Day #108: Running is Teaching Me to Be a Better Me

We ran 10 miles today… and I didn’t even feel like I was going to die…

It was the first time I could picture me making it to the finish line at the half-marathon with my mom and little-love waiting there to cheer me on, I felt the pride of accomplishment, the joy of relief, and could see the big, cheesy grin on my face. It felt good to visualize it, to anticipate it. It made the training, the money spent, the hours invested–worth it.

We are half way through the training and it feels good to look at myself and see strength. Running is very therapeutic for me in that it forces me to come face to face with myself on almost a daily basis. I spend a lot time in my head while I run and I have been amazed at the amount of self-doubt and irrational thinking I have found there. Every single run I have to clean house so to speak. The whining, the “I cants”, and worse, the “I don’t wanna.” The critics and the doubters like to reside up there too. Not to mention, the physical pains and difficulty breathing.

At some point in every run, no matter if three miles or ten, I want to sit down kick my feet and pound the ground with my fists, I want to cry or yell or throw something, or I just want to lay down and simply refuse to get up ever again. No lie. Every. Single. Run.

What I found in my running is I am not always a very likeable person… or particularly brave or enduring… but I find myself in those runs. I see me. It is teaching me to be mindful of my thoughts, my breathing, my bodily form. Running is teaching me to be a better me.

That’s a good enough reason for me.

Christmas Week (Days #32-39)

Forgive my silence … it has been a very busy week of Christmas festivities. We are now 5 Christmas celebrations, 10 hours of road time, and 3 exhausted people done with it all.

All the presents under the tree are gone. All the toys rifled through. Ella, our elf, has hightailed it back to the North Pole. And the tree, whereas it used to gleam with anticipation, now seems to be glaring at me from the corner of the room. And now comes the true test of will as everything must be put away and organized for all the new to come.

The after-Christmas let down is always hard for me. Because once the warmth of holidays is over, it seems that all that is left is the cold of winter. It’s so bare and drab and yuck …

We did go for a walk on Christmas Day at my dad’s house. It sits on a very tranquil piece of land. Small pond, thick woods, and horses. The sun was out for the first time in several weeks. I felt as if it were melting the ice from my veins. The wind was crisp and made me feel so alive. It was the perfect moment to clear your head of the busy cobwebs that always seem to take up residence during long winter months. We walked the loop of the property and lingered with the horses.Man in a black hat sunglasses touching the nose of a red horse with a white fence and white barn in the background.

They were beautiful and affectionate and so “grounding” for me. In the insanity of gifts, activities, family, and food, it was the quiet moment I needed with the universe. To remember I was just a part of a sum, to feel connected to the energy all around, to embrace love for love’s sake.

It was my moment in the sun.

And now, as the winter blues threaten to overshadow my days and disrupt my nights, I hold that moment sacred–as a shield to sullen thoughts and plastic feelings. And I remind myself that every season teaches, and then it passes, and it’s my own thinking on it all that causes me to swim or drown. I am learning to choose to embrace this ebb and flow of life.

I am hoping to swim…

A woman kissing a horse on the nose on a sunny winter day, with a white fence trailing off into the distance.