Taking the Time to Heal

The last couple of weeks have not gone as planned. Thanks to one cold and then another nasty one that followed it up, I have not been able to run at all. I was hoping to be well enough to at least get out for a short run this weekend, but when I went outside yesterday morning, I just knew it wasn't in the cards. So I went back inside, changed and went for a walk instead. I knew I had made the right decision as my breathing was laboured, my wheezing was ridiculous and the stuff I was hacking up was... well, I'll spare you the details.

I have the day off today and I'm going to attempt to go to the gym, a place I've only been to maybe a handful of times this year but they gladly take money out of my bank account every other week. It's a place I WANT to go to but I just haven't fit in my schedule. So I'm going to go, even if it's to only stand on an elliptical for 30 mins and say that I was ACTIVE. It's the action of getting in the door and repeating it a few more times a week before it will become a habit again, a habit I need over the next few months to keep me going through the winter and get me back on the mend.

And exercise and running can be therapeutic and cathartic, and I need them for my health, both physical and mental. It's a great way to clear your head, shake out the stress of a bad day and just have some "me" time.

So when this stupid e-card from someecards.com was put in front of my face yesterday, I went on a bit of a roller coaster. At first, I was a bit pissed. I mean, on a day where tens of thousands of people were running one of the best marathons in North America, I thought it was the stupidest thing imaginable. Most people running that race have probably never been fat a day in their life. In fact, their probably some of the best athletes in the world, as that is what that race attracts.

But then I remembered that there was also a large percentage of people there who are just members of the New York Road Runners club or had bought their way into the event and were just like me; recreational runners who come from all sorts of backgrounds and they just want to challenge themselves on a daily basis.

So maybe that card is true. I know why I run and it does help me on MANY levels. And running does help me heal old wounds. I was thinking about it last night. I don't think that I have any of those participant ribbons from track and field qualifiers from all of those years of elementary school. You know what I'm talking about, right? Those ribbons they give you when they make you run 100m, 200m, 400m and see if you're "good enough" to compete at the city-wide, county-wide or whatever event that is set up for your school board or district. I would always manage to escape, be sick or offer to help out on those days because I just couldn't run. Now, I have more medals than I know what to do with that make the most obnoxious noise every time I go into my linen closet. So running does help me get through a lot of things. I'm so grateful for every race that I can get through upright and smiling.

Fat kids are used to being the punching bag and the punch line, but this one here is over it, mostly because she is not the fat kid anymore and is nowhere near the skinny bitch either (I'm just a regular bitch, thanks). Crossing the finish line rid me of a lot of things like some of the bullies that still haunt the corners of my mind. I know I'm "good enough" to do whatever I set my mind to if I just put one foot in front of the other.

But thanks for the card.
It was sweet of you to think of me.

Not to add insult to injury, but do you run to prove something 
to someone or just yourself? Are you running to "heal" something? 


Krissie said...

I like this question! I think I definitely run to heal old wounds. And to beat down the voice that tells me "you can't." Because the feeling I get when I run isn't about being physically strong and physically powerful. It's a feeling that generalizes to everything I do. I am strong. I am determined. I am able. Because I run. Because from the time I used to avoid track and field day until I was 32 years old, I convinced myself that I wasn't an athlete. That I couldn't. But now I am. I can. And that has changed a lot more than what the scale says and the amount of time I spend on the couch. Running has changed everything.

Thank you for reminding me of that today. When I can feel every heartbeat in my legs and my left it band is on fire. Maybe I'll take my medal out of my purse and wear it on this conference call.

marie said...


Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun said...

I just came across your blog and have to comment. I can't believe someone would send that out as a "card". It's pretty insensitive. I do think some may run as a way to deal with emotional pains. I know my workouts can be a stress relief and way to get out mental frustrations now.

fitrachick said...

Every run, every race, everytime I push myself physically proves something for me. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis two years ago. I spent 5 months limping around in pain. Every joint in my body hurt.
When I started on my crazy cocktail of medications, I was advised by my physical therapist to maybe try riding a stationary bike for 15 minutes at a time at the lowest setting.
So every run proves to myself that rheumatoid arthritis does not have control over me or my life.

sarah said...

I'll admit when I first saw that picture of that e-card I laughed at it. Because, being a former fat kid, I can laugh at it.

But it's not really that funny is it?

I run because I like to run. I didn't run in school. I couldn't. I hated that part of gym. Actually, I hated gym class. Because I was the fat kid.

But when I first started running over 6 years ago I discovered I LOVED it. And I'm doing it again.It is amazing to see that my body can do it and that I WANT to do it.

chris mcpeake said...

Nothing to prove to anyone. I suggest you reply with a card of your own. Something catchy like "think of my while your having your first heart attack".

Keet said...

Hey babe, I just wanted to drop in and say I think you're brilliant, and fat kid or skinny bitch, every person who gets out and gets moving and gets their ass across the finish line heals something. I've never run a race where i didn't feel connected to the other runners, the cause, the person/friend/family/stranger I was running for, even if it was myself, and I am so grateful for people like you who inspire me to get out and do more and push myself. Miss you and your family so much!
Big love from skinny London. xoxoxo

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