If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then emotions are a runner’s.
It has been a stressful couple of weeks. The uncertainty that plagues most twenty-somethings I know (appropriately titled the “quarter life crisis”) has pulsed through my body and nestled into my spirit as of late. The stress eventually morphed into frustration, with roots stemming from work woes and friendship foibles. And then, finally, the frustration became anger, as frustration is wont to do when left ignored in the corner like an insolent child.
But emotions can be a vital ingredient for motivation when it comes to running. My lackluster spirit lifted yesterday, despite my noticeable irritability; my low energy (“juice” as some elites call it) sank into my heart and resurfaced as power. The moment I put on my shoes and stepped outside, I felt like Running. Not just going for a run, nor jauntily jogging. I wanted to R.U.N.
I set out at what felt like a normal pace, playlist firmly entrenched in my ears (see the “Playlist” page for what I listened to), only to find myself barely hearing the music. Instead, I ran to the beat of my thoughts. Flashes of recent situations and of feelings passed through me. I eventually even went into a state of running hypnosis, inwhich, at the tail end of my run, I was left trying to remember if I had taken the route I thought I had. I could not remember seeing the elementary school I always pass, the curve in the road, the burned out house, the freeway overcrossing. They were all missing from the memory of my run.
And I felt good. Great, even. I was actually concerned that perhaps I had not run the path I thought I had, because it felt like no time had lapsed since the start of my run. What if I’ve only been out for twenty minutes? I asked myself. Once back inside my apartment, I checked the time — forty minutes and change. Very typical for that particular run.
The same sort of feeling happened today. Only instead of anger, I was brimming with joy. I had checked my mailbox and received two warmly hand written letters, that glowed with such love and sincerity, I could not help but be lifted. Again, I donned my shoes and stepped outside. But instead of pounding the pavement in anger, I floated above it, my feet barely a patter upon the ground.
Giving your mind something to gnaw on while running tends to make the miles pass with relative ease, keeps your breathing in sync, and lets you process your life in a way that is hard to find outside of meditation. Sure, all that thought may not be good if say, you are trying to focus on shaving a few seconds off your pace or you want to be paying attention to the podcast you’re listening to. Sometimes a good mind cleanse is just what the doctor ordered, though.