I miss being a runner.
About five years ago, I was a girl who raced out of the office each day with my running shoes on to hit the track. It was part of my career as an Army Captain to stay fit and I could locate space to run in about 50 different directions when I left the hospital. At the time, I worked with eating disorder patients and the stress and worry could be overwhelming if I let it. My heart is huge and there were days when I carried worries of all of my 20 patients on my shoulders.
It is a killer way to relieve stress. Running is like squirting windex inside of your brain and wiping it clean. I love the sound of feet pounding on gravel and the combined noise of my heart beat and breathing. Sometimes I run to music…but mostly to silence. And FYI? I hate treadmills.
Once, my clinic NCO (aka the staff seargent who managed my clinic) saw me charging hills after a particularly crazy day that involved meeting a preschool aged child with Anorexia and commented “I saw you running CPT E–you looked ANGRY.” Indeed. But when I left the grassy hills that I was running on, I was tired and happy, able to leave it behind for another day.
With the stresses of completing an adoption, pregnancy, delivery, and 2 children under the age of four…I still cannot call myself a runner . My daughter will be 5 months old in 2 weeks and my goal is to be hitting the trail once again on a regular basis.
I bought new running shoes yesterday. Every 6 months the arrival of a new pair of shoes fills me with a secret thrill. There is something so motivating about getting that box from Zappos that makes me want to charge out the door immediately. Seeing my 3 year old slip them on and tromp around the living room made me smile.
I still have strong legs and a strong heart. Fifteen years of conditioning hasn’t disappeared completely. Even if my rhythm today was Run/Walk breathe in, breathe out, I will call myself a runner again.