Yesterday afternoon, as the holiday stand down was coming to an end, and the new week loomed, we needed to do some chores. I was short tempered with the kids and snapping at everything because I felt we had not accomplished as much as I hoped and the kids were not moving fast enough. Anna looked at me and suggested I take Mack for a short run. I snapped back that there was no time for running, we had things to do! So I grabbed my coat and went out to the barnyard to get things done.
In the evening, I realized, it had been a week since I had worked out. It wasn’t that I didn’t have time, it was that I didn’t make time. This morning, after getting up at 5:30 as I scrolled through FB, I noted a friend who posted about a workout and I scoffed, thinking, that doesn’t even really qualify as a workout. But then I realized, I had done nothing. Who was I to judge another for what challenged them, when I was doing nothing. So after working on some chores around the farm, I grabbed my gym bag and tossed in my running shoes, some shorts, and a top appropriate for the 50F weather that had surprised me during chores. Off to work I went.
When lunch came, I was hesitant to go to the gym. Maybe I should skip the workout and work on a project over lunch? No. I left the office and headed to the gym. Before I arrived, a massive rain storm started. I was planning to run outside (I hate running on a treadmill). Oh well, no workout today. But then, it stopped. Ok, no more excuses – I picked up my bag and headed in. Once at my locker, I realized, I forgot to grab socks this morning. Oops. Guess I will have to just hit the pool instead. No. My shoes were designed to run without socks, and I had run without socks almost as much as with socks. So, I changed into my running clothes and went outside.
It was clear from the humidity and clouds in the sky, the odds were not in my favor of making it through the run without getting overtaken by another rain squall. I started out at a steady pace. About a quarter of a mile into the run, I encountered a puddle on the gravel path. As I started to weave around the puddle, I discovered the grass was a mushy, muddy mess. So, I went through the puddle in my sockless, minimalist trail shoe. And I resolved, that no matter what I encountered on my path, I would go through it, not around it. I was hit with spray from the water as waves pounded into the rocky shoreline. But I ran on. It started to rain. But I ran on, through every puddle I came to. In fact, I went straight into a puddle that was slush mixed with ice, water, and snow over my ankles (my feet were not really cold until that one). And I ran on, hoping to regain the feeling in my feet lost from the ice bath. Then it was over.
This wasn’t a huge run. It was 3 miles that took a little under 30 minutes. But this run was significant. On this run, I got back what I had been missing since my concussion, nearly a year before. I have had very few headaches over the past 2 weeks. And today, I found the mental release I was missing that lets me ponder everything, and nothing. The clarity to analyze my life and recognize what I’m doing wrong. And when it was over, I had the feeling that I’ve missed. I can’t describe it, but if you run, you probably know what I mean. Somewhere between accomplishment, calmness, zen, and the urge to run some more.
Tomorrow it will be in the teens, so maybe I’ll just ride my bike on the indoor trainer. But maybe I’ll take some running clothes to work, just in case I stop making excuses. Just a short run makes a big difference.