Hello everyone!!! It has been a while since my last post! The world has been crazy for the last few months. It has been difficult to justify writing about running, with all that has been going on. But I decided I just have to get this blog going again. For my own sanity. The writing is an outlet for me that nourishes my soul. The longer I wait after such a long break, the harder it gets. I have to get this post out and free myself to write.
So here it goes! Enjoy and see you back here more often (I hope!)
Although my miles have been consistent, I have not started increasing my distances past my typical 5-6 mile long-run range. This is definitely behind schedule for my, now virtual, half marathon scheduled in October. I need to start picking up the mileage, and fast. For my planning, I need to get in an 8 and 10 miler before the big day on October 5th. Definitely doable. I just need to get it done. It will take focus and discipline and I will need to push through some discomfort – but I will do it. Procrastination is my own worst enemy.
So what have I been doing, if not running? And without the running, I haven’t been writing. Is this a runner’s slump? A writer’s block? What’s going on? The keys feel unwieldy under my fingertips. The tapping and click clacking seem empty and arbitrary. How can I write about running when everything else going on in the world seems so…so…incredibly heavy?
Whether it is the pandemic, the political arena, Black Lives Matter movement, or a barrage of other socio-economic issues – everything is emotional, triggered, sensitive, debated, contested, argued, and rallied for or against.
I have strong opinions and try my best to openly listen and understand others’ perspectives, yet everything feels polarized. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground.
It is exhausting. It is overwhelming. It is, at times, paralyzing.
Despite the broader global issues, we all still have individual lives to live. Regardless of what is happening outside the walls of my house, inside, the daily minutia continues. I still have four kids to manage, three of whom are scattered about the downstairs with various schooling stations complete with laptops, printers, cell phones, headphones, charging stations that rival the circuitry at NASA space center, stacks of 3-ring binders, post-it notes, about 10,000 pens, empty water bottles, snack containers, crumpled papers, and dirty socks layered in piles next to their workstations. One of our 10-lb Shih-Tzus is recovering from her second back surgery of the summer and is now curiously shaped like a crescent moon. My husband is still working from home with no plans to return to the office, and my house is a revolving door for service people coming to deliver or fix things. It is endless.
With the complexity of our individual lives colliding with the uncertainty of the global environment, how do we claim our own individuality? How do we keep it all straight? Where do we find our own center?
That’s where I have to have the self-awareness and self-discipline, to return to my running. Something happens to my energy when I put on my visor and headphones, tie my shoes and head out the door. When my shoes are crunching along the trail, all the chaos slips away.
It is just me, my breath, my music, the burn in my legs, the dirt under my feet, and the will inside my soul.
When I am running, I can let go of all the negativity of the outside world. I can release the “to do’s” piling up inside the house. I can be alone with myself. I can pray, I can think, I can not think. Those minutes on the trail are the most empowering of my day, because they are mine. Some days I push hard, repeating a steep hill over and over again until my lungs are on fire and my limbs are jelly. Some days I strap on my weighted vest and try to increase my heart rate on a routine path. Some days, I add distance because I don’t want the run to end. The opportunities are diverse. With so much that is out of my control, it feels so good to have something within my power to create. Like the words on this page. These are mine.
Even when we pour our lives into the people and causes around us, we all need outlets. In finding the balance of our physical, emotional, and creative outlets, we will have the energy to dive deeply into the world around us.
I’ve decided, there is no shame in running, writing, or writing about running. No matter what is going on in the world. I’m going to write about my next half marathon. I’m going to write about my weight loss (yes! It’s been amazing). I’m going to write about the days I want to stay on the couch, but somehow put one foot in front of the other and make it happen.
We can all relate to these human experiences. Struggles, goals, triumphs.
I feel much better. I’m back. And to share how I feel with you in music, I invite you to listen to “Glorious” by Macklemore.
“Glorious” – Macklemore
You know I’m back, like I never left
Another sprint, another step
Another day, another breath
Been chasing dreams, but I never slept
I feel glorious, glorious
Got a chance to start again
I was born for this, born for this,
It’s who I am, how could I forget?
I made it through the darkest part of the night
And now I see the sunrise
Now I feel glorious, glorious
I feel glorious, glorious