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What Running Has Taught Me


Hey everyone… You know what’s ridiculous?

The fact that I think that I say that I am going to be more positive in my next post every time I post something… And then wind up being just as depressing the the post that follows.

So … yeah.

But in all seriousness, this past week has been one of the worst of my life in regards to anxiety and just general unhealthy thoughts. I have had severe panic attacks every night for the past week (I normally only have one or two severe attacks a month) and they were honestly bad enough to the point that I was considering going to the hospital because I just didn’t know what to do.

Wow, it’s weird sharing this stuff on my blog… I hope this post doesn’t make any of you hate me or stop reading, I promise that even though I haven’t really shown it, I’m not always depressing!

But I have just felt really overwhelmed and hopeless lately. The smallest things have set me off and I’m just really scaring myself. It has been years since things have been this bad. I think that the worst part is knowing that I only have one more week here and then I get to go home,  and knowing that that truly isn’t a long time… But it still feels like too long. In the midst of my panic attacks, I was genuinely terrified that I would not make it the last 5 days without truly having a psychotic break.

I know what my main issue it.

I run.

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No, I don’t mean running in the exercise way (though I do that too!), but I mean that the second that things start getting uncomfortable or start triggering even a slight sense of anxiety, I completely meltdown and run for dear life.

And this is not healthy, nor is it mature. In fact, I am embarrassed by how terrible I am at coping with stressful situations. I act like a child. I seriously will just shut myself off from the world and run and run and run and try to escape the problem.

But obviously, I can’t do that… And then, stressed and guilt ride, I have a complete meltdown.

So here is me trying to “grow up,” and become the person that I not only need to be, but that I want to be. I don’t want to run away anymore.

So here’s a running quote that I find super relevant (because of course, I need to somehow relate this back to running)…

Running-away-from-your-problems-is-a-race-youll-never-win

I don’t know if I have ever seen something more relevant, isn’t running amazing (I’m now talking about the exercise type)? It really can related to any problem you will ever face in life! I am a true believer in the idea that running makes you a better person.

Here are just a few things that I have learned/overcome by being a runner.

  1. Though I am still not great at doing it, I have learned how to plow headfirst into uncomfortable situations. Think about running a race, whether it be a cross country race, a 5k, a half marathon, a full marathon… anything. It is so easy to give up or slow down right when the going gets tough… But in a race you can’t do that. You owe it to your team, and to yourself, to preserve. You also need to push through the uncomfortable times in life.
  2. How to feel okay about myself. I can’t even explain to you how I felt when I finished my first ever cross country race. It sounds melodramatic, but I genuinely never feel good about myself… I’m just really not a fan of the person that is me. When I run, I feel unstoppable, I feel alive.
  3. How to appreciate the little things. This is actually something that I have always been good at, I truly love the world around me, and try as hard as I can to see the wonder in all that the planet has to offer. However, it is so easy to get caught up in life and to forget about what a beautiful world we live in. The great thing about running is that, more often than not, for the duration of your run it is just you and nature. You are alone with nothing but your thoughts and the world. There is something so magical about, say, waking up for an early long run and watching the sun rise, or running over snow covered mountains, or seeing wildlife while you are running. I find that sometimes on my runs I need to stop for a second just to take the world in… to have a “wow,” moment. I feel like as we get older, we stop seeing as much wonder in the ordinary. Running allows me to see that I am blessed to be alive.
  4. How to appreciate my own body. It would be the understatement of the century to say that I don’t like what I see when I look in the mirror. I have thighs that jiggle and have cellulite, I have bingo wings, I have bulging bits and I am just not comfortable with my body. I’m not sure I eve will be. However, running has shown me how to be thankful for the body I have been given. Yes, my legs may be large, but they can carry me for miles. I am so thankful to have a two arms, two legs, and a fully functioning body. I am SO blessed, and I try to remind myself of that fact each and every day.

 

So, I am going to try to remember all of these things that running has given me, and try to use these every day… Starting now. I can’t run away anymore.

I don’t want to run away from my problems anymore, I want to run towards them at greater than race pace.

So here are my questions of the day…

Do you run? Do you have another form of exercise that you love? What is it?

What lessons has this activity taught you? I would really love to know!

 

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