I started my run this evening in a pretty foul mood. I'm not sure why. The stress of the holidays...the stress of year end...the stress of living in my obsessive compulsive, anal retentive little mind...it all just put me in a foul mood.
So, being the NEW COMMITTED RUNNER that I am (more on that later), I decided to head out to the track early...you know so I could get my workout in all alone and sulk and be mad at the world for all of its injustices and stupid things that make me stressed out. I just wanted to vent and I wanted to do it by myself. Of course, there are much more COMMITTED RUNNERS than I am (that's you Chuck, Kat, and Cherry) who were out early and ready to rock and roll. So, I ran with them. And talked about the holidays and training schedules and marathons and a bunch of other things that had nothing to do with my stressful day. And by the time we got a mile warm-up in, I was feeling better, but still pissy enough to go ahead and get the workout in.
And that's when RC...like a guardian angel...showed up early...and gave me that "Grasshopper, I'd be disappointed if you didn't do the workout with the rest of the group" look. You know...the look of disapproval...the look of wondering if I'm really a poser...the same look he had when he took my coveted pebble back. I hate that look. I hated it enough today, to stick around and wait on the rest of the group to get my workout on.
I ended up running over 3 miles while I was waiting on everyone. I got to run with Kat and Chuck and Cherry and Troy and Grace and RC and Angela and Paul and as more and more people showed up my mood went from semi-bad to better and better.
By the time the workout started, I was happy as a clam. I was cold. But I was happy none the less.
The workout turned out to be fantastic. 4 x 400s followed by a 2 mile "race." The goal was to predict your 2 mile time and nail it. I knew I could run a 4 mile tempo at a 7:57 pace so I erred on the side of caution and predicted 16 minutes flat. Our local running store, Run Fit Sports, donated cool prizes (socks, hats, cool Adidas shirts, etc) for the top 5 male and female finishers....in other words, the 10 people who came closest to their times. We had 20+ peeps there so the competition was tough!
As we began, my mood just kept getting better and better. I started to think about my day...and about how bent out of shape I was at not getting "everything" done and how stressed out it made me. And then I remembered what REAL stress is like
REAL stress is having close to $100k in debt and a job that barely paid $30k a year
REAL stress is thinking that only way to pass time is by smoking cigarettes and drinking
REAL stress is being a relationship that was totally destructive to both parties involved and not knowing how to get out of it
REAL stress is feeling like your life is spinning out of control all day, everyday
And then I remembered what my life is like now....7 years later
Seven years later I am completely and utterly debt free and I did it all by myself (don't believe me...watch this ...skip to the 1st white bullet)
Seven years later I get to do this thing that I love that is not work or a chore or a bad habit: it's called running. And I get to do it everyday if I want to.
Seven years later I am married to the best guy I know (besides my Dad and Jesus)....he has helped me to become such a better person, to become that person that I always wanted to be - I just didn't know how to get there. I mean, seriously, I did something very right for Troy to pick me!
Seven years later I don't feel like my life is spinning out of control anymore. As a matter of fact, I have a perfect and wonderful life. I bet there are people out there that would pay me money to have my life (okay, maybe not alot of money, but you get my point). I get to work from home doing something I love. I have a great house (despite the green 70s tile in my bathroom - but hey, I have my very OWN bathroom that I don't have to share with anyone.) I have a great housekeeper and a lawn guy and a massage and physical therapist on speed dial. I have a personal trainer and a Run Coach who both keep me in check with my eating, my weight, and my running. I have a great family and lots of nieces and nephews to entertain. I have a grandmother who still alive and spunky at the ripe age of 84. I have parents who are still married after 40+ years (by the way, I'm sure it may not have always been bliss but they have taught me alot about toughness, loyalty, and that the power of two is always greater than the power of one - especially when I was in trouble!) I have great and wonderful friends that have great and wonderful things going in their lives that they are letting me be a part of...I have running friends who share this passion and joy and have no problems with spending an hour talking about how fun that 20 mile run was. I have that life that I never thought was possible and it is completely and utterly unchaotic.
So, I finished that run in 15 minutes and 30 seconds (30 seconds faster than I predicted and I even scored 3rd place for my prediction and scored a pretty cool little Adidas tee)...and in that 15 minutes and 30 seconds, I thought about everything I just mentioned. Every bit of it.
A great workout made for a great outlook. I have to sometimes be reminded of how blessed I am...how charmed my little part in this great, big world is...how bad it has been...and how great it is now. A great workout is what reminds me of those things and I am so glad that I'm a part of that world that finds peace in running a comfortably painful 7:37 mile.
Hope you have a fabulous week! If you don't do anything else, find a way to remind yourself of how good life really is!