Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Five Days of Fighting the Fall Funk

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.

-Carl Sandburg

Each late fall there is some odd switch that is flicked off inside of me.  Part of me blames it on my heritage--being Scandinavian--part of thinks each year will be different, part of me doesn't give a shit and just wants to pull the covers over my head until Spring.  I'm speaking of my worst demon--the fall funk.

This year, I had gotten my hopes up.  I packed my Spring and Summer with so much yummy bike goodness, and tried to spend most waking hours, in which I wasn't at work, outside either playing or doing yard work.  In my simple way of thinking, I thought if I make the absolute most of my summer, I would be happy to see fall come so I could rest.  Ha!  What a joke.  As late September rolled in, I felt that nasty sensation start to build.  Not something in my head, but in my body.  You see, this depression I battle each year isn't something that can be easily fixed by changing my state of mind--it's biochemical.  Massive amounts of coffee (notice I've learned a lot from my Scandinavian ancestors), and keeping up with exercise helps, but I always feel as if I'm walking in sand--two steps forward, one step back.

At a time when I hear all my friends rejoicing in cooler temperatures, being able to wear wool sweaters, cook chili, drink hot chocolate, gather in front of a bonfire, I cringe and think about fleeing back to Hawaii.  I am a summer baby through and through.  I relish heat and humidity.  I love waking at 5am to light and the sound of birds.  Essentially, most of my friends think I'm crazy.

As I felt the downward spiral start to quicken a week or two ago, I decided to try a little experiment.  I made a commitment to myself to bike every day for five days straight--something I don't usually do come fall because I'm often a bit burnt out with big miles.  Biking to work daily is routine.  It was adding lots of road rides and running most errands by bike which I thought would be a little trickier.  And so it went.  Five days and about 230 miles.  Yes, it did help.  Now I just have to talk my friends into dragging me out even if I'm kicking and screaming all winter long--or start my running and skiing season pronto!

Soaking in the colors (day 3)

Heading down to the capitol for the Vulnerable User Bill listening session (day 1)

Nothing beats the fall sounds of geese and cranes--this field was deafening (day 4)

Riding with Dave Cieslewicz and Ron Anderson for a WI Bike Fed meeting (day 3)

Chasing down my shadow (day 2)
Sunrise for the Militant Badger gravel ride (day 4)

A little 5am spin in the dark (day 4)

A canopy of yellow on the Badger State Trail (day 4)
Getting ready for Taco Ride 2 (day 5)


  1. you are always welcome to join us for a bike or ski.