Friday, July 19, 2013

Running: A Love/Hate Relationship

Written Thursday, July 18, 2013
Published Friday, July 19, 2013

Ten miles on the road today.  It wasn’t all that much, and yet, it was a lot.  I didn’t hurt too much, but, yeah, I really did hurt quite a bit.  My mental stamina was fantastic…and, well, not so much.

Today was a study in contrasts for me.  I don’t know how anyone runs 50 miles, let alone 100 miles, though eventually I would like to do both.  It was tough running ten miles for the first time.  It was hard being out there for almost two and a half hours.  In the same breath, though, I truly enjoyed running that far.  I enjoyed spending that time with myself.  I relished in pushing myself further than before.  I still feel the throbbing in my feet, and it feels wonderful.  I feel as though I accomplished something big today…for me.  This was big…for me.  I got to experience the feeling of being one with myself, the serenity, solitude, and quiet of my surroundings, the communion (from a distance) with others of a similar mindset who were out running, walking, or cycling.  I felt the fatigue, both physical and mental, the discomforts that come with pushing one’s body, the desire to chop off my legs from the knees down at one mile out from the finish because of the fatigue in my calves, shins, feet, and even my toes.  I faced the dread of reaching the furthest mile marker from home and wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into.  I also experienced the wonderful, dizzying, head-in-the-clouds sensation of feeling totally insane for enjoying every single one of these things.

I like to hurt.  I like the ups and downs I experience from one moment to the next when I am running.  I like that in one breath I think, “I hate this!” and in the very same breath, I think, “I love this!”  I laughed out loud today, when at mile marker nine, I was having these two thoughts go through, back to back to back to back.  A Cheshire cat grin spread across my face as I thought about the sincerity of both and the insincerity of both.  Because, frankly, sometimes I do hate pushing myself.  But, most of the time now, I love it.  Sometimes I hate feeling tired after a run, while most of the time it is a reminder of the effort I am putting into myself.  And, that, right there, is key for me.  I am enjoying the work I am putting into myself.  I am becoming more confident.  I am becoming more aware.  I am growing and blossoming into someone I had no idea I could be.  I am finding myself, learning more about who I am and what makes me tick.  I am becoming healthier.  Healthier in body, healthier in mind, healthier in spirit.  And I’m okay with the love/hate dichotomy I sometimes experience while pushing myself.  I find it revelatory.  I find it refreshing.  I find it cathartic, in a way.  I find that it is something that is just part of my experience.  I find that it helps in the strengthening process of my mind.  And, it provides me with lots to write about!

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