Me, Myself, and My Running Shoes

It’s National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) again, and I’ll be posting everyday for the month of November. I know I only made it to Day 19 last year, but I promise this year will be different. It will be like 2014 when I stuck it out for the whole 30 days, but this time I will not be dissecting my life abroad in Thailand and South Korea, or my crippling (sometimes humorous) breakup in my home country. This year I’ll be writing to you from Victoria, Vancouver and Bangkok, with no game plan. All I can promise is that I’ll be blogging from my heart in the here and now.

Day 1, Victoria, 7pm

NaBloPoMo Prompt:  “When you’re having a bad day with your mental health, what do you do to help yourself?”

I go to my running shoes — they understand. They don’t ask questions, they just hug my feet and push me out the door. Together we chase the bad days away. They remind me that I’m strong and that I can handle the road ahead. They bring me to the here and now. The breeze on my face, the tunes in my ears, the breath from my lungs, the peace of mind, and the realization that everything is going to be okay, all come to me when I’m with my running shoes. That argument, that rejection, that failed exam, those canceled plans, all seem somewhat trivial after some quality time together. I’m inspired to move forward, not just out on the pavement, but on all the paths that make up my life. My bad days suddenly turn a little brighter, even on those rainy runs.

And running doesn’t just brighten my bad days, it turns my good days to great days, and my ‘meh’ days to better days. It’s the best mood enhancer out there, and I’ve yet to discover any negative side effects. So far the side effects have included new friendships, greater mental clarity, better blog posts, fewer colds, more restful sleep, and a stronger sense of self.  So, when my mental health is not where it should be, I lace up and  run, run until I feel that I’m ready to come home and see my world in a new light.

Awesome Memoir on Running!
Awesome Memoir on Running!

 

 

Running & connecting

January 21: What are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to going for a run on Thursday.

Now, that the New Year is here, I should stick with at least one resolution and let my running shoes see the beautiful world outside my door.  I live in a wonderful neighbourhood, just minutes from the ocean , temperatures are above freezing, and I’ve found a new running partner.  So, I’ve run out of excuses not to run.

ocean

In the past, I enjoyed running as a solo activity, but in recent years, I’ve found it is a great way to connect with others.  In Korea, my running buddies turned into wonderful friends, and their company and stories motivated me to keep going. On our runs, I learned about Korean history, film making, the ups and downs of marrying your opposite, and pushing your limits.  These are things I would never have learned running solo along the river.  And as I run along the ocean in Canada, I hope to learn new things and be inspired by the stories around me. And no matter how hard it is to get out there for a run, I know that I will come back a little wiser, and a little stronger.