Running is cheaper than therapy… If you can get out there.

The only reason I am able to sit here and write this post is because I leave work at 4pm on Fridays to prepare for my overnight shift on Saturday mornings. I should be running right now. I didn’t run this morning like I had planned, and my best friend canceled on me because of family obligations so I should have come home and threw on my gear, then went for a run.

Instead, I am sitting at my dining room table that is scattered with papers and letters and bills and calendars taping away at the old laptop because damn, what a week this was. And unfortunately I don’t mean that in a good way. It was a week filled with death and violence and arguments and was just awful. I had been trying to sit down and write something all week long, but the words felt hollow and insincere compared to how I felt so I just put it off for a day. And then another day. And another.

And now, here we are; Friday evening sitting at home alone because Dreamboat needs a haircut before Michelle goes out of town and Spotify is keeping me company with the “Inspiration for Words” playlist I created and still I feel like I should have run.

That 100 miles in July thing? I don’t think that’s going to happen. 

This week was awful for Jacksonville, as well as the world. We had an accident on the Buckman Bridge that left a truck in the St. Johns River and a man dead. We had two teenagers torture and kill a Gopher Tortoise, which by the way is a threatened species. We had a plane crash in the Ukraine that turned out to be a plane that was shot down and then it crashed. As I sit here, I can’t tell you what I did on Tuesday, or remember what those miles I did get in this week were like. I feel overwhelmed by information that is constantly going and going and going 90 miles per hour and it just won’t stop and why didn’t you get that up faster and why didn’t you live tweet the president at the same time be at the meeting that started at 9:15am?

Everyone is so damn demanding, and all I want to do is my job.

And then fighting with Dreamboat didn’t help anything, and I know realistically it was all my fault because he made a comment that pissed me off and instead of actually talking to him like a human being, I snapped at him and ripped into him about it, and it lasted two days and I hated it. And it’s not like he isn’t under a lot of stress with the major audit he has coming up next week.

Because really, fighting when you are both stressed out is TOTALLY the answer.

I was complaining to a friend of mine about how I feel like a failure when it comes to my fitness. It’s so hard for me to get out there, and she kept telling me that she didn’t know how I could handle running on top of everything else I had going on with work. It’s my therapy I told her. It’s always therapeutic to run. She shook her head, saying that if she had to deal with what I have to deal with she’d have given up on running and start drinking. Sometimes I wonder if she’s right.

I ran 7 miles this week. Maybe a little over that. Two early morning runs made, and two evening runs canceled because of Mother Nature’s evening showers that turned into torrential downpours. I tell people that if you want it bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen. And I do want it, but maybe I don’t want it bad enough yet. Maybe that’s why I find it so easy to skip out on a morning run, assuming I can do it after work but knowing damn well that’s not going to happen because of rain or having to work late or just not feeling up to it.

Or maybe I’m just burnt out on everything else that I’m finding it hard to find the joy in running like I used to.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love running. For that 45 minutes or hour and a half depending on how far I am going to go, I feel free. I have music in my ears, humid air in my lungs, pavement under my feet and sun on my skin. I’m not thinking about work and the unrealistic demands being put on me, or Dreamboat and the tiff we just had, or the POS car I own that just made me spend my race money on a new battery. I just focus on the miles I am running, how my breathing is feeling, how my head feels… I focus on the task at hand.

Then, when I return to the tasks at hand, I feel clearer and more prepared to try and handle the things that life throws at me. I feel calmer, more in control of my emotions, and most importantly – I feel accomplished. Like it won’t matter if I fail at something at work, or get into another disagreement with Dreamboat, or the car decides it wants to have no AC in the middle of summer. I got miles in. I got this.

So the answer for everything that is holding me back is to run more, then. To get my lazy ass out of bed at 5:3oam, but on my gear,  and get out the door and pound some pavement. Feel the cool air against my overheated skin, listen to how I am breathing in the high humidity, look at the fog and the mist playing in the trees, dodge oncoming traffic and feel accomplished because despite everything I got a run in.

My news director can think that I’m not doing the best at my job, but it’s okay because I got a run in. Dreamboat and I could argue over the stupidest thing (and trust me, most of our fights are dumb) and it will be okay, because I got a run in. The car, my family, drama, all of it is more tolerable, handled easier after I get a run in.

Therapy, and the only cost is running shoes, some running clothes, and a pair of headphones. That plus the anti-depressants and I should be normal Jamie again soon, right?

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