My IT bands on both legs are throbbing. My hips are sore. My mood has been a bit foul. And, I'm losing my mind going stir crazy with frigid temperatures and an involuntary need to take some time off.
And while doing so, I've been revamping my playlist, stretching, downing ibuprofen, and meditating on this song entitled, "Home," by Phillip Phillips.
It's the opening tune on my playlist and over the past couple of days, I've become more and more aware of the lyrics.
Settle down....it'll all be clear.
Pay no mind to the demons that fill you with fear.
Trouble...it might drag you down.
You get lost...you can always be found.
Just know you're not alone....cause I'm gonna make this place your home.
There's no question that at some point, when the survival turns into thriving and the routine becomes a bit more auto piloted, we all yearn for meaning. We want to know that what we do matters and that there is purpose, clarity, focus, and ultimately, a vision for our lives.
And this is what I've been struggling with.
Running is a fantastic mechanism for dispelling stress, friction, chaos, exhaustion. It provides rejuvenation, power, mental relief. But mile after mile after mile can have you wondering, what are you running away from and if not, what are you running toward?
It's more than the next race. It's larger than a personal record. It's more complex than doing it for a charity or for the good of the cause. It's finding "home" in the midst of the noise and seeing the purpose in the places where it all feels same old, same old.
So, last Saturday morning, I set out with the intention to run 9 miles. At the sixth, I heard a pop and then felt waves of pain up the right side of my leg. And, I had to slow down. Crazily, simultaneously, a friend drove by and offered me a lift home. I thanked her and said, "Naw, I'll walk it off."
Pissed that I'd never cut a long run short, I spent the beginning of the walk fuming, even trying to hobble back to a run. And then, I pulled out my ear buds and looked at the trees, took in the people I walked past and thought, "It's time...it's time to run toward that which is waiting...the gift is now to figure out what it is."