fitness · motivation

Stop Pushing

Okay okay I get it. I’ll stop.

It’s been a really bad half a year for me in a lot of ways but a really good half a year in other ways. On the professional side, it’s all roses. My practice is full to the brim and I’m teaching in a program I love with so much room for growth and spreading my painfully acquired wisdom to new therapists. My kids are stable and overall, so are my key relationships.

Yet, I’m struggling. I stopped exercising in September and just didn’t bother to start again. A wave of lethargy consumed me, but only in the narrow field of my physical self. Inside my brain I was brimming. In the outside world, I was atrophying. It’s so strange to be depressed in this particular way. I’ve joked that I’m so good at coping that I mostly don’t notice my depression when it slams me but these past few years, winter is just shit. Sorry for swearing. No. Not sorry. It’s shit. Shit for me, shit for people I love and who depend on me and kids. . .the world gives not a shit for how shitty you feel. It goes on demanding things of you, paying lip service to your mental health and then blaming (or worse punishing) you for not doing enough about it. Ya, that’s me, a mental health provider, and that is what I know to be true. Add peri-menopause and it’s just, you know, shit.

When I realized I really didn’t even feel like riding a horse anymore, I knew I was really in trouble, but the idea of making myself do more made me want to cry. So I tried stopping.

This I where I’m at right now. I’ve stopped. But stopped what? It’s hard to describe exactly. I’ve stopped trying to be or do a thing that is not what I am right now. I am not some kind of super charged athlete. I never have been. I’ve done some cool things and pushed myself in ways I’m proud of. The Bike Rally (Toronto to Montreal in 6 days) twice and the half marathon last year are two things I’m really proud of. But you know what? That’s as good as it’s going to get for me. I don’t need to do more. I don’t need to even repeat any of it. My body is aging and it needs to stay active but if my idea of active is to keep pushing myself to do more, I just end up in a shame spiral fighting myself and I’m not interested in that today.

I have returned to the gym. I did the 30 minute circuit, the most vanilla workout ever. It’s all I can handle right now. I went to yoga. Plain yoga. Not hot yoga. Not power yoga. Yoga. It was good. I may ride next month but I think I’m not fit enough to have that be fun for me right now so I may wait to get back to that. I am not doing anything longer then 10k ever again so there will be time this summer to ride my bike with Sam and Cate and Kim. Yay. As always, my dog makes sure that I get out of the house at least once a day. She’d better be immortal.

I’m turning 50 in June. I don’t think it will be my fittest birthday ever. That’s okay. I’m grateful to be alive at 50. I’m grateful to have meaningful work and beautiful friendships. I’m grateful I can to a 30 minute circuit or a dog hike. I’m grateful my life is in my hands and I will spend the remainder of it giving back to this sad, barely comprehensible world. I’m grateful for my superstar coping and oh dear sweet universe I will be grateful for spring.

The cute slightly sad looking head of a yellow lab on my leg, wearing orange leggings with big white polka dots



5 thoughts on “Stop Pushing

  1. Can’t wait till spring, sunshine, and riding bikes to coffee together.

  2. It sounds like you are beginning to make those small, but meaningful ventures back out. That’s wonderful! Slow and steady is never the wrong path.
    My depression sounds like yours. The lack of energy and interest sneaks up and suddenly the world is grey.

    Spring is almost here. I hope you find a little boost in the season change.


  3. I love this post. I’m working on being gentle with myself. And I don’t mean the kind of gentle like just not as hard on myself, but actively gentle. Being so glad and even proud of myself for any movement. Reminding myself I don’t have anything to prove. Accepting and appreciating where you are at right now is healthy. Being a southern California girl, I’ve actually always enjoyed winter, but this year I got tired of early darkness and cold mornings. I’m looking forward to spring/summer for the first time in my life.

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