Sunday, December 2, 2012

Let's talk emotional running

So how was everyone’s Thanksgiving?  That’s a loaded question, isn’t it?  If you are like me, there may have been moments of sheer gorging and overeating, followed by moments (or days) of regret. 
That’s why I run.
Not to shed away the pounds.  But to shed away the guilt. Guilt is a pretty useless emotion, a very bright friend told me.  Carolyn said it is only useful IF it causes you to change your behavior.  Otherwise, just let go of guilt.  She said that years ago, and has no doubt forgotten that little snippet of conversation.  I, however, have not.
So after a wonderful visit with folks that are surely part of my family, if not by blood, then by choice, I make my way to the streets and run.  I clear away any guilt of all things negative, of my little mistakes, of my overeating, of my poor time management, how I got too little done and had so much to do.
I clear it all away when I run.  It is in this way, with all the negative feelings gone, I can truly enjoy the good times.  They are first and foremost in my mind.  The geocaching we did with my girlfriend’s family, the conversations over drinks and food, and the jokes.  Reminiscing over silly school stories. 
It’s interesting.  As I ran, I beat myself up over how poorly I had eaten, how many bad choices I made, decorations were not quite perfect, house was not quite clean enough.  And after about 10 minutes of running under a clear and open sky, I started recalling how much I love my friend of 35 years, how beautiful the weather was, how well our children got along. 
And then, I felt the run, the open sky, the clear air, steal away the guilt.