Running Has My Back

Life is not always rainbows and butterflies. The truth of the matter is that sometimes it can throw you into some pretty gut-wrentching situations. Last night I went toppling in, unexpectedly, into one of the most emotionally heartbreaking nights of my life. I cried, I sobbed, I wept. But the thing about life is that it keeps charging forward. Life and everything within it, will move forward whether you are onboard or not.

This morning I woke up with the realization that a new day was starting. I had a choice: I could stay in bed for the duration of the morning and much of the afternoon, in the state of emotional numbness that I woke up in, even though I was not in the least bit tired or I could get up, get a coffee, and start my day. I found the hardest choice was the choice to leave my warm bed that was acting a shelter around me.

As I meandered my way downstairs, grabbed my cup of coffee, and sat down, I didn’t know what to do; my plan had only taken me this far. I thought now what? What will make me happy or at least escape the pain I was feeling?

And then I was off. My Garmin on, my fuel belt stocked, and my running shoes tied tight. I left a note on the counter to let my family know why I wasn’t in the house so early in the morning simply putting: Gone for a run. Might be 5k or 30k. I don’t know.
And that was the honest truth. I was prepared for it all but I was going to let my body dictate.

I started off slow trying to get lost in my music. I purposely took a busy city route to keep my mind occupied. But by kilometre 5 my eyes were fighting back tears. By kilometre 10, I thought it best to start making my way back. At kilometre 12, I stopped to take a fuel break and I broke down. I sat on a park bench, overlooking the lake, paused my Garmin, and let myself completely surrender to the feelings I was desperately trying to fight back.

I don’t know how long I sat there for crying into the wind that was nipping at my sweat soaked clothes. When I felt my eyes could cry no more I got back on my feet. I restarted my Garmin and took off – and this time I literally mean took off. I was flying. All the emotional build-up that I was desperately trying to get rid of came charging out of me through my feet. I saw the average pace drop on my Garmin as I made my way back home. It was only 3 more kilometres taking the most direct route home but in that distance my average time dropped by over 20 seconds. Everything I was holding back was given on that last run home.

I ended up running 15 km today and they were a journey. They helped me get going, they let me let go, and they got me to push on. I don’t wish tough times on anyone, but if you have tough times, I wish you running. I hope you can find the freedom I find through running and I hope it can help you heal.

As for now, I’m going to try to run on with my life.


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