Leveling Out

Everyday! is an emotional roller coaster in The Bipolar Mind, but yesterday seemed just a little more level than in days previous.  I’m taking this as a good sign and trying not to give in to The Ever Present Anxiety tapping me on the shoulder, helpfully reminding me that it’s not okay to enjoy any degree of relief, because, rest assured, the hammer’s coming down, oh yes indeed, it’s only a matter of time.  **Rubs hands together evilly**...oh wait, is that Purell? 

I wrote until I reached the point at which time everything was sounding contrived, so I knew I needed to work out.  Exercise has always helped me with brainstorming, but Running is especially effective.

During my run, I was thinking about how the activity of running itself  is like this Amazing Idea Machine:  I’m picturing something similar to Dr. Seuss’s Sneetches’ Star Removal Machine, but instead of Sneetches with or without stars on their bellies, the machines are producing millions of good and bad ideas for a runner’s brain to process, accept or discard.


The nostalgic imagery of The Sneetches had prompted me to research the story when I got home.  A few of the websites discussing Dr. Seuss’s publications claimed The Sneetches story has a shockingly anti-Semitic undertone, which I believe was completely unintentional and really reaching.

Honestly, I think that if you examine something closely enough and for long enough, you are certain to find something to which you object.

Anyhow, Dr. Seuss is amazing.  And most definitely not anti-Semitic.

ALSO, my run was amazing and quite productive as far as brainstorming is concerned.  It was 62 degrees when I left the house and very sunny.  I couldn’t find my gloves today.  Because I haven’t really been running outside much lately, I don’t have extreme weather gear “at the ready”, so when I decided to impulsively go for a run, it was socks on the hands or get frostbite and potentially lose some digits.

I looked outstanding and definitely not crazy.

Joking aside, I do have Raynaud’sbut that can flare up when I’m inside my house and at any time of the year, not just outside, during the winter months.

Running is really hard on my body; but it is so good for my mind.  I dread the time when my body finally breaks down and no longer tolerates running even a handful of days a month.  I’m not freaking out in an eating disordered, poor body image way (although I don’t deny that being a problem); this is purely chemical.  This is me needing running for emotional and cognitive regulation.  

It’s like rebooting a computer.  You don’t know why it fixes the problem; it just does.    

Yoga’s been suggested countless times, and still, I remain skeptical.  I just don’t see it working for me.  I can’t be calm: I will worry.  I can’t be still: I will fall asleep.

It’s hard enough for me to sit down long enough to type this.  If I am having a particularly bad OCD day and I want to focus on writing, I literally have to lock myself in my own bedroom so that the rest of my house won’t distract me.

I’ve seen what yoga can do, and I know one needs to be made of some tough stuff to do it, but I’d prefer to be less “present” and more “checked out”.   And I already know what my yogi friends are going to say here: that doing yoga will keep my body healthy to give me more of the running days that I want.  😛

When it comes down to it, the activity that my brain, my emotions, my psyche collectively need to “reset” is not in strength asanas, flexibility, breathing or balance. I need something with a steady cadence; to just get up and go.

Cycling is a close second, and that’s where the resistance trainer comes in.  It’s nice having it, because when I do get a little light bulb over my head, I can grab my voice recorder, pretend to be House, M.D., and record whatever random idea comes to mind.  And between doing that (Words), taking my (Meds), and working on my garden (Plants), I am Leveling Out.

Thank you for indulging me and please enjoy a short clip of Sneetches being Sneetches:


4 thoughts on “Leveling Out

  1. I feel pretty much the same way about yoga! I’ve tried, but it’s not for me (right now anyway…maybe one day?)
    Glad to hear you are leveling out. I definitely get what you mean about your preference for running. I wish my body could handle more of it but for now I have to just do what I can and avoid injury first and foremost.
    I enjoy reading your blog and interested in reading your other writing projects when you are done/ready :)

  2. Exactly, Brenda. I think you and I have had a similar history with limitations from injuries. How annoying that our muscular/skeletal systems don’t seem evenly matched with our cardiovascular systems. I remember reading somewhere that there was a study done which helped addicts detox off of some controlled substance (can’t remember what the drug was) by gradually replacing it with incremental amounts of running. Maybe I am remembering that wrong. Or maybe it was one of those sardonic articles from runner’s world. Whether it’s actually true or not, it’s totally believable.

    I am so happy that you’d be interested in reading more. Did you and Landon have a good Christmas and New Years? Did anyone fly out to NZ to see you or did you come here?

  3. I think with yoga, you need to first ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve with yoga?” It has so may stigmas. Clearly, I’m not zen. Yet I’m a yoga girl. So start there. What do you want to achieve? And why? Let me know, please, because it will help with a piece that I’m working on. :) xo

  4. Injury prevention, I suppose. I don’t like working out inside my house too often; it is depressing. The bike trainer is the only workout I can really handle indoors (that and Jillian!) because they are intense (cardio-wise, I mean) and only every so often when weather or some other situation/condition is preventing outdoor exercise.

    So, injury prevention, i.e. increased flexibility (horrid), correcting muscle imbalances (strong quads v. relatively weak hamstrings), and working on two persistent issues: my right heel: retrocalcaneal bursitis & Achilles tendinitis/ this area consistently painful due to a history of stress fractures in the heel bone itself and also a current need to have bone spurs removed on the back of the heel (Haglund’s Syndome). Without going on and on, if I could increase flexibility in my calves, it would help.

    This is easier said than done. My calves (especially the right calf muscle of the leg with the bursitis/tendinitis, etc, does not want to be stretched. I even have a strassburg sock to wear at night, so it is a challenge.

    Then, my left hip/high butt area I guess. (The part you feel stretched in pigeon) is always bothering me. I think whatever is wrong with the right foot/calf situation is throwing off the left hip (or vice versa). That is my non-professional, wild guess.

    So, I don’t want to DO yoga, and the prospect of doing an entire yoga workout is incredibly unappealing to me. But I’d be willing to incorporate select stretches into a daily routine if I knew they might have a chance with earning me more mileage. :-)

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