Back in the Saddle

20
May
2014

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I’ve been absent on here, and for that I’m sorry. I’ve been in a bit of a funk in all sorts of ways for various reasons.

Since the last time I posted, I brought home a stray puppy from one of my mountain bike rides and integrated her into life, which now includes shopping for a new couch. I almost went back to one dog…

Also, I’ve gotten my steel bike back from the painter, had the shop here build it up and been riding the bejebus out of it, like this weekend’s 130km ride.

Every year around this time I lose my riding mojo. While I was sick on and off a few times, I didn’t even feel like looking at a bike. I stopped riding with friends and when I did go out didn’t ride very far.

Last years funk happened at the same time I was racing a lot, and planning a wedding, and contemplating a move overseas, so it was less noticeable. The year before I got super busy at work, and the year before that my husband broke his leg so I kind of had to stop riding anyway.

Whenever this happens I like to step back and then dive into a new project, like the steel bike. While it’s built, it needs some little tweaks, which is part of the whole fun of building a bike: personalizing it.

What also helps is having some sort of goal or thing to look forward to. This summer we’re going to Paris, so I’m brushing up on my French, and I’m doing a local three day, 500km ride that I need to train for.

I know I’m not the only one who gets into a springtime funk, and it helps to hear from others with the same issue. If you deal with it, too, how do you recover?

- Ashley

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11 Responses to “ Back in the Saddle ”

  1. Eric Hutchins on May 20, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Good to see you Back.

    • Ashley on May 20, 2014 at 11:35 pm

      Thanks Eric!

  2. Joel Phillips on May 20, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Ah…Springtime, the most magical of all seasons in my opinion. Mother Nature awakens from her winter slumber in a funk of her own. Here in the Denver, Colorado area that can mean waking up to a snowstorm, rejoicing in sunny skies and mild temperatures at midday and being treated to a thunder and lightening show with intermittent heavy rains, hail and gusty winds as you go to sleep. Change is everywhere, from the increasing number of birds sining morning songs to the pollen content in the atmosphere, no wonder us silly humans can fall into a funk…I mean look at the wardrobe implications alone, for a day like I described. Oh, and speaking of funk, a momma skunk and her babies…that is some funk (I know totally different, but certainly some Springtime funk). I joke to make light of how long I lived my life in a funk.

    It’s been a while, year or so, since I’ve fallen victim to the Funkenstein Monster, and I believe it’s because I began to exercise my spirituality. I had been consistently exercising my mind and body, leaving the spiritual side of me to just drift in the breeze. Exercising my spirituality really cleared things up and the combination of a healthy mind, body and spirit has me taking actions where I once would just feel stuck. I guess I define “funk” as not taking actions consistent with what’s really important to you and your life and what really makes you happy.

    I discovered, without a strong spirit my view of what’s really important to me and what really makes me happy in life became distorted and obscured through my experiences. By exercising my spirituality, and for me this meant strengthening my relationship with God, I was able to powerfully put the constraints of my past in the past, leaving nothing but possibility where those had been. The possibility of living a life I love rather than learning to love the life I am living was mind blowing. I now see actions to take that were hidden by doubts and fear. Things that haven’t been moving are now moving. It takes work to exercise the body, it takes work to exercise the mind…it makes sense, it should take work to exercise spirituality, whatever that is for an individual.

    • Ashley on May 20, 2014 at 11:11 pm

      Thanks Joel. I’m not a spiritual person, and never have been. As I say my church is on two wheels on Sunday mornings and cycling really is the stress relief and greater joy for me.

      I keep telling this to everyone I meet, but go read the latest ebook by Zen Habits. It’s actually helped quite a bit and I think you’d enjoy it.

  3. Darryl is Loving the Bike on May 20, 2014 at 9:52 am

    As you know, we have this in common. Not sure that mine is seasonal, but most definitely recurring. My worst dip was just about a year ago and I’ve written about it many times.
    It looks like you’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up and I know that will help…..but if you ever need anyone to talk to about this you know I’m here for you.
    Have a great time in Paris and good luck with the 500km ride….sounds like fun.
    Thanks for sharing this one, Ashley.

    • Ashley on May 20, 2014 at 11:05 pm

      Mine isn’t necessarily seasonal either, as we’ve discussed before. Thank you so much for the support, especially as I had to take a hiatus from writing. It let me think and worry about one less thing a week and get back on my usual creation schedule.

  4. Tony Davis on May 20, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Hi Ashley. I don’t know if my funks are seasonal, but I do have them. As a psychotherapist, I am well aware of how sometimes my brain just does not do me any favors–meaning that funks can be linked to an outside reason, or they could be linked to nothing! The way that I “recover” includes two components: I don’t fight it; and I engage in activities that DO fight it. The difference is that I accept that I am in a funk, but then I make adjustments to my outside environment and let that do the work against it: meeting more with friends, cooking nice dinners for myself, writing. It sounds like when you are “busy” you don’t get affected so strongly–that is a hint for you! Funks come and go, and I think they can be valuable in that they slow us down for a second, and there is great insight in slowing down. I like to call mine “quiet time” instead of funk or depression, and it helps me to listen. Eventually, I come out of it.

    Finally, I have to say that this is my experience, and you know yourself better than anyone. If you feel that this is more severe than just a passing mood, and that it is strongly affecting how you function in life, then you might want to get some help for it, because moods and funks can also be the result of a biological, psychological, or medical issue. If you rule all those out, then just ride this out and ratchet up your self-care. Wishing you well!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on May 20, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Wow, what a fantastic reply. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings, Tony. This is good stuff for all of us who go through rough patches. I appreciate it.

      • Tony Davis on May 24, 2014 at 12:43 am

        Thank you, Darryl, for your feedback. I am glad you appreciated what I wrote!

    • Ashley on May 20, 2014 at 11:04 pm

      Thanks for the reply Tony. Thankfully I have folks to talk to here, and that helps. In the past I’ve often recognized what was going on and just waited it out, but recently I’ve been able to do more about it, get out of the rut and start being more productive than ever before.

      What has helped a lot is every time I get frustrated or upset I take a moment to see why I’m that way and redefine my expectations, instead of letting it build up and contributing to a funk.

      • Tony Davis on May 24, 2014 at 12:45 am

        Sounds like you have a good system for coping with the ups and downs! I know that sometimes I “overthink” it, when I just need to sit in the rut until the feeling makes it clear to me what has not been attended to.

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