Never underestimate the power of running. As a runner, I am constantly asked, "How can you do that?" How can you go out day after day and pound the pavement? I often want to ask, "How can you not?"
As fellow runners, I think most of the readers of this blog don't need a lecture on the physical or mental benefits of running. But it never hurts to be reassured. I have been dealing with a lot of crazy at work. Yesterday afternoon, I had an hour long meeting with a client that brought me down. Way down. I left the office for the track feeling exhausted and questioning whether I ever do anybody any good.
Ten minutes later, I started my track repeats. I decided to do 400, 800, 1200, 800, 400 to mix it up a little. As soon as I started the fast repeats, my self-doubt started to disappear. Because there's no room to feel exhausted or worthless when you are using every ounce of your being to fling yourself around the track as fast as possible. And when you're focusing all of your concentration on getting to that finish line (or in this case, the spot where my G2 was waiting) without puking, it's hard to feel bad about yourself.
I left the track, having accomplished exactly what I set out to do. I was proud of completing a tough workout. I was sweaty and tired, but nowhere near as exhausted as I was when I left the office. And even though my difficult clients were still waiting with all of their drama and problems, running reminded me to put everything in perspective. I don't create people's problems - I just try to fix the messes they get themselves into. Doing this job isn't what defines me and if I have a bad day, it doesn't mean that I am a failure or a worthless person. But being a runner (and being a mom and a wife) DO define me. Succeeding in those things is where my sense of self worth comes from. And if that doesn't keep me going to the track, I don't know what will.
After I got home from the track, my hubby, Sophie and I headed out to golf nine holes. My general Pollyanna sense of happiness just kept going and going - we had a perfect night of golf, with perfect whether, and a perfectly behaved near-two-year old (is that an oxymoron?). I went to bed last night feeling like it had been the perfect summer day.