Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like everyone and everything goes wrong? Where the entire world around you is conspiring against you? A couple of days ago, I did.
I have been working very hard at beating this kind of thing. There was a time in my life where this feeling of frustration and anger owned me. This was part of my battle with the BEAST that I talked about in a earlier post. But I have to confess, every once in awhile, I still have to go through this fight.
The other day, it just seemed to go wrong from the start. I slept in so I had to run around to get to work on time. In the process, I forgot part of my lunch. As soon as I got to work, there were people waiting for me with issues that had to be resolved as soon as possible. Being part of the maintenance department in my plant, I participate in planned preventive maintenance on certain machines on certain dates. This day, I was covering all of the rest of the plant for emergency repairs while the rest of the maintenance department concentrated on a single machine center. This is a normal part of the operation. But for some reason, today as the day went on, it felt more and more like the entire plant was falling apart around my ears!
It seemed like every time I stood still, someone else needed my help. These were all totally legitimate things that needed to be done and this kind of thing does sometimes happen but for some reason on this particular day, it was getting to me.
Toward the end of the day, my boss came up to me and asked if things were going all right. He obviously knew it was a very hectic day. I just wanted to scream, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?" But I didn't. I told him I could use some help finishing up a couple of repairs as soon as someone was available to help and he did this.
At the end of the day, everything was fixed, the rest of the team got through the preventive maintenance of the machine center they were working on and I still got out on time. I walked out of the door of plant thinking, I need to get home and do something for myself to calm my nerves and get back to where I should be. I was still fighting the Beast.
As soon as I got home, I changed into my workout gear and started my usual routine, thinking that this would bring me the peace of mind I needed, but under the surface, things were still churning.
After completing my workout, I headed out for my run. I am preparing for the upcoming Kilt Run so I am working on my pace for this 8K run. I got down to the end of my driveway, started my music, hit the stopwatch and headed down the road.
Thinking back on it now, I realize that as I headed down the road, I was still thinking about the day. I was practically grinding my teeth. I had forgotten all about what the workout was supposed to do for me and I was hanging on to my anger and frustration.
As my run progressed, I worked at distracting myself away from the frustrations of the day and tried to concentrate on the run. I was running hard. I was pushing as hard as I could. I was beginning to feel like my body was not cooperating with me. I needed more!
When I saw the end of the my driveway approaching, I pushed even harder. As I hit the driveway, I hit the stopwatch. I was panting like a dog. I stood there for a couple of seconds and then looked at the stopwatch. My first reaction was anger. What the @#%* is going on! Along with everything else today, even my body is conspiring against me! My time is slower. How could this be?!
I walked down my driveway toward the house feeling frustration and anger. I started to go through my normal cool down routine and worked at calming myself down as I did this. After about 10 minutes, I had managed to get ahold of myself, went into my office and started up my computer in order to enter my numbers in my running log.
I opened up my log and had to do a double-take at the numbers there. I looked back at my stopwatch and again at my log. I had just completed my fastest run ever! Suddenly everything came clear. I had let my head get so full of frustration and anger, I was blinded by it. The Beast had gotten the better of me. At that instant, everything drained away. The anger and frustration was gone. How foolish of me.
The next day, I was up on time, I got to work, had a busy day preparing for a very big upcoming job, came home and did the same run. This time, I did it with a clear and calm head. I focused my energy on letting everything else go. When I got back to the end of my driveway, I hit the stopwatch, checked my time and found I had just beat my time from yesterday. Another personal best.
What I learned form this is that the Beast is always there and letting it surface does nothing for you but harm. How pointless. But now I know I have to always be vigilant and aware of the signs. Tomorrow I will be running with other member of the karate club. I am very much looking forward to this and that feeling of accomplishing something when I run or work out or go to my karate class.