Monthly Archives: March 2007

Slippery Slope.

When I start to get really stressed out I often have the uncontrollable urge to retreat. Shut and lock the door. Erect social walls. Stop taking phone calls. Cease with all the endless emailing.

I stay in the bathtub longer than I should reading the New Yorker, ZoeTropes All-Story, The Sun Magazine, The Tin House and Bicycling magazine. National Geographic even. Anything to feed the mind while the body takes a vacation, submerged in warm, bubbly comfort.

I know I can’t live my life from the bathtub – even with this newfound freelancey-freedom that I have recently come across. The quieter I get, the more my emotions start to congeal. The more they congeal, the murkier and messier they get. I’m a person who can go really deep – I wade into the murky depths and it can be a valuable exercise. I frequently write from that place and most of my best material comes from those excursions. But I have to be careful not to stay very long because it can be heavy and hard and dark and the further I go, the harder it is to get back out.

With all the hard emotional bullshit that his happening for me right now, I’ve found it really hard to get myself to boot camp these past three days. During these times I absolutely rely on the presence of accountability to get me through. Quite honestly, the only thing that has gotten me there has been the idea that people are waiting for me – that people might miss me if I didn’t turn up.

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Time Out! On the importance of break-taking

I just needed some time off.

Not necessarily from this blog, but from everything. I tend not to write about personal things here much unless they pertain in some way to sports or activities. For the record – January and February were brutal months professionally for me. I worked way more than anyone should under circumstances that frankly kind of sucked.

During that time boot camp was one of the touchstones that I returned to for balance. Because it is so early in the morning I could guarantee myself at least one hour of every day that was reserved exclusively for me. That was important in keeping me sane but what really needed to happen didn’t come until the middle of February.

I quit my day job.

I’d been talking about it for a while and a conversation I had with my boss in early January pretty much sealed my resolve. I’ve been wanting to dedicate more time for writing for a while now and I had recently acquired some good contacts for freelance marketing work. so I did it.

I found that when I left, I needed some time to just unwind. I’d been stressed out, overly intense and running on all 10 cylinders for way too long. I wasn’t myself. I was frazzled and tired and freaked out. My solution had been to overwork myself physically to feel better about things. This was both helping and hurting me. Pushing your limits can be really good for you, but it can also become a little obsessive.

This realization coupled with a bit of a setback related to my previously sprained ankle prompted me to come to a screeching halt.

I missed the last three days of the last boot camp session and hibernated. I’ve been returning to yoga for a slower, more-reflective workout. I’m shifting my focus a little and being more gentle with myself through this transition.

So far, leaving my job has been the best decision I’ve made in years. I’m working fewer, more-flexible hours, making more money, and really re-aligning my passion and purpose with my production.

There’s another boot camp starting on the 26th of March and I’m returning to it with a fresh take. I’m scaling back to 3 days per week instead of 5 so that I can spend more time on my bike and in the yoga studio.

But don’t worry – I’m not going entirely soft – I plan to beat that 7:02 mile yet.

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