Guys, I know that running is awful, but I super recommend training for a half-marathon. I’m pretty depressed and anxious right now, and my brain is very nearly drowning in worries about money, food, my job, whether or not we’re moving to Pittsburgh, whether or not anyone can tell that my pants are falling off of my ass BECAUSE I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO SHOP FOR A BELT.
But! I have a goal. I like to have a thing over which to obsess. When I have A Thing that I can really go all in about is when I feel like I’m at my most pure self. Once I love A Thing, I set out to learn all there is to know. It’s always been how I’ve liked stuff. So, when I’m awake, I’m thinking about runDisney. I’m poring over the website, I’m following them on Instagram, I’m watching runalong videos of past races on YouTube (THESE ARE MY FAVORITE), I’m reading every article I can find to figure out what I’m supposed to eat the morning of the race… I go to sleep every night with Disney fireworks in my head.
Right, and I’m also running a lot. Tangible preparation is good.
I’m learning that, for me, having a goal is having a shield for beating back depression. When I’m really depressed, I often picture my brain as a dark, gloomy basement full of old boxes. The boxes are all full of sad and scary memories, but I have to face them if I ever want to find my way out of the basement. When I’m too tired to keep looking through the sad boxes, I can go sit for a while with the bright, happy box that is my half-marathon, and I feel better.
Running has also made me a more positive person. When I see anyone else out for a jog, I feel so happy for and proud of them that I want to give a thumbs-up to everyone I pass. Because we’re all part of an insane not-so-secret society!
IS THIS WHAT HAVING A HOBBY IS? DID I JUST NEED A HOBBY ALL THIS TIME?!
It’s nice to have a thing that I’m proud of whether or not A) anyone else sees it happen, or B) I’m very good at it. Because, y’all, I get tired and I take my walking breaks. I’m all about that Jeff Galloway run-walk life. I did 6.5 miles last weekend, and it was cold and drizzly, but I felt so super good afterwards. Plus I felt super justified in eating a Cuban AND a doughnut. Who knows what I’ll feel justified in eating after 13.1?
IS THIS WHAT ENDORPHINS ARE? DID I JUST NEED ENDORPHINS ALL THIS TIME? WHEN WAS SOMEONE GOING TO SAY SOMETHING?
I so often resist doing things because I don’t think I’ll be good at them. I never thought I’d find something that I was at least comfortable doing whether or not I was very successful at it. This might be the first time that I can really think of in my adult life that I’ve practiced something purely for me. Because even the exercising that I’ve done before this always felt laced with a little bit of punishment, you know? BE IN SHAPE, OR ELSE. That kind of nonsense.
I hope you have a thing that makes you feel really good, and totally on your terms. If you’re thinking about starting running, I really recommend signing up for a race that excites you, and then finding a training plan for that distance. All I have to do in the morning is lace up my shoes and do what the plan tells me to do, and I really love that. It’s not easy, but it’s simple. And then there are endorphins and doughnuts, if you’re into those sorts of things.
If what you need to do right now is just get some extra sleep and water, though, I get that too. You are enough, and you do enough. However each of us gets there, those fireworks are going to be pretty spectacular.