Sunday, 8 September 2013

Endorphin O'Clock

Today I was stressed even though we’ve only been back at school for one week. Oh dear. (Dear September, wading through my to-do list at the weekend is making it hard for me to like you again. Soz.) Basically, I’ve worked like a Trojan aaaall weekend. Nearing the end of my jobs this afternoon, my body felt abnormal. Not cool. So, as the work filled weekend drew to a close, I undertook a number of stress release attempts.

The first was a glass of wine.  Despite it being a particularly tasty grape, and free too (last of the end of year crop), it didn’t work. I felt guilty drinking it before 6 o'clock and was worried that consuming it as an aid during adverse circumstances made me an alcoholic. If anything, it compounded my distress. I didn’t even finish it and that is saying something.

My second attempt was playing Frank Turner, cranking up the volume and belting my heart out. The genius nearly sorted me out. Nearly. Singing in thirds was a cinch (very satisfying) and the lyrics seemed more profound than usual: it doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you go, no one gets remembered for the things they didn’t do. If this weekend is anything to go by, no one will ever be able to shake the memory of me off. Anyway, if i’d have been suffering a minor malaise, I am convinced Franky boy would’ve done the trick but my body still felt a bit weird. It seemed that I needed to employ a more extreme measure.

So, in the autumnal drizzle, with the light fading and a tired body, I went for a run. Honestly, it was like MAGIC. I always love the feeling of unexpectedly doing something good which wasn’t part of the original plan so that was satisfying, but I bloody LOVED the endorphins.  I came back feeling exhilarated. All stress was wiped out in the space of twenty minutes. Everything was put into perspective. Suddenly, the satisfaction of the weekend's productivity reigned over all else. I could even have found the will to plough through a few more books had I needed to. Isn’t it amazing how something that makes your legs ache, your lungs burn, your hair frizzy and your armpits stink, can feel so flippin good?

It made me think how great it would be to get back into regular exercise. As it happens, the timing of this reminder is ideal because next weekend is the Great North Run and the Great North Run sees my annual peak in motivation to get off my lazy ass. Every year, the buzz from the atmosphere somehow seeps into the living room through the TV and it’s an inevitability that inspiration courses through my body. Last year, I was overwhelmingly inspired, I looked out my running gear and vowed to pound the streets that very afternoon. But then I had a large piece of cake and ended up feeling quite sedentary. And then the buzz wore off and it was a bit cold so I didn’t go out. Ironically, turning the flat upside down to find my running watch ended up being the most exercise I did all year. 

This year though, this year’s different. Combining the inspiration of the BBC coverage with the close proximity in time of today’s runner’s high, I am sure I’ll don my running shoes and get a sweat on. Bring on the endorphins!

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