I did not have a great day today.

  • I woke up all off kilter.
  • I was distracted making my breakfast and forgot to take my meds.
  • I shovelled the front drive because there wasn’t enough snow for my snowplow company to come.
  • I drove to work cause we were only getting another centimetre of snow.
  • I couldn’t park my tiny car in the parking lot because there were so many trucks that I was paralyzed because I kept thinking I was going to hit one (side note: This should have been when I realized I hadn’t taken my meds).
  • My morning French teacher discouraged me. I get the feeling that he doesn’t think I’m going to pass the test next week, but I’m frankly too scared to ask him.
  • I had the first brain zap at 9:15, which is when I realized that I didn’t take my meds. My fiscally conservative core refused to cancel the rest of my day’s classes to go home, take the drugs and sleep off the effects. You, taxpayer, were just saved $200.
  • I overcomplicated the crap out of my afternoon class, which I mercifully asked to start early so I could at least go home early.
  • I fucked up every possible variation of a verb tense whose name I do not even know in English, but which I’m guessing is the past conditional.
  • I made the same mistake about 15 times in one day. And I wrote it down each damned time.
  • I went to get a prescription refilled which I left to the penultimate dose, only to be told that they have to order it. Hopefully it’ll be in tomorrow, or there will be no sleep tomorrow night.
  • I had a moderately disturbing conversation on the phone with someone when I probably should just have not spoken to any other humans today.

I had an unhealthy amount of anger at myself, at the world, at the motherfucking weather (WHEN IS WINTER GOING TO END?), at the fact that I shovelled needlessly (10 cm of snow today guarantees that the plow is coming tonight), at the fact that I have such a huge vocabulary and eloquent verbal style in English and that I sound like a moderately effective monkey in French, and at the fact that life is complicated.

I went to the gym. I warmed up on the treadmill. I did my minute running, 2 minutes walking. I counted each rotation down from 7 to 1. I cooled down. I stretched.

I feel marginally better, but I think I should have stayed longer. Maybe not on the treadmill, but on the bike, or the rower. But my headphones weren’t working properly and that was just making me angry again.

The point, though, is not that I was angry or that I went to the gym. It’s that I went to the gym BECAUSE I was angry.

I’m not recommending that people experience rage or even vast emotional or adrenaline swings (or brain zaps). But if you’re looking for motivation to go to the gym, it’s a good way to find out.

We all feel angry. Instead of eating it out, letting it take over your life, picking up a sharp object, or whatever you do, how about going for a walk? Or a run? Or a gambol in the woods (if you live where it’s not wintery right now).

No, it’s not a panacea (what’s the word for that in French, anyway? Anyone want to guess that it’s panacea?). But it’s a start.

How do you manage your anger? What are your strategies for motivating yourself to get active?