It has been a stressful week and I knew that 'today' was going to be a stressful day. I could feel when I woke up that I would be going into the office with a weight on my shoulders. Running is usually a great way for me to unload that weight. There comes a point in many runs when all of my stresses melt away.
I lay in bed debating. I could sleep for an extra hour or I could get up now and run the five miles into work. I could already feel the day’s stress creeping up on me. Decisions, decisions, which would be better for me; an hour more of sleep or a five mile run? I decided to go for a run. The stress of today was too great to go back to sleep anyway. I might as well run. Maybe that would help.
I got ready and headed out the door. Usually it takes at least three miles for the endorphins to kick in enough to take the stress away. If I absolutely have to get rid of the stress, a 10-mile run is a sure thing. Ten miles is a long way and it’s hard for me. There is no way for me to accomplish the distance without letting go of whatever is on my mind. Today I only had time for five miles. Sometimes that’s enough, and I hoped it would be today.
Three miles came and went and no stress relief. What’s more, I was lacking motivation. My pace was slow and I kept fighting the temptation to walk.
“Come on, push! The stress will melt away,” I told myself. But I just didn’t have it.
I finished my run at a slow pace, took a shower, and started on the tasks of the day. It wasn’t the run I had hoped for.
No magic. No major change in mood and perspective. Just way too much stress today to overcome and the run wasn’t long enough. That’s how it goes. It’s not all magic.
I believe running is a metaphor for life. I’m optimistic that the perfect: day, vacation, success at work, moment with my son, date with my wife, laugh with a friend, etc. is going to happen “today”. So many days “today” is the day.
They are so many amazing days and I try to soak them up. Some days are hard. Today was a hard day all around. The run was hard and the rest of the day was met with disappointment. Several things just didn’t work out. But tomorrow is another day and another run.
You never know. The magic could hit at any time tomorrow. Or it may hold out on me a few weeks this time. But I know one thing with certainty. There will be more magic runs and more magic days.