An Expanded Distance

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.

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