Choose your mood (or getting out of bed the wrong side)

Recently, I’ve been really inspired by the ultrarunner, writer and podcaster Rich Roll.  To have gone as he did from 40 and desperately unfit, to a plant-fuelled world-class ultrarunner is an utterly compelling story.

Suitably inspired, last night I set myself the goal of getting up early this morning and going for a run.  I never normally do either of these things willingly.  However, in order to make the morning easier, I set my alarm (iPhone) away from the bed and put all of my running gear out.  All set and ready to go.

My alarm went off at 05:45 as planned.  As not planned, my first (and hugely overwhelming) thought was to grab it, hit snooze and go back to bed.  I wrestled half-halfheartedly with my subconscious for a bit, but in the end gave in.  I didn’t really go back to sleep, but remained firmly and warmly ensconced beneath the duvet.

And although physically comfortable, I felt pretty crap.

I felt like somehow I had failed.  That a serious character weakness had been exposed.  That my aspirations of greater fitness in middle age are little more than a Walter Mitty pipe dream.  And that spiral of negativity has continued all through breakfast, my commute and into the morning at work.

The hardest thing to do, and yet what I need to try and do, is to re-frame my morning in a more positive light:.

  • I woke up earlier than normal
  • I didn’t go back to sleep
  • The extra thinking time helped me to work through a couple of minor things that have been bugging me
  • The day is far from over and I can still run after work

And that’s before I even consider all of the stuff that I have to be really, really grateful for in my life.  There is a lot of that.

At the time of typing this however, the low mood still hasn’t entirely passed.  It seems that the work to undo a negative spiral is far harder than to seize little moments of positive victory in any circumstance.

So having learned something today, let’s see how tomorrow morning goes.

And there’s always tonight for a run!


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