Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sanity

Yesterday I cried. At my desk, at work. I struggled through the day, and the bloke doing my appraisal must have wondered what he'd done to upset me. It was nothing to do with that though (actually, my chat with him helped me talk through a few issues I've had at work recently, and made me feel a little happier with things).

I'm very much a bottling up sort of person. I guess it's partly because I don't really have anyone close who I can speak to and unburden my problems onto (and try as I might, I find it hard to find the words to say it on here). I tend to suffer in silence, and keep my problems to myself. But yesterday I think it was the impact of TOM, and some worries about my grandmother's health, and I just started crying and couldn't stop.

What surprised me though was how I reacted. I always park my car at the leisure centre on a Monday so that it's there for when I finish running club. So I had to go up there to pick it up, and on the bus up there the last thing I wanted to do was to run. I would have quite happily jumped in the car, driven home, picked up red wine and chocolate on the way back, crawled under my duvet and comfort eaten all evening long. I got back to the car and I was very close to doing just that.

But I persuaded myself to change into my running stuff. Then people started arriving in the changing rooms, and I started to join in their conversation a little. Then we went out for a run. And all my problems seemed to be lifted off my shoulders. Even though I'd run 12.5 miles on Sunday, my legs felt good, and my mind seemed clearer, and the hills just let me concentrate on my breathing, and my running, and before I knew it I'd run over 7 miles, and felt a lot better than I had done before I set out. I got home, I prepared my bag for today, and I avoided the alcohol and chocolate entirely.

I've never hidden how much I have fallen in love with running, but it is rare that it dawns on me quite so much just how much of a sanity building experience it is, it's perhaps even better for my mental health than it is for my physical health. Yesterday's run wasn't about burning off 700 calories and it wasn't about half marathon training. It was about giving me a bit of sanity in an otherwise depressing day, and about helping me clear my mind and unburden some of my problems.

It did it so much more effectively than the wine and chocolate would have done, too. Remind me of that next time I complain that I don't feel like running.

5 Comments:

Blogger Ali said...

*hugs* I'm sorry you're feeling overwhelmed right now. We're all here for you, when you want to talk. (gee I bet that sounds strange from a complete stranger - but I feel I know you so well from this blog!)

When I feel I can't confide in other people I find writing the old fashioned way helps? Then sometimes I burn it, if I'm feeling particularly destructive!

Well done for following through with the run. Just goes to show that you truly have made a complete lifestyle change.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Roo said...

YES. I'm brand new to running (1 month), but I had the same overwhelming weepies due to PMS last week, and I did a terrible walk/run at about my current run limit (8 miles), and while it was nice to have burned off calories and not intaken any, it also just made me Feel Good. It's a little addictive, this running thing.

2:59 AM  
Blogger JessiferSeabs said...

I needed to read this today.

Thank you for sharing.

5:38 PM  
Blogger K said...

Yeah, exercise helps with that kind of thing - though I once, premenstrually, had a terrible weeping fit on the crosstrainer. Probably real running is better.

I used to find weights were good, because you can't really think about anything else while you're doing them, or you'll hurt something.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Isabelle said...

Oh, poor you. Hope you feel better now (still). I'm always surprised (I'm a slow learner) how much better I feel even after a brisk walk.

1:41 PM  

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