Friday, September 17, 2010

Running is like therapy

As I start to run longer distances, I started to pay attention to my attitude about running.  I realized that running is a lot like going into therapy/treatment. 

When I think about going for a run, barring a GORGEOUS day like yesterday, I am not always super psyched.  I look at the training program and stare at the number of miles that I have to run and I shudder.  I begin to imagine all the things that I can do with my time other than run.  Then I glance down at next week’s run. I realize that I have to go for this run because next week, I will have to run farther yet.  So I play my tape out, I can skip this run but then next week, I will be suffering.  I will be in a lot of pain and the run will just be horrible.  I realize that I do trust that running this run will help me in the long run. With this faith and trust in the process, I tie up my shoelaces and I go out there. 

During my run, I am in my head.  I may be in pain. I may increase the volume of my ipod and try to drown out my own doubts and/or voices telling me to stop.  I also increase my awareness of my surroundings.  I am aware of the beauty of the Schuylkill, the trees and the other runners around me all enjoying the outdoors right along with me. 

After the run, I always feel great.  I may be physically tired, but it is one of the best tiredness that I can feel.  No matter how long or short my run is, my endorphins are running around me.  I am proud of doing something for myself.  Bottom line, I feel like I can take on the world.  I have noticed that over time, my mood is just better with all the exercise that I am doing. 

The same process that I just described about my run is what happens when entering therapy or treatment.  When being told or starting the process of therapy, you have to know what you are getting into and trust in the process.  You have to trust that it is a valuable process to enter for yourself, your health and your well-being.  You might look at your day in treatment/session with your therapist and think about all that you can do with your time instead of being there, until you look at life or your future and think about the hurdles that you will have to face in the future.  So you tie up your sneakers and get to treatment/therapy. 

During treatment and therapy, there may be moments where you are overwhelmed, scared and in pain.  Things get brought up that you have been working really hard to not realize, sometimes use a lot of energy to do so.  During treatment/therapy lots of emotions and feelings will come up that you must feel, deal and then heal from.  It does work if you work it.  You have to put your all in every day, no matter how much you want to run out of the room. 

After you leave, the benefits of the catharsis are real.  With the awareness that is gained in treatment/therapy, the sense of empowerment and confidence in oneself is priceless.  You feel like anything that life brings, you can handle it.  Living life on life terms isn’t overwhelming.  The sense of freedom and relief is refreshing.  

Bottom line:
Keep coming back…It works if you work it.  

1 comment:

  1. very inspiring! I am going to start running again this week! :)