***This is going to be long. So long, in fact, that I broke it into a stop post and a start post–and it’s still long. So, if you aren’t into long post, look for bold type and The Gist, which sums up the post at the bottom.***
Sometimes, I think my brains is full of measuring tape. So many things in my life can’t be termed as “good” or “bad” unless they are measured against what someone else was able to do with them or in that situation. The comparisons aren’t even fair most of the time. Things that used to be about me became about beating someone else. I could use a multitude of examples, but for the purposes of this stop, I shall speak about one.
Sometime after I got back into exercising, I decided I should run again. Running was something I enjoyed because I liked to be outside, usually with headphones on, feeling my body find a natural rhythm and go on autopilot, allowing my mind to wander off, untangling the problems of the day. I mentally wrote a lot, working through tricky plot points as I moved along. It was my me time.
I never ran on the track team. I never timed a mile or even knew how far I’d gone. It didn’t really matter. Running was something I shouldn’t have been able to do (with a heart murmur and Exercised Induced Asthma), yet I was a natural according to people who saw me running around. What I remembered most about running was how in tune I was with my body, how proud I was of what my body could do. I wanted that confidence, that…stillness back. I wanted to enjoy exercise. So I picked up running again.
The differences between when I was a “good” runner and when I attempted to run again are numberous in number, but two important ones to note:
1. I am about fifty pounds heavier (I was seriously 98 pounds as a senior in high school o_O), my arches seem to have fallen (or buckled under pressure), and my everything hurts when I exercise now. I am not in tune with my body, nor am I proud of it. Nothing works as it should. My ankles swelled in my too heavy “stability shoes”, my shins felt tender, my arches felt fractured. The things I most often felt when “running” were: fat, slow, sore, tired, asthmatic, and hungry.
2. I know a ridiculous amount of runners now, who run strapped to a garmin on predetermined routes of predetermined lengths. I follow their blogs, where they have debates on the best fuel and shoes, compression socks, and whether running with music can really be considered running. If you don’t run twenty miles in Lulumelon and Nikes with a 405 garmin and camelback with no music in -10 degree weather after your breakfast of oatmeal with chia seeds and almond butter, you are not a runner.
The day after I’d had another “unsuccessful” run, in which MH