My kind of madness

The basketball season officially ended for me Monday night as the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team lost to Syracuse in the second round of the WNIT.

I have often sung the praise of the Bona program because their approach is so honest, simple and effective. They speak often about identity, about staying true to who they are, about working on their weaknesses but always playing to their strengths. How can you not love a team that loves to be themselves (and wins in the process)? It doesn’t take much digging to find applicable life skills in that approach and attitude.

And so, win or lose, I almost always walk away from covering a St. Bonaventure women’s basketball with a renewed sense of inspiration, a feeling that I want to be a bit better in my own training, racing, writing and, well, life in general.

Reality quickly set in this morning with the buzzing of the alarm clock. The drive from Syracuse after the game put me home rather late, meaning not as much sleep as I would have liked. Additionally, the past two days have been filled with more junk food than I care to chronicle. I haven’t been on my best nutritional behavior, which can take a toll not just in athletic performance but in the way in which I function as a human being.

But there were eight miles of running to get done today, and the best time to fit that in was first thing in the morning. I thought about the Bonnies, about their attitude of competing, of playing with energy and intensity, of putting in the work nobody ever sees to get just a bit stronger, faster, smarter. I started out a bit bleary-eyed, but decided to focus on feeing inspired. Refreshed, I went off on my eight-mile run and returned feeling surprisingly good, even after digging deep for some motivation in those last two miles.

In her blog today, author and performance expert Jenny Evans talked about the difficulty of staying motivated this time of year, when those of us in northern climates are itching to get outside but winter still lingers. (There’s snow predicted for Buffalo tomorrow and it’s late March.)

She describes getting her daughter moving off the couch, playing an interval training game to some seriously fun music and ask her readers what kind of motivational nudge they need.

I thought about that for myself. How is my energy and commitment to staying healthy this time of year?

In all honestly, it’s inconsistent. My training program means my exercise is consistent, but the other health factors in my life — nutrition, rest, hydration, stress management — are pretty hit or miss. It’s March Madness, after all, which while describes basketball postseason also is an appropriate moniker for the spring crunch time and the slight case of cabin fever.

So what do I do about it? I find inspiration in the people and events around me. I realize that a shift in my attitude can make all the difference in the choices I make. Each day is a chance to start over and moments throughout the day give a chance to continually begin again. I realize there is nothing I need to fix. I just need to be true to myself.

So turn on some Lady Gaga and do a happy dance.

The madness is really just beginning.

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