Aren't we all addicted to drugs in some way? Obviously, the drugs that some people are addicted to are different to others. In this case, that drug that I am addicted to is endorphins. While endorphins are not something one "takes" per say, it is something that is a reaction from doing something. Most of us are familiar with the feeling of a runner's high, which in essence is the effect of an increase in endorphin production. The high is the increased production that results from strenuous exercise. That's about the extent of the scientific knowledge being presented in this post.
When I go through an extended period of time without exercising, my mood drops and I tend to feel a bit depressed. This feeling is compounded when faced with situations where planned workouts are canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. While not something I can plan all the time, it is an emotional low when I come to realization that I won't get to experience my "high" for the day. This had happened to me several days in a row, making me feel more depressed and in endorphin withdrawl.
Fast forward to yesterday, when I went to the pool for a great swim. Then this morning, when I went for a nice bike ride. My mood changed completely and my outlook on the day was only positive. I think I need to remind myself during hard times (both in training and in life) that continuing to work out will give me that high I need to maintain a stable life. Endorphins are the drug that keeps my mind at ease and my body in check. I have adapted to the triathlon lifestyle over these past three years and depriving myself of those feelings is doing myself a disservice.
Let this be a lesson to myself and anyone else who deals with emotional ups and downs each day, that the benefit of doing that workout that you really don't want to do will ultimately result in a positive attitude. So get off your butt and just do it!