I saw a pin on Pinterest yesterday that said “F Everything And Run” (Except it had the REAL F-word) – and while it damaged my sensibilities with the dirty word (WHAT?) – I’ve been thinking about it a lot since.
Yesterday was a BAD DAY. I would love to run down my List Of Crap Stressing Me Out but I don’t want to give that list any more power than it already has on my life. Let’s just say this: I was called to the principal’s office. And that was probably the LEAST stressful part of the day.
After my race 3+ weeks ago I told myself: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Those would be my running days. I’d like to do more than 3 miles each weekday and more than 6 on the weekend. Beyond that? I was just going to go with the flow of any running group I could find.
I found a group to run with last night, and I’m so glad I did because I just said, “F*ck it, I’m going running.” That is the sentiment of my running life now. Running has become my escape. My therapy. I was desperate to find someone to run with last night so I joined a group with a few people I knew and I hope I didn’t slow them down too much because those six miles were EXACTLY what I needed to brush off the day.
Running has become that THING in my life that just makes me feel better. It’s funny, it’s like popping a beer (which I do some nights on top of running!) or stuffing my face (which I try NOT to do) – it’s something I do because I know that while I’m doing it, it calms me down. But the awesome thing about running as a stress-reliever it? It doesn’t make me feel like shit later like binge-eating or beer does. I finish the run, the stress has waned, and I feel GOOD.
So, on each running day, I take all of the crap that is bringing me down and I say, “F*ck it!” and I run. I’m not training for anything, except for my own mental health. And to be there with running now? Is amazing. This is why I want to keep running four days a week, because I know that my relationship with running is good for my body AND my mind.
I feel like I spend a lot of days lately debating the merits of medications for my anxiety. I consider that a “last resort” type of step and don’t want to take it until I feel like I’ve tried all other options. And after every GOOD RUN that I get in I say to myself, “No where close to last resort yet.” Because – for right now – running is keeping me sane.
I want you to truly understand that a year ago I would have read this entry and wanted to punch the person writing it in the face. I would have thought she was crazy and most importantly: SO DIFFERENT FROM ME. I want you to truly understand that this did not come naturally…it took almost a year of regular running and finding great running groups for me to get this attitude about running. But now? I need it. The Mommy guilt of ditching the kids subsides because I know that THEY need me to run, too. They need me to leave all of that stress out on the road and come back to them with a clear head.
(For the beatings, of course.)
I know a lot of you struggle with running just like I have in the past and I hope that every one of you, can some day feel what it’s like to let go of all of the stuff making you sad, angry, and stressed – and just hit the road. For those 6 miles I was fine. I felt great. It was cold and wet but I was running and for each mile I ticked by, my muscles loosened and my heart grew stronger away from a day of anxiety. I came home ready to face it all with a much better attitude than before I ran.
I hope some day you can say the same thing.