My first run back in Middle Earth.
First thought: Wow it is so beautiful here.
Second thought: Wow it is so hot here.
Third thought: Every single memory from every single run I have ever done on my road at home.
I remember hearing in my psych classes (and maybe elsewhere aswell, this is probably common knowledge) that the sense smell is very much linked to memory.
This run was absolutely testament to that. As the sweet smell of the NZ countryside invaded my nostrils I felt almost overwhelmed by memories of so.many.runs along that road.
My family has lived in the same house since I was 2 years old, and I first started running on the road when I was 17. It’s also the road where I learnt to drive (promptly crashing straight into the fence and breaking it), and where my sister and I would bike and get chased by goats and climb trees and take turns being the prince so the other could be the princess. All these memories came flooding back as soon as my feet starting hitting the ground.
I have had incredible runs there and terrible runs there. When I first started running I would get to the top of the first hill and then have to walk. Then I started doing half hour runs but walking every hill. Now I run there for anywhere from 20mins to 90+ mins and I run every hill (and do sprints when I see the goats giving me their death glare).
Physically, I am so much stronger in my running than I used to be (it’s only taken about 7 years 😉 ).
The thing that most struck me about this run though, was not physically where I am now, but mentally what a different place I am in. I have run this road and felt on top of the world, but I have also run this road and felt like I was trying to run away from things. Last year before I shipped myself off to Salt Spring Island in Canada for three months of yoga I very much was in a space of trying to run away from the emotional place I was in. Memories of most of my runs at this time being accompanied by the sick unhappy feeling I was carrying around with me due to not being at peace with myself or with where I was in my life came rushing in.
Now, running this road for the first time a year later, my run felt completely different. I was back to running towards my future, being excited about my life, feeling at peace with myself.
Basically, my point is this. Sometimes we feel lie we are running towards our future, and that is the best feeling in the world, and sometimes we feel like we are trying to run away. Of course there are hard times in life, and times when grief is not only normal but necessary. But when the times when we are trying to run away are outnumbering the other runs, then maybe it is time to reassess and potentially take yourself on an Eat Pray Love type adventure (I highly recommend Salt Spring Island 😉 ), or simply look at what is causing you pain and try to make a few changes or talk to someone about it.
For myself personally, how I feel when I am running is always a good indicator of how I am feeling about my life in general.
Does your headspace when you run parallel your headspace in your life?
What do you do when you are going through a hard time? – Obviously I don’t usually leave the country and do three months of living in a tent in the woods and doing yoga, that was a one-off kind of thing 😉 I am the worst at talking about what is upsetting/painful for me, but now that I’m studying to be a therapist I am trying to work on that as it definitely helps me to open up to someone and not feel so alone in the situation.