January Blues Are Real

Hello darkness, my old friend…

It happens every year, I shouldn’t be surprised, but wow is January tough. Maybe it’s the “back to the grind” mentality when physically and mentally I’m still in hibernation mode. To feel pressure to produce when I feel much more compelled to curl up in a ball. But–time doesn’t stop for anyone including me, and there is work to be done, so on we go.

On the precipice of my spring semester, I’m trying really hard to set myself up for success (defined by… staying on top of everything?) and prevent burnout. Instead of reserving nearly every weekend for away-adventures, I’m mostly staying put so I can actually rest, clean, and have time for uninterrupted piano practice which I’ve learned is hard to get on weekdays.

There is one sure exception, the Black Canyon 100K in Arizona on February 18th. And then part of my spring break will be spent doing a section hike of the Arizona Trail with a friend. The old me would have booked a flight to depart the second I’m free and return at the absolute last moment before having to be back. That’s pretty much what I did last year when I hiked the Pinhoti Trail. I survived, but it was rough. This time I gave myself a cushion on either end. I’d like to think I’m evolving–not everything has to be extreme and maximized, all the time!

Beyond that, there are always aspects of my life and habits I’d like to improve but inevitably there is a disconnect between desire and reality. Perfection can’t be the goal, but closing the gap? That makes any effort, no matter how small, a meaningful step toward improvement.


Thanks for reading. Today’s a shortie, but I’m trying to practice what I preach and not let perfection get in the way of sending out anything at all!

If my writing resonates with you, please consider buying me a coffee or becoming a monthly member (members get perks like stickers, handwritten notes, and other small goodies). My sincerest thanks to everyone who has done so!

Another welcome way to support is by forwarding this letter or sharing a link with someone that might enjoy it too. New readers may subscribe below.

Success! You're on the list.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Who is Mercury?

Liz Derstine, trail name “Mercury”, is a distance runner, endurance hiker, writer, and musician residing in Boston, MA. She holds fastest known times for women on the Appalachian Trail (supported, northbound), Long Trail (self-supported), and Pinhoti Trail (self-supported).

Newsletter 💫

Subscribe to Liz’s weekly newsletter full of inspiring stories about running, music, trails and life.

Success! You're on the list.