For the past I-don’t-know-how-many-years I’ve struggled during November and December. The time change from Daylight Savings Time to Central Standard Time means it’s dark when I leave the house for the gym and dark when I drive home from work. I used to skip workouts during these months in favor of sleeping as late as humanly possible while still making it to the office on time. There have been winters when I’ve gone six weeks without making a trip to the gym except for on the occasional Saturday. I assumed I suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and I probably did. I dreaded November and the accompanying malaise that always came with it. But this year things are different.

On many days this month and last, I’ve awakened before the alarm clock rings at 4:10 a.m. Last night I reviewed my training log entries and noticed I missed one week in November due to a sinus infection, and I made several notations that I’d not gone to the gym after working very late the night before (I insist on getting a minimum of 6.5 hours of sleep. Seven hours is ideal.)  There were only two missed workouts where I simply noted “slept in” with no other reason. Two entries.

I have no explanation for why I feel so much better emotionally than I have in past years. I haven’t invested in one of those daylight-lamps, although I’ve considered it. My friend and workout buddy Lynn has a theory. She believes that 1. I’m in better shape than I was last year, 2. My more intensive workout schedule has somehow amped up my serotonin levels and 3. I’ve become more goal oriented in regards training for endurance events such has half marathons and triathlons.

I’d like to know why feel so much better this year than I did last year…and the five or six winters before last. I want to learn from whatever success I’m experiencing so that I can replicate it next year. I suppose the best thing I can do is continue my current actions in hopes of achieving similar results.

But for now I’m not SAD and I’ll take it.

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