I had a rough day yesterday. Nothing terrible, but just a general feeling of mild depression. I felt like I failed a friend, I was anxious about things at work, and I needed to run. I hopped on the treadmill for 4 miles and I felt a little better, but it didn’t last. The treadmill had nothing to say to me when I grumbled about my problems, and there was no smiling back at me and no reassurance that I would be fine. I knew I needed a run with friends, so when I was invited for an 11 miler this weekend, I said yes!
I ran with 2 good friends. We talked about a father who is waiting for his medical tests to come back, hopefully cancer free. We talked about a mother-in-law who has been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for over 10 years, who is now not eating or drinking. We talked about missing my father and still having trouble dealing with a dating mother. These conversations are much easier to have while running. I think it must be like puppet therapy for kids… kind of like distraction through play to talk about things that might be difficult. Our play is running.
I honestly feel more complete, or whole, after a run like that. The three of us connected on a deep level because we were running. It wasn’t like group therapy, but rather a natural and comfortable conversation in our sneakers. We could feel safe to share things that were on our minds and know that we all had each other’s backs.
We had other interesting things happen during our run, like a van of guys pulling up to us to say we looked strong and beautiful! I was kind of offended by that action at the time. I mean, who does that? Do those guys think we enjoyed the call out? That they made our day with the cat call? But now as I reflect on our therapy miles, those idiot guys were right, we are strong and beautiful!