Monday, October 25, 2010

Run Therapy

I ran three times last week.  After not running at all it feels like a gift from my allowing body.  On Sunday I attempted a 4th run but it just wasn't happening.  I made it out to the beach with my shoes laced up, ready to go.  The weather was finally behaving.  I took a few strides and couldn't follow through.  Mentally, I wasn't able.  Unfortunately our minds and bodies are both required for such an act. 

It has been an emotional roller coaster of a weekend. 

My dad is not well.  He just underwent some serious surgery and there is more to come.  We haven't spoken for years; that is until Friday.  After a near death experience I have my Dad again.  It is bizarre how it all works out.  I almost lost him, now I have him.  

It is moments like this that it is hard to live over 2,000 miles from home.  My best friend is delivering her baby tomorrow and I can't visit her in the hospital.  My sister had her baby shower on Sunday and I wasn't there to smile and laugh with her.  My younger sister just won 1st place in a cheerleading competition and I couldn't hug her.   Both my sisters are pregnant and I don't get to rub their bellies and eat chinese take-out with them like I did during their last pregnancies.  My nieces are growing exponentially each month and becoming real people while Aunt Kate misses it all.  My dad is sick and I wish I could have seen him as he came out of surgery.  

I never regret moving away from home.  It was vital to my overall happiness and life experience.  I would never be content if I stayed put.

Tonight, I decided to try that run again.  I went back to the beach, by myself this time.  I put on some melancholy music and started to run.  Am I the only one that listens to sad music or watches sad movies when I'm already extremely sad?  Please tell me I am not alone.  Anyway, I played my sad music and ran.  Effortlessly.  I felt like I was flying above my body.  I honestly could not feel my legs.  It was as though someone wound me up like one of those plastic toys and let me go.  It took zero mental effort, my legs moved themselves.  

The sun was setting over the ocean and I was able to bask in those beautiful moments.  People were taking pictures and couples cradled each other as it dipped below the horizon.  It was magical.  Watching and feeling the sun disappear over the deep, wide ocean filled my heart back up again.  Something as simple as that can be incredibly moving. 

I continued on my way for an hour and a half.  I felt like I could run a marathon.  At times I wondered "whose body is this?"  Pain-free and effortless, couldn't be mine.  But it was.

I don't always like to talk about the things that weigh heavy on my mind.  Sometimes, running is my silent way of getting it out.  It can serve as a therapy session.  Each stride is a word from my lips.  With every footfall I feel lighter.  At some point I feel ready to fill myself with warmth and joy, in the place that was occupied with sadness.  Sometimes, for me,  running is the only way to do this.  

I am so grateful for my body and my ability to run.  I feel incredibly lucky to have something in my life that brings me so much peace of mind.  I know I am not alone in this.

Happy Running, Everyone. 


  1. such a beautiful post. i can imagine how tough it is to be far away from family, especially in times of difficulty. we runners really are lucky to have such an amazing form of therapy. i hope your dad gets well soon!

  2. Cheapest, best therapy there is! Glad you had your run to turn to when feeling down. Hoping the best for your dad.

  3. I'm happy that you got to work on some of those hard feelings, hon. I completely understand that feeling of freedom, and allowing yourself to be sad. Believe it or not: It's okay to be sad, especially about things you're currently going through/missing.

    You're definitely not the only one who will watch sad movies, listen to sad music, etc., when you're already sad. I "like" helping the sad get out this way!

    Big hugs, honey...everything will be better soon. :)

  4. i too listen to sad music and watch sad movies when im sad. it helps purge the sadness. glad you had such a great run....arent those effortless ones the best!

  5. Sounds like a beautiful run - I love your description of it.

    Best of luck to your dad. I think it's great that you are speaking again :)

  6. I know the feeling of being far away from family. I too feel like I'm missing out on special moments. I'm sure you are still in their thoughts. I haven't been running much lately ;-) ...might have to try that as a form of therapy..and you are definitely not alone with the whole sad movie/music thing..I'm right there with you girl! Hang in there!

  7. So true. Running can be so much more than exercise. Wishing you peace.

  8. Kate.
    I adore you.
    I adore that you write with such honesty and candor.

    Thinking of you and your sweet father.

  9. I'm sorry you are going through a rough time. I think times like these always elicit homesickness. I know that's true for me being so far from my family.

    I love running to sad songs. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (Simon and Garfunkel version) is my favorite. I listen to that song during all the hardest moments in my life.

  10. I'm so sorry you are going through all this; I can relate. Even 1000 miles from home, I've missed almost exactly what you've missed. And as much as it pains me to miss so much of my family and friends, my distance is vital to my happiness. What a screwed up pain no gain in life, I guess.

    Kudos to you for working it out in a great way; I still need to work on that myself. Warm fuzzies sent your way!

  11. Wow. Thank you to EVERYONE for your kind and honest words. They mean so much and make me smile.

  12. Beautiful, beautiful words, everyone of them. It makes me miss you so much more than I already do.
    I wish you loved living here in the middle of all the chaos and cold weather. XOXOXOX

  13. these comments are all so wonderful and sweet, i'm so happy all these people care about you.
    kiss kiss

  14. one more thingie~~~don't run alone, it's dark early now.

  15. This was a beautiful post. I truly hope that your dad recovers and that you can have the relationship you deserve. I also think it may be time for a quick trip "home" if you can.

  16. This was very inspiring.. I really like it..

  17. I'm a big believer in, 'Nothing makes you feel better than a sad song'. Another great quote, 'Sometimes you count days, and sometimes you weigh them.' Can relate to those things pulling at you. Channeling you on my therapeutic run tonight. Thanks Kate.

  18. I hope you and your Dad continue to repair your relationship now that he's gotten a new lease on life. And you can always save your pennies for flights home and downloading sad songs to keep you going.


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