The dark nights have recently set in.
In my younger years, I used to love getting home from school, getting changed into some comfy pyjamas and just hiding away in the comfort of the house whilst the darkness crept over. I would watch movies, play with Lego, and generally ignore it. Furthermore, the phenomenon of Christmas was always portrayed around a crackling open fireplace in the dark Winter nights, with snow fluttering outside the window. Dark nights meant that Christmas couldn’t be more than a couple of months away. Which equalled presents.
Nowadays, by the time I get home from work (5.30pm-ish), it is well and truly dark. And when I set off in the morning (6.30am-ish) it is also well and truly dark. Which means that all of my daylight is typically spent in an office environment (or other indoor locales associated with a man of my profession). And for some reason, that really hits me hard.
It has meant that in the last 2 weeks and how ever many days it has been since my last update, I can only recall going to the gym maybe 5 times? Not good.
I think when we last spoke, I had just completed Week 8 / Day 2 with Woman. The final, third day of the weekly set was a 63 minute run, and it ended up taking me 3 attempts to actually do it. It wasn’t any harder, it was just my mental attitude – my “mojo” if you will – was gone. The darkness took it. So I was running for about 30 minutes, starting to get tired, and thinking to myself “Why am I actually doing this?” And then I was promptly hitting the Stop button and walking away, instantly annoyed at myself.
But, as I say, third time lucky, I ticked off Day 3. But since then, Week 9 / Day 1 (a monster of a session at 73 minutes with scary numbers like run 7 minutes and rest 2 minutes x7) hasn’t been attempted. And all the while I have sat watching more episodes of Biggest Loser, I have to confess a little bit of guilt has crept over me for my inactivity.
I’ve been blaming a phantom illness for my recent grogginess, but deep down I think I’ve fallen victim to that namby-pamby illness ‘S.A.D.’ (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Before this year, I would have told you the whole thing is made up by overpaid Harley Street medical practitioners who are trying to flog a lightbulb to a bored Chelsea housewife for £400. But I am starting to feel better in the daylight, and rather rubbish in the darkness. Which doesn’t help to try and explain why I feel even better sitting in the dark with the curtains drawn in the middle of a Summer’s day?
The bottom line is that I think it’s a bit of a chicken/egg situation. If I get myself to the gym, those great chemicals will start flooding my body again, and I’ll hopefully tackle the mini-depression the nights are bringing. But that in itself requires me to brave the darkness and complete a gym session from this starting point of feeling slightly better than sh*t warmed up.