Once upon a time, I used to run

I ran track in middle school.

When I was in high school, I was on the competitive dance team at my school which somehow ended up equating into running at least 1.5 miles a day in addition to the 2 hours of rehearsal.  After one year of that, I decided I had worked out enough to last me for most of my high school career.

I went off to college, fearful of gaining the Freshman Fifteen, and learned to run again.  I ran for a myriad of reasons.

I ran

  • to escape
  • for peace
  • to shut my brain off
  • to de-stress
  • for fitness (aka health)
  • to stay in shape (aka vanity).

My last semester of senior year of college, I participated in a program called “Run Across Tennessee” or something clever like that.  The goal was to run the 500 miles “across” TN and help eliminate those who felt the calling to the fridge at all hours of the night.  One day, I ran my typical 6ish miles and later that day I found out I did NOT score a role in a play that I JUST KNEW I would get a part for.  Being sentimental about not doing a show sr. year and being hysterically disappointed, I went running.  I ended up running another 4 miles around my campus and neighborhood.  Needless to say, I almost died the next day.  It’s amazing what you can do on adrenaline though.

This time last year, I needed a goal or something to work on.  Getting a teaching job wasn’t looking like a possibility since our largest school system in the area continually promised to lay off teachers and other support staff.  So I decided to run a half marathon.  After all, I had the time, the gym membership, and a neat little guide from Fitness Magazine to help me achieve this goal.

Fast forward to August.  I have a job that engulfs my entire being.  I got to school around 7 – taught from 7:55-3:05 – continued with volleyball practice or games until around 9 at night.  It’s no surprise that not only did I not have time to run; I barely had time to breathe.  However, I did lose almost 2 dress sizes so I didn’t really see a need to continue running.  –When I’m stressed, I don’t eat.  It’s a blessing because if it was the other way around, I’d be a whale.  I lack self-control sometimes–

Giving into peer pressure, I recently signed up for a 10k in town on Memorial Day.  I’ve tried to start running but DEAR HEAVENS I WANT TO DIE.  My lungs can’t take it.  I keep telling myself to take it easy – slow and steady and all that crap wins the race…even if it takes you an entire morning.

Last week I experienced my first zen moment (in a long time) while running.  Facing a possible lay-off in my job, and knowing people who will definitely be laid off, I needed an escape, a release.  I threw on my headphones with Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall – side note: I LOVE young adult literature.  LOVE IT.

And I ran.  I ran even when my lungs burned and I didn’t think I’d make it back home from the depths of my neighborhood.  Mentally, I was ready to run again.  I guess all I needed was a little extra stress in my life.

I’m trying to find the positives of possibly being laid off.


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