Did you lace up your sneakers and run?

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Do you know what’s awesome about running in 21 degree weather?

Is it:

  • the cute cold weather running tights?
  • the beanie that I can only wear in cold weather that keeps my ear buds in my ears?
  • the freezing fingers because I refuse to wear gloves knowing that eventually they will drive me crazy?
  • the sweat soaked additional layers that create more laundry?
  • the icy sidewalks?
  • the snow banks standing in my path?
  • the burning in my lungs both during and for hours after?
  • the extra stretching after in order to avoid muscle strains?
  • catching snowflakes on my tongue?

If you guessed all of the above and none of the above you would be absolutely correct! The best part of running in 21 degree weather for only my second run in the past 6 months is simply that I RAN!

I ran…and running, the aches, the pains, the sweat, the cold, the heat…all of it makes the blood course through my veins again and it makes me feel alive. It makes me feel strong and determined. It causes my brain to look for possibilities…it makes me feel ALIVE!

I have felt dead inside for so long now that I had forgotten how invigorating it feels to be alive. I want that feeling back in my life. I need that feeling back in my life.

I quit. I can admit it now. Life kicked me in the balls and I quit.

Yep, my situation sucked. It sucked big time. But I didn’t have to bend over and take the ramming willingly. I could have kept control of those things that were within my control…my emotions, my actions and my mindset. I could’ve kept living.

But I didn’t. I rolled over and played dead. I acted in a self-destructive way and then when I was done breaking myself down, I simply gave up.

It was my choice. Life dealt me a crappy hand. I could’ve chosen to ante up, take my chances. I didn’t. I chose to fold.

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Running doesn’t change the fact that I am still holding a crappy hand, but running allows me to realize that I can choose to play it a different way. There is always a different way to look at the same thing and maybe, just maybe, getting the blood flowing will allow me to get creative with my card playing.

I know this I am tired of letting my circumstance determine my state of mind.

Last year running was a challenge for me. I was at a good point in my life and I was very fit. Running gave me a new avenue to test my fitness. The competitor in me loved the chance to compete with myself – bettering my best. I t took me a long time to admit that I enjoy the actual runs themselves, not simply the competition or the benefit, but I do enjoy the actual act of running.

There are many things I love about running:

  • I love the music. I have always loved music, but I have a different connection with music when I run. I choose my songs carefully, but sometimes I think my iPod knows just what song I need to hear to give me an extra push
  • I love the way running allows me to think when I need to, but also clear my mind and enjoy the moment when that’s whats called for.

Most of all, I love the way running represents life. When you’re out there on the open roads, you always come to crossroads. At those crossroads, you have a choice: turn and take the path the leads you more quickly to the comforts of home or turn away from what’s easy and push yourself to go farther than even you think is possible. Some days, you’re going to head back home, but often you’ll choose to face the difficulties knowing that the end reward will be far greater.

Until recently, I have never been one to take the easy road with great frequency, I have always taken the turn that leads me further from home. Getting out on the road and running again, helps remind me of that part of myself. The part that doesn’t quit when she holds crappy cards, but rather the girl who chooses to go ahead and take a chance.

Running won’t change my circumstances, but the determination developed through running will help me change the way I face them. I control whether or not I choose the easy road back to the comforts of home or the long road that leads me through added challenges which can only be overcome with my own inner strength.

So yeah, there are many things about running in 21 degree weather that suck, just as there are many things in life that suck, but in the end all that really matters in running as in life is this:

Did you lace up your sneakers and run?

 

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