Causes Of A Funk

I came home from work yesterday and realized that I was in a real funk. I sat down with my wife and did nothing but complain for 15 minutes. I hated my job. I was mad at myself. I was mad at the world. I was in a funk. You know when you don’t feel like doing anything. You’re full of self-pity. You don’t have an ounce of motivation.

She calmly listened and then said, “you need to work out.”

I know but my back hurts.

Last spring I had gotten myself into the best shape I’ve ever been in. I was having long and rigorous workouts.  I was using kettlebells, sandbag, TRX, bands, rowing machine, and more.

Then the wheels came off. I was in a funk.

I started out doing some walking but eventually decided to give my aching back full rest.  It didn’t do any good. I felt like it was muscular so I didn’t go see a doctor.

I did pick up my Pain Free book by Pete Egoscue.  I bought the Egoscue tower and started doing the e-cises that Egoscue recommends. There was noticeable improvement; so much so that I became convinced that my problem was postural.  ( I even enrolled at Egoscue University to learn as much as I can about the Egoscue Method (more on this later; this post is about my funk and not posture.)

Looking back on the last few months I was able to identify 3 causes of my funk: 3 UNDERestimations.

1.      UNDERestimated the “funk” effect of adrenalin.

2.      UNDERestimated the “funk” effect of poor eating.

3.      UNDERestimated the “funk” effect of not exercising.

First, the adrenalin. Adrenalin got me primarily on two fronts: great workouts and a stressful (albeit great life event.) Through the first half of last year I was having very good workouts, maybe too good. I loved the rush of adrenalin I received both during and after working out in my home gym. I started doing too much. For example, I was doing 25 minutes of Turkish Get-Ups with increasingly heavier kettlebells.  One day last May I did 300 push-ups. And that was before my workout. I ignored the beginning of pain in my glutes, hip, and lower back. My youngest daughter also got married in the spring. That was a great event in the life of our family. But there was also a lot of adrenalin associated with it. Not long afterwards I really crashed.  Lesson: REST: Adrenalin rushes can contribute to a funk.

Holiday eating for me starts in October. We have several birthdays in the last 3 months of the year. Throw in Thanksgiving and Christmas and we’re talking lots of SUGAR, my weakness.  Since I wasn’t working out I was really feeling the effects of eating poorly and especially eating way too many desserts.  Lesson: PLAN: Holidays will come so plan meticulously.

Not exercising always spells my downfall. It is the one thing guaranteed to put me in a big time funk. There have been times through the years when my wife literally pushes me out the door to go running. As I began spiraling down into this funk she gently tried to persuade me to workout. I had gone running a few times and it helped. But she knew I needed to do some resistance training. Running is good but for me there really is something therapeutic about working the pecs and lats. She had been kindly dropping hints for several days that I needed to workout. You know pushups and stuff like that!

Yesterday, I listened. I went upstairs and did pushups and pulldowns with bands. I didn’t overdo it since I wasn’t interested in starting the adrenalin avalanche again. I knew I would be sore; but a good kind of sore.My whole perspective changed.

If you’re in a funk stop and try to understand the causes. Once you know the causes the way out of your funk might not be as complicated as you think.

Finally, remember, this too shall pass.

Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.”  – Helen Keller