One of the many things that I have discovered in my long runs is the sheer amount of thoughts that go through me. Along with the idea of quitting at every single step, as I venture out to longer distances like ten miles plus, I get into an automatic mode in which my legs keep moving, yet my body’s desire to stop grows but is unable to keep me from my momentum. I also can no longer run away from my feelings. So many emotions come up while I am alone on the pavement in the early morning light. Round and round I go, and my thoughts follow me. I feel the hard pavement on my feet, and also a slight twinge of pain in left knees, but I keep moving and so does my brain.
More and more, I see that I get to wake up earlier to get the long run in otherwise once that window of time goes, I am unable to get a run with the sun blazing. So, in the morning darkness, I believe my 2 hour plus running journey. At first, I couldn’t fathom doing that distance especially without music, but lately, as I mark miles I see a willingness to be with my head. To be inside myself and explore what is really going on.
What I find isn’t pretty: deep depths of grief, sadness, anger, unresolved conflicts, and a growing anxiety that I am not making enough, not doing enough, that I am wasting my time in many areas of my life, that I am slow, I am old, I am weak, I am in hiding. I keep the thoughts going, feel the emotion, and then I keep moving. Not away from them, but really allowing myself to feel it all. Too often, in the past, I have denied and avoided my feelings, but now I honor myself by letting it come out, knowing that most of these things are expressions but they are not the reality.
That just because I am hurt or doubt myself doesn’t mean I give up on the relationship of the task. It just means it an opportunity to learn, to grow. I didn’t say it doesn’t suck, but my pain heals me, allows me to hurt so I can grow, and perhaps, maybe one day, the loneliness will fade.