“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.” Isak Dinesan
That is one of my favorite quotes. I’ve used it before, but it really seemed appropriate today.
It’s been a full week. We got news at the doctor’s office about Gary’s surgery on Monday (it’s scheduled for Friday, October 5), Tuesday was filled with a business meeting in a semi-far off town that took all day, yesterday was filled with errands, grocery shopping, and the like, and today was all about making headway in our paperwork. I realized yesterday that September is almost over, and I hadn’t paid my bills yet. So, if I owe you money and you aren’t set up to get it electronically, the check is in the mail. Really. It’s been a rat killing kind of week. Just putting one foot in front of the other and getting it done, step by step.
All day today, I’ve had the uncomfortable sensation of tears in my throat. Ladies, you know the kind, the ones that swell your throat and threaten to spill from your eyes, but when you examine your life, you really can’t find a reason for them. Now, I’m all in favor of a good cry now and then. Sometimes, tears are justified and on those occasions, I say let them flow unchecked and you will feel much better in the aftermath. But, I’ve learned that sometimes that tearful feeling signifies something else entirely. They’re not about an emotional need, they signify a physical one. In me, they mean I need to run.
My running has been sadly neglected the last couple of weeks and my body is rebelling against that. So, after I (mostly) finished my work for the day, I slapped on my gear and headed to our local rails to trails, Long Leaf Trace. I don’t really like to run in the evening, but these days, I’ll take what I can get. I didn’t take my iPod with me, this run was about feeling it. I wanted to be completely present in this run. Sometimes, I like for my mind to wander, or to listen to music or a podcast. Sometimes, I need the diversion of a good book to get me through my run, but not today. I wanted to remember what it is that I love about running.
The first mile was easy, too easy. About 2/3 into it, I realized I wasn’t even breathing hard. So, I pushed it. I ran hard for the next two miles, feeling my heart pound in my ears, feeling the sweat sting my eyes, feeling my muscles strain and quiver. By the last half mile, my tummy was begging me to stop and threatening me with a good dose of nausea. But, I told it to shut up, we were doing this. And, we did. I finished my last mile at a pace that is pretty rare for me these days – 9:30, slow for many, but fast for me, especially when the mile previous to it was 10:01.
As I slowly cooled down, I reflected on the need for this run. I wish that I had learned many years ago that the “tearful” feeling I sometimes get isn’t about crying at all. It’s about getting out, getting my butt in gear, and slamming it to the wall. I could have saved my sweet man a lot of grief over the years. Thank God he put up with me.
The other thing this run brought to mind is how important it is that we fan the flames of our passion. My primary passion is my faith, then my family. But, running figures in the top five. And, it is vital in helping me stay connected and fresh in the other passions of my life. As I think of my man, laid up with a very serious (but healing) injury, I knew that this is what drives him to do the things he loves as well. He runs with me on occasion, but it’s mainly to keep him in shape for his true passion – riding/racing dirtbikes. Ten years ago, I didn’t understand that need, that drive. Today I do. I know that when he’s healed, he’ll most likely reach for his bike again, and go on to race many more days. At least, I hope he does.
As long as we keep our passions in their proper order (God first, family second, all others after that), they will only enhance our lives. Some are more dangerous than others, but that’s the nature of life. If you haven’t found yours, I pray that you do. Those teary days will thank you.