Monday, November 11, 2013

Running to a new place

Favorite street. Dusk. Start of tonight's run
"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves" Viktor Frankl

This quote really resonated with me the second I read it. I had lots of thoughts immediately bumbling around in my brain, one situation especially. 

So true to how my brain works, I decided to head out to run to try to put the pieces together. Running & writing really give me this bizarro clarity. I rarely consciously think about anything specific when I run. I mean I don't head out the door thinking, hey I think today I will come up with a solution for world peace on my run

But random thoughts come with each mile. And writing afterward organizes it all in somewhat of a coherent way :)


First I decided to give in to my inner research nerd & research this Viktor Frankl.

Here's what I learned.

Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor. He was the founder of logotherapy. He was an author, chronicalling his experiences as a concentration camp inmate. His experiences led him to discover the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus, a reason to continue living. His theories are based on the belief that people are inherently good. 

I like this guy.

Here is some of what he holds true 
  • Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.
  • Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.
  • We have freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or at least in the stand we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering.

I wrestle with why I like to share my life on a blog. I know there are some people that think I'm crazy. News flash... I kinda am. But all the best people are ;)

I do it to find meaning in my life, even in the hard parts. Actually especially in the hard parts.

A late 10 mile long run tonight helped me realize I have veered off my path. The candle business has been really busy. It's full swing candle season October- December. I haven't made time to write. Runs are squeezed in later & later each day. I haven't been making time for me. My brain has been full of question marks and to-do lists. 

I forced myself out to run tonight. Weird how I knew I'd feel better if I did, yet I still procrastinated. I knew my path would be simple, straight out 6.5 miles and straight back 6.5 miles. I wanted 13.1 miles back, the marathon halfway mileage point.

I didn't get it.

I started slow & got in my bubble. It felt great. My breathing was regular. My brain slowed down with every step forward. It was a straight route so there wasn't any thinking required on where to turn or what route to go. I felt comforted in the simplicity. I could "turn off" for the next 2 hours.

And then it got windy. And really dark. Thoughts crept in like how I used to hate the dark as a little girl. I was terrified of it. And here I was running out in the country in pitch black darkness now.

Then it started raining. It wasn't a downpour but enough to give a good chill to your sweating body when the 35 degree wind blew.

It suddenly became a hard run. Why am I doing this? This is ridiculous. People think you're nuts. You will never be able to sustain this through the winter.

I kept running.

There is a comfort in just putting one foot in front of another and knowing you are taking yourself to a different place. 

Sometimes you just keep going. And the stuck girl from 2 hours ago procrastinating the run becomes the girl that has put 10 miles between that girl and the girl she is now.

We all have the potential and power to change ourselves even when it's scary and dark and cold and rainy.

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." Amen Mr. Frankl.

And it really was that simple tonight.