Today I Ran

Today I ran. There weren’t any zombies or rabid pit bulls chasing me either, so this is a pretty impressive feat.

I should probably preface this by saying that I am 38 years old and I am a walker. I have never enjoyed running. In fact, I’ve pretty much hated it. It always made my ankles hurt. Even more now that I’m very overweight. I’ve been known to say I don’t see the point in running and that while it is a good cardio workout, it is terrible on the joints, so why do people do it?

Now I think I am beginning to understand why.

I began my walk by heading towards my old neighborhood, which is not quite a mile away from where we currently live. This is the neighborhood that my son spent most of his childhood in. My son, now 18 years old, with big dreams. My son, who used to step off the school bus and tell me every detail of his day, including any trouble he got into. My son, who made an amazing welcome home poster when I brought his baby sister home for the first time. My son, who once had to write about his hero for school and chose me, when all the other kids picked sports figures and such. My son, who just 3 years ago “swam” down our driveway when we got almost 3 feet of snow. My son, who has struggled (as I have also struggled) with anxiety and depression. My son, who used to cut himself, and speak of suicidal thoughts. My son, who came home the other day and told me he is moving across the country with his friend…next week.

I know that all parents worry about their children, especially when their children go out on their own. But being who we are, me with a history of extreme anxiety and panic attacks and my boy with a tentatively diagnosed Bipolar disorder with anxiety and (past) psychotic episodes, I know that I will worry more than most.

I want to trust that this is the right decision for him. I know it is important for young adults to be allowed their independence. I understand why he wants to go. To make a new start is a big leap and I’m proud he is not letting his anxiety rule his life. Getting away from his friends here is important, since their habits influence him too much. It is too easy for him to sit with them and smoke weed and not really make a life for himself. But he has the hunger for more than that. It’s a noble cause really, moving away from here. I just wish it wasn’t so far.

And so my thoughts spun around and around while I walked. And then I ran. Not far, just a block. Caught my breath, walked a bit, then ran again. Walk, run, walk, run, all the way home. And it was kind of awesome.

Why did I run? Because if I’m running, I can’t cry. I don’t physically have enough breath to do both at the same time. I have to focus on the ground in front of me, so I don’t fall flat on my face. So much concentration was required of me to perform what many people do on a regular basis. Is everyone running from their sadness, their fear, their worries?

I think, perhaps, everyone has their own reasons. Some want a quicker workout, others are adrenaline junkies, and maybe others are like me, trying to run away from what’s hurting. In any case, I think this might become a thing for me. I can certainly use the exercise. 🙂