I didn’t think it was possible for me to become so wrapped up in running, but I have been flat-out sucked in.
A few months ago I decided that it was time to put the running shoes on again. I had worked myself slowly into running last spring and completed a 5K, but when I transferred to UNC the weather knocked me out.
In August 2009 it was so humid and hot that standing outside literally made sweat pour down my back. Both my dog and I immediately were overtaken with allergies and sickness. I had to take medication for about 3 weeks and had no clue what was going with my dog until about $300 into vet visits. He has allergies. He never had allergies when we lived in Asheville.
Anyway, school started and things became hectic. I was in the hospital, I moved several times and I was trying to adjust to a brand new life-there was no time for working out.
But early this spring I decided both my dog and I needed to start exercising again. I live right on the edge of a little forest with lots of trails and places to get lost in. Mani (my dog) and I began walking trails everyday and it wasn’t long before I wondered when I should start running again.
I ruined my legs when I was younger, (I am not exactly sure how) but by the time I reached high school I couldn’t run without getting shin splints. They were so intense that I wasn’t able to be very active. Throughout the years the only sport that my legs were able to endure was dancing. So I danced a lot, but it’s a late night lifestyle and one that isn’t easy to use just for exercise.
Then one day I came home late and knew that Mani and I had only a small window of sunshine to get a walk in, so I decided to jog. It felt so good I never went back to walking. Now I run.
Running has become my peace and certainly my sanity. There are days that I don’t want to run and grumble while I am putting on my shoes, but I know that if I can make myself run for at least a few minutes I won’t stop.
It was exercise at first, an attempt to start the long haul of getting my badly out of shape body back into shape, but I have really come to treasure my time alone on the trails with my dog in the woods.
I like being alone and I love thinking when I am running. Being ADHD, my brain just clicks into gear when I am kickin it down the trail and sweat is sidelined on my face. It seems like that is the only time I am moving at the speed I should be.
During my run, I am certainly my most creative and am able to be the most objective about the events in my life. If I have an article to write I can debate it on the trail and my subject or lead always comes forth. If I am fighting with my boyfriend or having an issue with a friend/family member, etc. I am able to view it differently.
Whatever it is that I have on my mind seems to be easier to conquer as the trees fly by, and with every step I feel strong enough to meet whatever it is I am fretting about.
The strength that I am slowly gaining from running isn’t just physical either.
A few months back I left late in the evening to run, and it was dark by the time I was returning. I had chosen to run on the street that evening, and my neighborhood is poorly lit. My fear of the darkness began to overtake me and my mind began imagining what could be lurking in the dark corners I was passing. But I said the hell with it and ran through my fear. It felt good. I had found my new slogan~which resides written in eyeliner on my bathroom mirror:
“Fear, it’s something I plan on destroying.”
When life gives me a choice and I am scared I will keep on going, when I fear for my finances or dog or house-I will keep on going. Running is teaching me about the endurance I have in my life-the endurance to go to battle with my battles.
When my daily run is complete I have solved or worked through many obstacles in my head and my heart is quieted. It isn’t always great, sometimes I arrive exhausted or overly hot, but I know the next day will be better.
My body is slowly transforming and while that excites me, the clarity that running brings to my life is worth so much more.
What about your running experiences? Does anyone else feel the same way? Perhaps about other sports or activities?