An all-out glorious ride yesterday. The skies were as beautiful as I’ve ever seen them around here. I got off the highway and rode light gravel and dirt trails for about 8 miles of a 25-mile ride.

Nearly every day I ride past an underpass and a sign above it that reads…

Wildlife Crossing SR76

The underpass is expressly for wildlife to cross under State Highway 76 in Bonsall.

More freedom, less roadkill. Makes sense.

Although it’s intended primarily for coyotes, raccoons, possums, rabbits and the like, I’m certain mountain lions and bobcats have crossed under the highway on this trail from time to time.


I’ve wanted to explore the trail for a while now, but on this route I’m usually on a road bike, not suited for trail riding. Today I was appropriately biked, so this was the day to veer off the path and get dirty for a while.

I left the highway, used the underpass, and followed the trail as far as it went toward the San Luis Rey river bed. I was surprised at how well worn the trail was, but when I looked up to see two men in the underpass seated on a weathered mattress and leaning against one another sharing a bottle of tequila, I knew bipedal varmints also use the underpass and the trail.

Once I cleared the underpass, I was wholly invigorated and inspired by the scenery and by the skies — and just in time too.


At this point, I was about 8-miles out from my house and only a few hours removed from one of the heavier depressive episodes I’ve had recently. It was a Sunday morning and I only had one client session, but I was having a pretty bad start to my day.

I sat there, with roughly an hour to go before my only session and I just stared into the glow of the fireplace. As much as I appreciated the expected client, I didn’t really want to do the session. I was just too sad.

I just sat there, holding my dog and crying, and for reasons that were beyond my grasp. I wanted to call my client and tell her that wasn’t feeling well enough to train her, but that seemed unacceptable for many reasons.

I ran through all the clichés in my head…

-Buck up!
-Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!
-Crash through it!
-Get over it!
-And a few others…

I knew I’d get it together, put my game face on, take her through a rigorous workout, and that she would leave my studio better for her efforts. Nobody ever walks away from a workout and says ‘I wish I hadn’t done that’.

And maybe after her session, for the efforts and dynamics of me getting her through it, I’d feel better myself. History tells me that could be the case.

Still, the depression was stifling at that point. But we’re not allowed to call in sad.

If I had some tangible germ, virus, condition or disorder and cancelled the session, my client wouldn’t have questioned it. The words ‘I have strep throat’ are more acceptable to a consumer than ‘I want to sit on my closet floor with the lights off and the door closed’.

And that’s too bad.

I don’t think that will ever change either, not in my lifetime, despite all we now know about depression. Calling in sad will never be an option.

When we are carrying germs that can spread to others and cause them sickness too, we are told to put up hard and fast borders — do not let those germs out and don’t let anyone in. Notwithstanding that when we’re sick, we are often too weak to work and likely to be less productive so staying home is acceptable.

When it’s tears though, that were carrying, rather than germs, we’re expected to hold them in and do so in a way that we aren’t expected to do with germs. We trust that with the right amount of effort, our sadness won’t be contagious.

Maybe there will be a day when I can call in sad and it will be acceptable. A part of me hopes that day comes, but a larger part of me hopes it never does, because my income might be cut in half.


I’m glad did the session and as I reckoned, I felt a little better for having done it. It was one of my favorite clients. She works hard, and that helped me out my sadness — some. I’m as glad though, that I took my bike out immediately after the session because by the time I was done riding, my sadness was long gone — if only for a while.

This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb

Yesterday’s Ride…

Bike: Tang
25.5 miles
1,100’ climbing
15.3 mph avg
1,700 calories
Yesterday’s earworm: Womb, by Toni Childs

Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there is this from Toni Childs. Enjoy…!

7 thoughts on “Calling In Sad…

  1. Sorry, Roy! I can’t really know what you go through on a regular basis. I did have a serious bout of depression for a six month period in my residency. It was crushing and hard. I showed up every day. While working I probably felt better than when I wasn’t. No one ever knew. I faked it best I could and one day I realized I wasn’t faking but actually felt normal again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Doc. More recently, this is less a biological depression, and more of an environmental one. I’m certain these circumstances will change at some point, and like you said, I’ll fake it till I make it until then.

      A large part of it has to do with the fact I’m never alone. I’m either in a client session, or beside my mom helping take care of her, and unfortunately I don’t have a lot of relief in that area, so I think this is largely just due to a lack of alone time. Again, that will change someday. When it does, I’ll be sad about the circumstances the cost of the change, but as always, I’ll be OK…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You must live in a gloriously weather-friendly place to bike consistently in the winter, what a blessing! I have recently move to a new city where I don’t know anyone and am still on the hunt for a job I can love…..and, depression has been a companion during this time. At times it is soul crushing, or full of tears and lack of motivation to get off the couch and many other descriptive analogies that I don’t want to delve into. I feel a little better after a nap, sometimes, and sometimes not. But exercise helps, and at times it is the very last thing I want to do even though it brings me joy and often peace every single time. I don’t know what’s happening in my brain chemistry or if mine is situational or even hormonally driven, all I know is how real it is and how I FEEL. Like so many ppl do, I committed myself, recommitted myself to regular exercise at the new year with a cognizance that I will not always FEEL this motivation and I will have to fight with myself to just do it. Thus far I have been successful at telling my feelings to shut the f#$k up, I’m a month in. Thank you for sharing your dark moments, it helps to know that others work within the confines of depression also and how they are managing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Caretaking an elderly or infirm person drains huge amounts of well being from a person. Kudos to you, Roy, as I have been there and done that and thankless though it is, some people get it and value what you do (other than your mom, I mean). I’ve been on a whirlwind away-business trip with G and this is day 13 of 15 and I just had to step out of the circle and have some quiet alone alone for a few hours and not talk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ruth for taking time to read and reply. I appreciate it very much.

      Yes, in this case the sadness – – depression that I’ve been dealing with lately is not biological or chemical within, it’s that I’m within 20-feet of a human being who I’m responsible for, 24/7. It takes it’s toll, writing about it is it good outlet, but I’m very committed and very fortunate to be able to do it.

      Again, thank you! 😘


  4. As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t been keeping up on my blog reading lately and I’m so sorry that I missed this one until now. Not sorry because I feel like you need my commentary (far from it!)…just sad that I haven’t told you lately how great of a writer you are. And an even better person!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m reasonably sure, Heidi, that your life consists of 110% family time, divided between another 110% work time.

      That you even take time for these at all, is much appreciated. Please never feel any obligation to read them, but I’m grateful when you do. I value your friendship and your opinion…

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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