Thursday, August 9, 2012

5 Good Things (That Mask the Smell of Rotting Fish): Keeping Perspective While Drowning in Depression

Being depressed sucks. It's no fun to write about, and it's even less fun to live.

I've spent the last week viewing the world from, as my dad calls it, "under the waves." Everything is kind've grey and murky down here, and smells a little bit like rotted fish.

The tint and the smell (and the general feeling that everything I have, ever, or will do is a colossal disappointment, both to myself and the world) makes it hard to see the bright spots.

But there are bright spots.

So, taking a page from Gala Darling and her treatise on Radical Self Love, I'm going to try to keep perspective, and to make a list of 5 good things that happen to me on these days.

Here's yesterday's list:
1. Got stuck at a train crossing.
2. Talked to an old friend from the record company.
3. Dangled my feet in a pool.
4. Went out for frozen yogurt with friends.
5. Helped welcome a friend's new nephew to the world with inappropriate Justin Bieber pictures.
Had a formal reading of The Hunger Games Cookbook in the aisle of the supermarket. Featured such instructions as "Take 1 tree rat. Divide into pieces."

I'm not sure if these things make up for the rest of my miserable, rotting-fishy day, but it's probably good for me to try and keep perspective. Not all my days are spent under the waves. Eventually, I'll break the surf. I always do.

Thanks, Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back to Basics

It's August, which, if you're me, really only means one thing - roller derby, thank sweet merciful Xenu, is back in season.

The Rebels have been back on skates now for about 4 weeks, easing our (wonderful, splendid, huge) class of fresh meat into the world of derby.

Getting back on skates is a bit odd for me, this season - in a good way. Since May, I've been taking classes/working out at The Bar Method, a workout that "integrates the fat burning format of interval training, the muscle shaping technique of isometrics, the elongating principles of dance conditioning, and the science of physical therapy to create a revolutionary new workout that quickly and safely reshapes your entire body."

I don't know about "reshaping my body," (if anything, my jeans fit tighter now than they used to - maybe my muscles are bulky? Idk.), but I'm definitely noticing a difference in my skating.

When the winter season ended back in May, I was skating like I always had - competently, but getting super winded after any form of sprinting, and generally feeling like the time I spent off skates (see: being a schlub) was just neutralizing any effort I was putting in to actually, y'know, skating.

Then Bar Method offered a free intro class, and I figured, what the hell. I'd heard about it from friends, and thought it sounding like a relatively sane (don't get me started on the cult of crossfit), low impact way to stay in shape/get in better shape for derby.

And, y'know, I think it's working. Bar Method spends a lot of time working on building core muscle groups, especially, in my case, in my wiggly jiggly thighs and calves. So when I got back on skates in July, and suffered through our first endurance practice - well, yeah, I got winded, just like everyone else. But it took me a few laps longer than usual to hit that fatigue point.

There are other differences, too. Instead of lolling around when we're doing a Four Corners drill or some such, I'm making an active effort to keep my body engaged. Leg lifts, planks, crunches, whatever, I'm now the asshole in the corner that you all hate, doing extra work.

I'm getting lower, and I can stay low for that much longer, thanks to all the thigh-stretchy things we've been doing in Bar. And because Bar Method really focuses on posture & balance, getting low looks less like me hunching over like a troll - and skating looks less like me tottering around like a Weeble-Wobble.

Four weeks in to this season, and I'm really liking what Bar is doing for me. I'm also really liking that I've proactively stepped up my game, all by myself. (I'm terrible at self motivation, going to the gym, etc etc etc. That's all probably for another post. Point is, this thing I'm doing is huge for me.) I wish I could be skating more, but that's just not in the cards right now. For now, I'm pretty pleased with where things are.