good!), I left feeling more anxious than going in.

The world feels out of control. There’s so many things outside of my realm of control and as a type A sort of person that freaks me out. So food, exercise, and focusing on my future goals are the only things that I can control at this point yet doing so is mentally exhausting.

This funk continued over into today. I woke up and ate breakfast. I did a little work and then I stared at the computer for fifteen minutes doing nothing of consequence. So I decided to go for a run. I can control a run. I can control how fast or hard I go. When I walk and when I run. I can choose the songs I listen to. I can choose the route. It feels empowering for once.

I didn’t run for long (it was 30 degrees out and the wind made it colder), but instead of coming back restored and revitalized, I came back pissed off. I thought that everything was unfair. Life was unfair. Everything sucked. Life sucked. Boooooo!

Now after six years of therapy (some of which included cognitive behavioral therapy), when I spiral like this it’s best to just sit back and let the spiral wear out instead of trying to rationalize with it. Like a toddler throwing a tantrum, I just had to wait it out until I exhausted myself.

“Are you done yet?” My healthy brain asked me.

“No!” I pouted.

So then I waited some more. Then I took myself on a drive so I didn’t unfairly project my yuck onto my innocent husband who had no idea this inner battle was raging inside me. Then I took a nap because most toddler-brains are tired-brains which makes them fussy. Then all was right with the world again (mostly).

So I post this because this journey to health, fitness, and the Kortelopet ski race isn’t an easy one. But come hell or high water, I will persevere through issues like this. The most important thing I learned from therapy was that I have to acknowledge my feelings. I can’t just stuff everything down inside me and pretend that I’m fine.

I’m not fine. Very few of us are fine right now. And that’s okay.

Sometimes the “I don’t wannas” come up. I don’t wanna go run. I don’t wanna eat healthy. I don’t wanna take care of myself. I don’t wanna eat in moderation or work on my mental health.

In that case, you throw that tantrum if it will help you process through things. But at the end of the day, you still do it because we are nothing without our mental and physical health.

Tomorrow’s training plan: Long-slow distance bike ride with the sis on the Hardwood Trail in Hugo, MN.

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