Athletics Magazine

The Key to Happiness and Guess Where I'm Going? (hint: It's 8,241 Miles Away)

By Brisdon @shutuprun
The theme for this month (okay, well it's almost next month, so the theme for next month) is...
LETTING GO
Yeah, so damn cliche.
But, it is truly the key to life and eternal happiness. Because if you can start to let go of the way you think things should be and accept how they actually ARE, you will be infinitely more content.
Letting go does NOT mean giving up. They are two very different things. It's more about acceptance than it is about apathy and laying down and becoming a total victim of your life.
Case in point. This injury of mine. It was making me crazy. Every single run has been a sufferfest of frustration because I am not progressing fast enough. Or, I am not where I used to be. Or, I will never be where I used to be.
Every run felt sucky, not just physically, but also mentally. If fact, I had a slight temper tantrum on the trail on Saturday because nothing felt good and everything felt like shit and I was hot and tired and people were passing me and it felt like I had to work for every.single.fucking.step (only Ken witnessed the tantrum, so I'm not sure it really happened). As I continued to climb up this small mountain at a snail's pace, I thought, "Screw this. I'm done running for awhile. I need a break. Maybe running just isn't my thing."
Well, we all know that's not true.
Coming down the mountain once my heart rate wasn't 300 bpms anymore and my leg wasn't screaming, I re-thought my idea to quit running. Instead I thought, "NO! That's not me. I don't give up. I'm going to continue to recover from this injury like is my JOB." I'm pretty dramatic.
What I ended up doing with that mess of emotions is this. I LET GO. This week I've been holding back when I run. I have been running slower and at a pace I can sustain without walking. I've accepted that right now and as I recover I'm slower. But I'm still a runner, dammit. I decided to be kind to myself about this. Maybe my speed will come back, maybe it won't. But, I want to love running and I don't want to be frustrated every single time I go out.
And, guess what? Not only have my runs felt really good (my leg still gets tired but that's not going to kill me), I am running at faster paces without even meaning to. Once I accepted being slower, it was a breakthrough somehow. MAGIC.

The Key to Happiness and Guess Where I'm Going? (hint: it's 8,241 miles away)

This is me running my new slower pace, which allowed me to run for 3.5 miles without stopping.
MAJOR milestone from where I was just a couple of weeks ago.


My lesson for today.
#1 - Stop trying to control something that is making you crazy the more you try to control it and the less it is working
#2 - Be kind to yourself
#3 - Accept where you are and where things are. Sometimes this means being willing to let go of your expectations of how things SHOULD be.
#4 - Realize everyone struggles, no matter what your social media feeds say
I love running again. I'm happy.
Oh, and guess what? I'm going to Thailand for 12 days in November!! I'm going to play with elephants! I'm going to eat street food! I'm going to get $10 massages without happy endings! I'm going to meet a Buddhist monk! I'm going to make sure my son is still alive! I'm not going to hang out in caves! I'm not going to drink the water and get giardia and diarrhea!
Tell me one thing you're hanging onto that you're going to let go of this week (magic will happen, I promise)
Last place you traveled to? Nevis/St. Kitts
Dream vacation? Thailand and going back to Greece. Morocco.
SUAR


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