Did I tell you that I've started running again?
This time, I believe it will stick.
No, I'm not being chased. No, I'm not doing the chasing. I'm simply strapping on my shiny, cushy, colorful running shoes, plugging in my ear phones and pounding the pavement. So far (and I never believed this was possible), I have genuinely LOVED it.
Reasons to love running at this stage of my life:
I get to be alone.
I get to listen to music. MY OWN music. Not the Frozen soundtrack, for goodness gracious' sake.
I get to go at my own pace. No slowing down for anybody. No racing to catch up.
I take big, deep breaths of oxygen.
Did I mention I get to be alone?
I get to push myself farther than I think possible.
It burns calories and makes me stronger.
It's my own thing and whatever consequences that come from my decisions in those moments are my consequences. * Let me stop right there and unpack that thought. Do you know what I mean by this? Mamas, are you with me? All day long, all the decisions that I make are made with 3 other people in mind. What I do is unequivocally and irrevocably intertwined with the lives of the 3 other people I live with, nay... am responsible for... Yes, you're right. If I were to step out in front of a truck while I'm running, their lives would be affected but what I mean is that I choose which path I run, simply because I want to go that way. I decide if I slow down or speed up. I think about what I want to think about. Even my thoughts can be my own while I run. Mamas of littles, you know that throughout the day, your thoughts are seldom your own. People who work in offices with other people, you know your thoughts are seldom your own. Getting out on the open trail gives me space for my thoughts.
(Big sigh.) Yes. That. Space for my thoughts.
Last night, however, I was miserable.
Last night, as I ran, these were my thoughts:
It's too hot to run.
Running is stupid.
My socks are too thin.
My socks are too thin.
My shorts are too short.
I'm inhaling bugs.
I can't breathe.
Why am I so slow?
I have bugs in my teeth.
I hate running.
I'm never running again.
Running is the DUMBEST.
And yet, I finished. I didn't quit or slow down. In fact, I chalked up my fastest pace yet. Even carrying the weight of such negative, ugly thoughts, when it was over, my friends, it was over. I was home. I was stretching. I was getting some ice water. I was in the shower. I was snuggling on the couch with Trev.
So, see? I learned something about running.
Even when you hate every moment and you're absolutely miserable, if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will eventually be finished. The miles will be completed. The calories will be burned.
Let's keep putting one foot in front of the other. There are good things ahead. The hard part won't last forever. There is ice water and a shower waiting for you at the end.