Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Second That Emotion

I am a newbie when it comes to running. In fact I don't really think of myself as runner at all, really. More of a "jog/walker." I do try to walk quickly, though, when I take those breaks in my routes. I still am not sure what really finally got me out the door in my running shoes all those months ago - but I am becoming more and more glad that it happened.
I generally run in the mornings. I know myself well-enough to realize that once I am up and dressed in my work clothes the last thing that I am going to break away from my day to do is any kind of exercise. Basically I roll out of bed and into my sweats and running shoes and head out the door. Fortunately it is usually still pretty dark outside because I am sure I am rather scary looking. But like I mentioned in my earlier post "If You are Moving - You Win!!", as long as I am moving I have accomplished my main goal.
There are many things I am discovering I like about running. One of the biggest things that has surprised me is how well running handles pretty much any emotion I might be going through on a given morning. And I have run the gambit - anger, heartache, happiness, frustration, confusion, joy and so on. Running takes each emotion - puts it through it's paces and leaves me in a much better place when we are finished.
Anger was big early on for me. I pushed myself pretty hard on days when that was my driving emotion. The thing about anger, though, is that it requires energy. And, interestingly enough - so does running. After a morning of running I discovered that somewhere along the way my anger had petered out and I was in a better frame of mind to take on whatever awaited me that day.
Heartache and sadness are no match for running, either. I have done several morning runs with tears streaming down my cheeks and sobs forcing me to slow to a walk. Yet when I kept going eventually the tears and sobbing would run their course. The wind would dry my face and I could take a deep breath and begin my day with a renewed strength to carry on.
Running has allowed me the time to work through frustration and confusion in my life. It is dedicated time by myself where my mind can work through problems that I could not focus on any other time of day because life in general is too distracting. Often something that is disturbing or perplexing at the beginning of a run will be much more manageable by the end of it.
The best runs, though, have been happy or joyful runs. Those are the days when my attitude is good and I've had enough sleep. On those mornings my running stretches are longer, my walks are quickest, my mood is bright and the whole experience is just amazing. I love those runs. They don't happen every time I go out which makes them all the more precious when they do come.
So, I will keep running - loving the fact that no matter what I am feeling - running can handle it and I will be in better shape in more ways than one when I am done.
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