Barring some rain this past weekend, the weather in Corpus has been phenomenal the past few days.
I started off the week feeling pretty shitty. The lawnmower gave me problems and this process of buying a house has been stressful. Also, I didn’t exercise for three or four days. The gunk in my head started to pile up.
Criteria for a clear mind
I think I’ve figured out mostly what I need to do to set myself up for a positive mindset. Sure, I take my prescribed medication in the morning. Gotta have my coffee. I absolutely have to annoy my boys with a song from my childhood, or teenage years, when I get them up for school in the morning. And, most importantly, I need a hug from my wife before she leaves for work (or a hug from her in the morning if she’s off that day).
That’s the everyday shit I need. I wager we all need that kind of positivity.
But sometimes, between the drive/ride home and work, something in my mind changes. Maybe it’s the news. Or some asshole driver. Or nothing in particular at all. And all the good vibes I had when I left the house are already gone by the time I’m walking into work. It sucks that all of those good feelings can evaporate in that 18-minute drive, but it happens sometimes.
I know of three surefire ways to banish the blues: talking about them (e.g. conversations with my wife, blogging), taking the bike out for a cruise, and exercise.
Toward the Oort Cloud
I left work at 4:30 Tuesday afternoon to go for a run on the Seawall. Most people exercise here because of the breathtaking view of the Gulf of Mexico. Plus, you get to see palapas every couple hundred feet. Don’t forget about the Mirador de la Flor (i.e. the Selena statue).
But I’m most excited about the one-to-10 billion scale model of the Solar System along the Seawall. Sure, the water and boats and Selena and all the other shit is nice, but I’m a bit of a geek with it comes to space.
So I set my watch for a 30-minute run when I got to the Seawall. I took a right, toward the “Come at me bro” Jesus statue. Seriously, the depiction of Jesus makes me think of Lt. Dan on “Forrest Gump.”
I got down to the end of the Seawall in about 10 minutes and I was completely disappointed that I didn’t see the Solar System model.
Shit, I thought. It’s the complete opposite direction. I hope I have enough energy to make it.
So I turned around and headed back the way I came.
Where the hell is the sun?
I got back to where I started in about another 1o minutes. For those of you who aren’t keeping track, I’ve been running for 20 minutes now.
I passed the Selena statue with just a cursory glance. Allow me to go off on a slight tangent here. I genuinely feel uncomfortable around that statue. I spent much of my cloistered, uninformed youth criticizing Corpus’ rush to embrace her after her untimely death. And so perhaps it’s a guilty conscience that keeps me away. Plus, I don’t feel like Selena has anything to do with my personal history or experiences in Corpus, beside my previously mentioned ignorance. But hey, I admit that “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” is pretty catchy.
After crossing Peoples St. I finally found what I was looking for: the Sun. Yeah, I’m still working on breaking the skinny guy out of this fat man body, so I’m huffing and puffing pretty steadily now.
All these over-used space travel metaphors filled my head. The other people walking this way and that were space travelers; some of the obnoxious dudes that were blasting their music from their parked cars were asteroids (or maybe ass-teroids, haha); of course, I was a rocket. A slow-moving, oxygen-starving rocket.
But I wanted to get to Pluto before my stamina gave out, dammit.
Sorry, but I had to
Just kindly indulge my childish nature. Tee hee.
I wanted so badly to make it to Pluto before my 30 minutes was up. I carried on, my breath coming in and going out with absolutely no mental effort at controlling it. I just needed as much air as I could get.
Eventually, Pluto came into view. I picked up my pace from Neptune once I saw Pluto’s sign. My watch dinged that I’d run 30 minutes about eight seconds before I reached Pluto.
But I made it. I wanted to shout to anyone who could hear me: I. Made. It. To. Mother. Fucking. Pluto. Yeah, bitches!
I made it. My goal of running for 30 minutes nonstop was met. I ran about two miles in that time (which is pretty slow, I know). I’m still more focused on being able to run that kind of distance and I’ll worry about my time later.
But the very act of exercise just pushed my depression away. Just like that. I guess when you’re keeping your heart rate up and are engaged in that kind of physical activity, the blues has no place to settle in.
Today, Wednesday, was a much better day. My attitude and mood were back to where I wanted them to be. So maybe that’s all it really takes. Just getting off my ass and physically doing something.
It’s a good place to start.