Bad Days

I’m in a funk.  Last night I was tossing and turning, fitfully facing nightmares and weird dreams.  I don’t often sleep well but this was a particularly trying night.  And it’s been a series of bad days lately — nothing that I can specifically point to as the culprit, nor specific examples that seem particularly cataclysmic in nature to warrant a “bad day” label.  But there’s just a general malaise and unease.

I suppose some of it stems from my disappointment in my clock time at Walt Disney World’s Marathon.  And that’s silly because I had a good experience with photo opportunities and running with some fine folks, and my Mom came out to cheer me on.  I feel a little guilty about whinging and feeling down about the clock time but that’s the nature of the beast.

On top of that, I’ve been feeling fat and lumbering, with measurably slower training runs this week.  I could try and rationalize away the times as being the wonky Garmin watch I wear.  Garmin GPS watches are notorious for being “off” on the mileage but that too is the nature of the beast when it comes to using GPS on your wrist.  No, the truth is I just feel slow and lethargic and down.

To carry over from yesterday’s inspirational quotes topic, I often see clever signs along race routes.  Most recently at the WDW race I saw a sign sporting Kylo Ren and the text, “Spoiler Alert: You’re Killing This Race!”  But the one I most want to highlight here in light of the bad days is variously written as, “If you’re going through hell, don’t stop!” or “If you find yourself going through hell, keep going!”

I wasn’t sure if that was a meme that sprung up from groupthink or if it was a quotation from somebody in particular.  The none-too-clear answer was just a quick google search later (what DID we do before the internet?  Scour Encyclopedia Britannicas I guess).  The usual attribution of the quote is to Winston Churchill, including apparently former Canadian PM Brian Mulroney — he cited the British Prime Minister as the source in a speech.  But in a fascinating “Quote Investigation,” it would appear a self-help guy coined the phrase in 1990.  My personal favorite attribution is the stated quote from Wally Amos, famed founder of Famous Amos Cookies who got duped out of his creation:

“A friend of mine gave me a wonderful quote,” he said. “‘When you’re going through hell, don’t stop to take pictures.”’

Of course I’m just going to keep saying it was originally said by Winston Churchill.  After all, I subscribe to the John Ford school of thought, as in his The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962).

When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

Bad days happen.  Strings of bad days happen.  The key is to try and get through those bad days and back into good ones — not just in running but in life.  I try and live my life by the notion that every day you try and make today better than yesterday.  You won’t always succeed, but if you keep trying and keep striving for that better day, you’re bound to have more good days than bad.  So I’m going to try and get through these bad days and get back on track.

In the meantime, I’m loading onto my iPod the Flaming Lips tune, “Bad Days” to help me keep going.  Worth a shot.

“Bad Days” by The Flaming Lips, Clouds Taste Metallic (1995)

You’re sorta stuck where you are
But in your dreams you can buy expensive cars
Or live on Mars
And have it your way
And you hate your boss at your job
Well, in your dreams you can blow his head off
In your dreams
Show no mercy
And all your bad days will end
And all your bad days will end
You have to sleep late when you can
And all your bad days will end