I have been in a serious slump over the past two months. Running felt painful, exhausting, miserable. Because of that, I was unable to find the desire to lace up my shoes and hit the streets or trails. But, also during that time, something else happened. I’ve been helping coach my girls’ softball team and have been out at the fields throwing with the girls, running around with them, helping them to learn the game. That physical activity may be exactly what I needed: a change.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Progress. Change. And, there you have it. By changing my activity I have been able to revive my desire to run. Something in my mind has also changed because what felt painful and miserable now feels like challenge and satisfaction.
I’m envisioning long runs again. I’m dreaming about racing. I’m thinking about my next run. I’m beginning to schedule around my runs, not the other way around.
Life is good.
Last week I hit South Mountain four times. I said I needed more trail time and I meant it.
The trail is approximately a four mile loop and I tried to run it better and faster on each visit. Except for the last time. By then I was tired, beat up. I needed to go slowly and enjoy myself. I needed to sit on a rock every so often and stop to soak it all in. I feel so fortunate to have this little piece of paradise only minutes from my house. When I’m feeling a bit stronger I hope to be able to run there and back from home.
I returned Thursday afternoon for the first time this week. I really thought it was going to be a good run but instead, I felt tired and was forced to take it slowly.
I didn’t mind.
A million thoughts rushed through my head and I wished I had a voice recorder to capture my mental meanderings. In my head I eloquently rattled off analogies about life and nature, I fashioned an entire story while out there on the trail. And I left it there.
What I took away with me is the fact that I have really missed that hour or two of alone time, away from everything else, just me and my thoughts. It doesn’t matter if I do something grand with my thoughts and ideas, or let them dissolve into the time that has passed. What does matter, though, is that I finish up feeling calm and at peace.
The way it should be.