No longer running away

“I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” – Jesse Owens

A mere three/four years ago, going out for an HOUR long run was an “EASY” day for me… Running consumed me… I based my sleep, eating, home-life, fun, and work schedules off of my running training.  Was I “training” to compete somewhere?  Nope… no Olympic trails were in my future, not even trying to qualify for Boston.  But I was consumed.  I wanted to burn calories and sweat and only felt good enough after a good long run beat down.

I had never been trained on proper form and never listened to coaches about rest days and the value of recovery but I was functioning within a disordered mind.  I was constantly injured and a true weakling.

At the lowest of my points I was introduced into CrossFit and my life has never been the same.  Read a little more about the transformation and my fairly new “growing” life (and love) of muscles 🙂 HERE  

Once I started CrossFitting seriously I stopped running… sure… I’d do sprints or whatever running required within the CrossFit WOD… but going out for a run was not something I either wanted to do or even felt comfortable doing.  Now, full disclosure I have enjoyed a few trail runs here and there and love taking the dog out for a short run so it’s not as if I have sworn off running.  BUT…

SO… last night when I laced up my shoes with the intention of going for a long run I was a bit nervous.  My plan was… an hour on the streets.  NOW I know my CrossFit friends are reading saying… WHAT????  An hour??  You’re probably nearly done already writing a comment directing me to CrossFit Endurance … let me clarify… my plan was to do the hour in an interval style of: 2 mins of running and 2 minutes of walking.  When I very first started running I did intervals like this (starting with 1 min of running and 4 of walking!) Last night’s cycle was the perfect length (for me right now) because it was short enough I could push myself and long enough I was really happy when my walk cycle began!

I put in my headphones, blasted the music and hit it.  With each foot fall I let my mind wander more and more.  I explored some of the stressors currently circling… lots of change, a lot of unknown, two paths that can be taken… one very clear and known the other… very unknown… but with the potential to rise above all expectations of the “safer” other path.

30 minutes in I realized, in many ways before when I was running so obsessively, I was running away from a lot of things…and now… I don’t have to run away anymore.

I can simply enjoy the music, the foot falls, the walk breaks.  Going for this run was uncomfortable… My endurance is very, very low right now… AND I am not a fan of doing anything I’m not THE BEST at… (really the creation of this blog is because I was not only NOT the best… but LAST).

Yet, there was joy in the challenge and pleasure in the change from routine.  I LOVE my CrossFit days and I LOVE strength training.  I have missed the quiet alone time found along the running path.  A big challenge for me is to have balance.  I am all in or all out and tend to pressure myself to be 100% in all directions no matter what.  Last night I learned… balance is key… a little this, a little that… it’s a bit scary to me to be honest.  Balance means giving up a little control and letting things happen without orchestrating each movement.  I will continue to strive for more balance… it will be a long journey… much like a long run… sometimes going fast and sometimes taking a walk break.

Throughout the 60 minutes I learned…

  • Struggle is a good thing
  • As a CrossFit athlete I should dip my toe in multiple sports and fitness adventures
  • I no longer have to run away from anything
  • It is totally possible to dance while running   <— True Story

Wanted to share TWO pictures… one of me running away from life and one of me living and loving it.  I know which one I will continue striving to strengthen…

  

TRUE Strength

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