The Longest Night – Perfect for a Run

Running cheaper than therapyMy husband is a runner, and me, well, not so much. As an asthmatic kid, running was never something I thought I could do. In my 40’s now, with asthma much better controlled, it’s something that I’m trying. Honestly, I have still been trying to find the WHY. I know the health benefits, weight control, etc. I just never naturally enjoyed running like my husband does. At least not until the other night.

Working retail isn’t rocket science, but like any other job, it can be very stressful. Especially during the holidays. If you work retail and aren’t stressed out by December 21st, well, let’s just say you may not be normal. This particular winter solstice was no exception, I was stressed out and jumpy. All heads remotely near were in danger of being snapped off. Even my dogs felt the vibe and looked at me sideways. Everyone and everything was in mortal danger. Did I mention that it was also a full moon?

It was dark outside, barely 6:30 but might as well have been midnight. It was cold, drizzling rain. Every experience I’ve ever had told me not to go out there. I hate the cold and rain and am pretty much a big baby all winter. But this was serious, lives were at stake. I pulled out my Under Armour cold gear tights, my favorite Nike pullover, my beloved Mizuno Inspires, and got out. Cursing under my breath at long winter nights and longing for just a little sunshine, I started an easy jog.  The rain felt good on my face, the road solid under my feet. I was still so mad it took a while to notice that my breathing was good, it was even. Slowly, my body reconnected with the earth and everything around it. Every worry and disappointment started to fall away. I noticed the beauty in the bare trees, the sparkle of the rain in the streetlights. The night was beautiful. I was human again.

It was a quick run, a little under two miles, with a couple of breath recovering walks in there. But it was enough to finally get it. This is why you run – it’s the best therapy on the planet. No longer murderous, I came back in for some quick stretches and enjoyed the most wonderful night with my family. It was amazing. My husband wasn’t sure if I had been abducted by aliens and some perky, happy clone left in my place, but he wasn’t complaining. Besides, he’s known this secret all along, running can save you.

No longer cursing winter, and now with the craziness of holiday retail almost behind me, I’m thinking I might finally run a 5k this year.  At least I can run enough to avoid needing a therapist.

Better get out.  Gotta run!

~Joy

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