Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Iron Trumps Prozac

I RETURNED FROM A day of volunteering at the WFMU Fundraising Marathon earlier tonight feeling oddly empty and depressed. This was a surprise to me, and I spent some time trying to figure out why. After all, my time spent helping WFMU toward its goal of being the finest listener-supported freeform radio station in America is some of the most cheerfully donated effort I give.

I wondered it if was because I was largely stationary all day. Even at work, I do get up and walk around a fair amount, if only to round the corner to enter my supervisor's cube. I drink a ton of water over the course of the day, and the men's room is a good minute's walk from my desk, so the legs get stretched that way too. On that point, I also realized I was considerably less hydrated. A dry brain is a slow brain. Still, this explanation didn't satisfy me.

Perhaps it was because it was a fairly long day. My shift lasted 10 hours, minus food breaks. Around 3:00 p.m., despite the high-energy fundraising efforts of the hosts, my energy was sagging. The food I ate over the course of the shift was fairly starchy, if good; we were favored with homemade quiche, salad, and banana cream pudding for lunch, and the JM in the AM crew left behind a rich trove of bagels, babka, and to-die-for hamantashen (Purim having been this weekend). Some protein, but a lot of simple carbs. Maybe I was just plunging after a sugar high.

Still, that doesn't explain my mopey feelings of being single, which are now 2 for 2 in returning on Tuesdays. Last week, I had a long talk with my supervisor about this, that, and the other thing (not about that specifically, though relationships did come up), which took my mind off things. For this thought to return, though, perhaps requires keeping my mind on it, to determine why I'm suddenly so upset about being single. I have more or less given up believing there is anyone left for me out there. My supervisor said some months ago, however, that I should be careful I don't end up regretting never having tried, once all of my friends have paired up. That thought momentarily returns to shake my belief that I will be single forever, but never enough to lead me to undertake any change in that field,

In this spirit, I did nothing about it when I came home. All I knew is that I was sad, going on miserable, for no clear reason and to no good purpose. I didn't want to eat or go food shopping in this state, because I know I tend to buy absolute crap in this emotional state.

Instead, I went to the gym.

I had written up a new exercise routine for myself that I had found online, and I wanted to give it a try this morning. Inability to sleep last night (perhaps a precursor to today's depression?) ruined my attempt to wake up early enough to put it to the test today. Tonight, however, was a different story. If I don't give a shit about getting to work on time anymore, getting a long night's sleep after some nutritious exercise ought not to concern me.

So I put on a T-shirt and sweatpants — the wind being viciously sharp — and trekked over to the gym. I found it fairly depopulated, which suited me, as I had a fairly large number of exercises to cover. I took my time with them, trying to feel my way toward good form and finding the right resistance. Halfway through I was no longer thinking of any potential woes, instead relishing the endorphins and getting a good pump on.

By the time I returned home, I was much improved in mood, anticipating my next visit to see what I can accomplish next time, and thinking of how to correct my current diet to enhance my healing and growth. My future may or may not include a girlfriend or spouse. I know for a fact that it will include me. I would rather it be a me without the extra weight, and with a better immune system, stronger bones, a quicker stride, and more defined muscles. I am the only one who can guarantee this future. It's up to me to secure it.

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