Running to Set “The Struggle” Straight
Running is healthy for mind & body. It sets “The Struggle” straight.
“What do you think about when you run?”
“Do you listen to music or run quiet?”
“WHY would you pick up running at 43 years old?”
These are all questions I have been asked as people learn that I, Gerri, the one who always felt that running distances was a ridiculous and that the invention of wheeled motor vehicles, should not be overlooked. I also considered that I am no tiny, skin & bones body type. What would I ever do with the idea of running? When I was younger, I was a competitive bodybuilder…partially because I was excited about the idea of being healthy, strong and well…WITHOUT having to run long distances!
So, here I am, now 44 years old and absolutely LOVING running. I am a slow runner and not afraid to walk when I need to. I am not out to race anyone else, I’m just out to improve upon my previous run FOR myself. I have fallen in love with release, peacefulness, challenge, strengthening, empowering, and holistic healing that comes with running.
When considering physical health, running obviously improves my body composition. It also MAKES me want to continue to eat more wisely. It helps me sleep better and wake up well rested. It helps to keep me healthier.
On a greater level, however, running is so much more than the calories burned, fat melted, distance traveled or any of those physical benefits. Running has helped me heal from divorce, get through the deaths of 2 grandparents, the death of a friend, the struggles of starting over in life and in a completely new location, and moments of worry. It helps to keep me balanced.
During my runs, while always being aware of my surroundings for safety sake, I have had conversations with myself, and conversations with God. I have spoken words that I wish I had said to those who are now gone from this earth to express the void from their passing and thanking them for the encouragement and strength that knowing them continues to give me.
I have had races that I have run where the distances and challenge were so great that I had to resort to talking aloud to myself, my grandparents and friend, and praying. I’m sure others who may have been running either thought I lost it…or they were doing the exact same thing!
I do listen to music when I run. What I listen to depends on the challenge, distance, and my state of mind going into the run. Sometimes I listen to gospel (Marvin Sapp, James Fortune, Mary Mary, Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin…). Sometimes its the women of R&B/Soul (Mary J Blige, Mariah, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Diana Ross, Patti LaBelle, 702, SWV…). Sometimes it’s Old School Funk…sometimes even utilize the dubstep skills of Skrillez to get me through some tough courses!
Overall, running allows me to “Set my struggles of life” straight. When things get challenging, frustrating or cause me to worry, I now have 2 things that I start with: prayer and running (with prayer included there too). Both are incredibly powerful ways to deal with life and keep things in check.
Until next time…