Running for my life

Posted on Posted in Writing

My father never met a fixer-upper he didn’t want to fix up. My entire childhood was spent looking for our next project, fixing it up, and then selling that one to move to the next. He wasn’t “flipping” houses. This was how he relaxed. He worked hard at work, then came home and worked some more. My mom used to joke that he had Gypsy blood in him because he would get restless and want to move every few years.

I didn’t just inherit my dad’s allergies or his workaholic tendencies; I also inherited his restless nature.

For my first career it worked out very well. As a television journalist, you work from contract to contract – usually 2-3 years at a time. When my contract was up, I’d move to the next place.

Over 23 years I lived in six different states (one of them twice), became an expert in interstate moves and the Queen of Decluttering.

In 2014, I decided it was time to stop moving around and go home. Not Indiana where I grew up, but Mississippi where I owned a home. I was drawn back to the Magnolia State and when I moved back into my home, it felt right. Like a piece of a puzzle clicking into place.

The path to happiness is never a straight line.

Another piece clicked into place this past spring, I made a serious commitment to my health and started training with a running coach. He showed me how to run in a way that I wasn’t stressed out about my form or my breathing, and I actually loved it. When I was running, no one could call, text, Facebook, tweet or “pick my brain”. It was just me, myself and I. And I loved every minute of it.

I was getting better at it when I sprained my left calf muscle, and was forced into physical therapy. Each day that passed, this anxiety grew because I had signed up for two 5K races, and they were quickly approaching. When I felt better and went to run the first 5K, I felt a huge pop in my right leg around mile 2 and nearly went down. I tore the right calf muscle, and went back into therapy.

In some ways, the pressure was off. I couldn’t do anything about it, except work on healing my legs. But as the weeks wore on, an unsettled feeling grew in the pit of my stomach. I started feeling restless, but couldn’t put my finger on why.

It came to a head one Tuesday night as I paced around my house. I had seen everything on Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO Go. I had read all of the books in the house and couldn’t find a decent e-book to check out of the library. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I sit still?

Then, it hit me: I needed to move.

Not move to another state. I needed to physically move. Exercise. Get some fresh air. My body was deprived and crying out to me.

So, the next night, I cautiously went for a run. I was able to run for about .75 miles. The rest of the 2 miles I dance walked. I was feeling good and had some tunes with me, so there you go.

Today – I went back out there. I was able to run a little more of the two miles.

Am I sore? Yes. It’s to be expected, as I am essentially starting over. But this is a long-term commitment, not just something for a season or a two-year contract. I am running for my life. My healthier life.