Thursday, December 6

Layers of Difficulty

I'm finally officially calling myself a runner. And when I do that, people often say, "Oh, running is hard." Or something like that. It's usually followed by a story from when they were a kid, which just so happens to be the penultimate example of why a person shouldn't run. Sometimes there's a story of a record something-er-other or injured whatchamacallit and at the end I don't know if I'm supposed to feel like I bonded with the person or like I have learned my lesson.

Yeah, running can be hard.

But you know what else is hard?

NOT running.

At least it is when you're used to it, expecting it, wanting it, or needing it.

I've been trying to rest my knee ever since learning my official diagnosis, and it's really difficult to do! I walked my race on Saturday. I've been pushing myself to do the physical therapy exercises my doctor gave me. Lunch breaks on days without precipitation are spent walking around Pittsburgh's South Side (seeing the sights, doing some holiday shopping).

I'm trying to stay moving. I'm trying to stay motivated. I've had a tough time dragging myself out of bed in the morning. I'm guessing it's because the days are so short and my house is so cold that my body's impulse is to hibernate right where I lay. Yeah, I know you all have been there. It's a common human thing, I've learned.

Sometimes running is my stress relief after a long day. Other times it's what I do to make myself feel better about myself or life in general. It can be an escape (yes, even on a treadmill). Running's catharsis lies in every step, step, step, after step of hope that I'm getting better at something... improving my form, my breathing (with my asthma, a constant struggle), working on hills, or changing my gait. Or just running. I can just be getting better at running when I run. That's okay too. Superficial or deep, whatever I need, that's what running is in my life. I can fit it to that gap to fill that need, albeit temporarily.

But not running has made it tough to find a way to stay on top of my mood if I'm wishing I could just go pound pavement--where does that energy go? What am I choosing to do with it instead? It's really a challenge to pay attention to because these habits of *not* running aren't all that unfamiliar. I only started a year ago. It wouldn't be that difficult to slip back into non-runner status. But I'm trying to keep going, reminding myself that I want to come back. Staying mindful of what I'm feeling when I want to run and why I feel the urge to run is proving to be a very interesting experience. If you've never dissected it, I encourage you to do so. You will probably learn something about your own motivation.

My knee still hurts. I hope that I will be able to run next Saturday. (I'll even take a run, walk, run, walk pattern!) It's a 5k road race I've been looking forward to in Columbus and I've got two running pals coming with me. It'll be fun no matter what, but I'd really like to be able to enjoy the sporting part of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk to me! Leave a comment and let's chat.