Thursday, June 18, 2015

What a Good Run Can Do

I don't know about you...

but I'm notorious for having internal dialogues with myself all day long.

They look like this...

Don't forget to add spinach and ziplock bags and that thing that Kate needs for so and so's birthday party to the grocery list.

It's okay that the paint job is going to be costly.  It needs to be done and it's worth it.  It's just money. Stop agonizing over this shit.

Drive to the post office and overnight the Father's Day card, you cannot be late another year.

Call the god damned eye doctor immediately and schedule the back to school appointments. Sam probably needs a new prescription and most likely can't see his hand in front of him.

Sign up for the race.  You only have one on the docket for next year and you need to get back in the game.

And it goes on and on...not only the to-do's, but also the what if's like...what if I have breast cancer because I need to schedule a mamogram or what if the car breaks down or should I go back to work full-time or why can't I lose more weight or what if my friend is angry?

It's really ridiculous the amount of head space that I take up.

And so, when I couldn't take it anymore...I went for a run this morning....a really long, really hard, really humid, really sweaty, really "shut the fuck up" brain run.  I played my music ridiculously loud and fancied myself Rocky as I ran up hills and rounded bends and traversed different streets and paths than I'm accustomed to.  And it felt so, so good...even the salt sweat that crept into my eyes.  It felt alive and free and me.

This stuff that we hang onto is just that...stuff.  Almost all of it is out of our control.  The vast majority of it doesn't matter.  And at the end of the day, holding onto it makes us irritable, fatigued, no good for the people we love and unable to thrive.

We need to run or get on our bikes or go for walks or swim or skate board or talk to friends or dance or sing or skip or scream or write or have sex or jump or build a fort or mow the lawn or build a bird house or weed the garden or plant or bake or get a massage or laugh or cry because that is where life happens.

And there is a difference between surviving and not being alive.

For me, joy is in running, even when I tell myself that I can't or I don't have time or I'm not very fast or I'm not as fit as I used to be.

As I reflect on one of my favorite writers, Rainer Maria Rilke, I'm reminded that a good run keeps me in the present, engages my breath and my being in the moment and gives forth life, not fear.

"Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final."

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