Sunday, July 7, 2013

Running Therapy

Mostly, I'm a happy go lucky kind of girl. Sure I have my problems but who doesn't. I usually try to find the humor in bad situations and make the most of them. Complaining all the time solves nothing, only drags others down with you and really that's just no fun. I will never forget, a friend posted on Facebook that she was complaining to her dad about normal stuff and his response was something along the lines of, "there are women in villages in Africa who are being beaten and raped every day and it will never get better for them." So much for complaining about the poor service you got at lunch... wow! Now every time I get depressed about something I think about what my friend's dad said and then feel like a schmuck for complaining. Really, none of my problems are that bad. So, I try to always look on the bright side. Sometimes, even when you are looking on the bright side, you still hurt.

This last week was a very difficult week for me and finding the humor was especially difficult. My oldest daughter decided on Wednesday that she was going to move to California... on Friday. She has been wanting to move there since she graduated high school two years ago. She researched different areas, jobs, schools, but never went. Something always kept her from leaving. Last week, she decided it was time. She left Friday morning.

Ready to start a new adventure and the
next chapter in her life!

To say I've been a mess is really putting it lightly. The hardest thing was having no time to adjust to the idea of her leaving. The decision was made, a plan was formed, and she was gone. It was so quick. I spent all day Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday going back and forth between feeling sad and feeling worried. I cried a lot. And then I would think about people with very serious problems that I do not have and I would tell myself to knock it off and get a grip and be thankful for the good things in my life. This cycle went on and on, like my last run-on sentence... I'd be sad, then I'd try to suck it up and be thankful, then I'd be sad again.
See, C R A Z Y.

Saturday morning I met some friends for a much needed run. When I showed up, one of my friends said, "We all want to know so are you going to tell us now or are we going to talk while we run?" I of course knew this would happen. I knew they were all going to want to know what was going on because they are my friends. Plus, running just has a way of getting people to discuss their entire lives. Want to get to know someone better? Go on a run with them.

I couldn't talk about it yet though. My eyes immediately filled with tears and I think I squeaked out, "Let's just run." Of course, my friend felt bad for me crying. She did nothing wrong though. I had a big ball of crazy inside my head and just could not seem to work through it. So, being the awesome friend that she is, she immediately changed the subject and started running with me.

Running really truly is therapy. My friends are my shrinks. I really have a wonderful group of incredible women who let me run with them. They all got to listen to me unload all of my junk about a half a mile into the run. All of a sudden I was telling them about my daughter and I wasn't sobbing. I wasn't even tearing up. Running gave me the calm that I needed to talk it out with my friends. Then, I just needed to run. Normally, I will stay with my friends and talk through an entire run with them. This day was different though. I knew I needed to just run. So when they would slow a bit or take a walk break I just kept running. All of my frustration, sadness, and all out crazy that was weighing so heavy on me was now getting lighter and lighter. I really felt like I was running away from it and it was actually staying behind.

When the run was over, I felt completely different. I could laugh and smile without having to fake it. I felt like myself again. Am I still sad that my daughter is so far away? Of course. But, I no longer feel that horrible overwhelming sadness. All of the jumbled mess that was inside my head is now gone. I can feel excited for her. I'm so very proud that she is courageous and strong enough to go and make her dreams happen. She is spreading her wings, it's as it should be.

I still feel sad at times and I still worry. It's no longer at 'crazy-lady-crying-at-EVERY-song-while-driving' level (Do you have any idea how many songs talk about going to California???) but a much more normal level now. I'm handling it.

So, the moral of this story... We all have different problems. Some horrible, some not so bad, some in between. Runners have an amazing outlet for all of levels of crazy that life tosses our way. We are lucky and I'm so thankful for that.

Peace, Love, Happiness!

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