Legend has it that there are occurrences in one’s life that leads them to fall off the wagon. I had heard of such things but never in a million years believed that I would be susceptible to it. (Injury, illness, marriage, divorce, babies, school, MOVING, etc.)
Several weeks ago, I mentioned to an acquaintance that my running was suffering. My family was preparing to move and I was under a ton of stress. I had recently been sick with a sinus infection and suffering from symptoms that I’m fairly certain are the result of adrenal fatigue. His response to my comment was “well, it just proves that you are human.”
Running has been such a huge part of my life for so many years. I never imagined that I’d find myself in the position in which the last thing I desired to do is run. Worse has been the reality I’ve faced; it has probably been really good for me.
Immediately after arriving in Southern California, our new home, I caught another head cold. The fifth cold I’ve had in less than 6 months. Transitioning into a new area, a new life if you will, creates its own challenges and with that, comes more stress. I’m either wired and on the edge of my seat or exhausted. Then wake up at 3 AM only to lay in bed for hours with my mind swirling with concerns about finances, uncertain about how to make the vision I have for my/our life in my head a reality, and worry about how my son will adapt and whether or not we are completely fucking up his life.
So now, about two weeks since my last run, which was a measly 2.75 miles, I understand the true meaning of falling off the wagon.
Despite my own consciousness about the situation and choosing to not run (although I’ve been hiking/walking here and there), the knife to the heart is seeing the hullabaloo over the upcoming Boston Marathon next week and the destructive self-comparison I find myself making to where I was a year ago versus now.
It’s not that I don’t want to run. I do! But I also feel that some time off is a good thing. I’m a firm believer in exercise for stress reduction. However, it has been my experience that placing a lot of pressure on one’s self (and I’m talking about me here), can create stress on the body. I’m electing to take one of the few things I can off of my plate for the moment to allow myself to adapt to my new environment and hopefully give my body a break. Because I’m certainly not done with running!
The upside, because there is always an upside, is that I’ve really enjoyed the hilly hikes I’ve taken. While I have yet to actually unroll my yoga mat, I’m feeling VERY drawn to reignite my yoga practice. I also find myself looking forward to more strength training and, don’t laugh, hula hooping. I’ve struggled with cross training the past few years so having a desire to be active outside of running is a refreshing feeling.
My final confession is this: last week this website domain was set to expire and I came very close to not renewing it. Given the circumstances, I didn’t feel worthy of owning a blog that has been, first and foremost, a running blog. Hours before it expired, I had a change of heart. I know that I would have been devastated at losing Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking as this space has given me my voice as a runner and writer. It has taken me a week to get the courage to write and post this because I’ve been feeling very critical of the situation. As always, though, I know that I’m not alone in my struggles and I find solace in knowing there are others out there that can identify with what I’m going through. For that, I’m so grateful.
While running might be on hiatus, I vow to find my way back to this space and continue to share my passion with anyone and everyone that is willing to listen.