When you struggle with sadness, certain activities can make you feel better simply because you’re moving.
For me, running is that activity.
Last night, I set a #PR for distance at a pretty fantastic pace.
I came home and promptly collapsed on the bed, but a distance record for me nonetheless.
It gave me a sense of purpose and achievement at a time when I currently don’t feel like I have much of either in other parts of my life.
So, I crave fulfillment and challenge. It comes when I feel like maybe my body will give in to the pain and exhaustion. It comes when I get that last push of adrenaline. It happens even before I put on my running shoes when I set a new goal for myself.
Last night, I ran across the Eagle Creek Bridge. At first, I was nervous about running with the flow of traffic in the bicycle lane. As the sun set ahead of me, I could see sailboats dotting the reservoir, taking advantage of the fall preview-like weather. I saw a father and son fishing from the one side of the bridge. Cranes and herrons stood along the bank to my right.
At the end of the bridge, I turned around and ran against traffic. Perhaps that is bad runner’s etiquette, but I was leery about crossing West 56th Street in fast traffic. As I ran toward the oncoming cars, my fear subsided. I had already crossed the four-mile mark and was going to make my distance goal.
Sure, I am sore today. A few aches and pains are worth better mental well-being.