my proudest running moment
My proudest running moments, though, are much easier to attain. These days, the majority of my runs are when Charlie and I would otherwise be going for walks; he demands at least 30 minutes of exercise several times a day, so I often figure we might as well run them. But I'm most proud of the moments in which I choose to run because of my needs rather than Charlie's. I'm probably in good company when I say that my body bears the brunt of my mind's turmoil, and it's my body that suffers when my emotions are all over the place. If something's upsetting me, my immediate reaction is to shut down. I'll sit on my couch in front of the TV and eat an entire pizza or drink a whole bottle of wine or both, if I'm really feeling wrung out, so that my focus has no choice but to dumb down from the emotional to the physical.
The physical doesn't have to be the lazy option, though, and my best runs are those following frustrating days or combative conversations or irritating interactions with others. When I'm upset, running calms my mind. The first mile of an angry run is always super fast as I churn through fantasy scenarios in my head but, at some point after that, I begin to approach the frustrating situation with a cooler head and a clearer heart and, unsurprisingly, that shift corresponds to my pace; my thoughts become less furious as my splits even out. Somehow, forcing myself to be physically productive also forces me to be emotionally measured.
It's so much easier to soothe myself with carbs and alcohol than to get off the couch, and that's why my proudest running moments are when I choose to run. It doesn't always happen, but it's so worth it when it does.