for christmas my parents said they would buy me a new pair of running shoes. (yay!) after two trips to two different stores in the metro area i gave up on actual stores and hit the internets for my shoe-shopping needs. i hemmed. i hawed. i made a list of six different pairs of shoes and chose one.
those shoes arrived, i ran in them on the treadmill and didn’t love them.
so i sent them back.
chose another one off the list.
the new shoes arrived and are fantastic! hurray for internet shopping and free returns from zappos! all of my choices were salomon [i am nothing if not brand-loyal] and i was trenching myself for the long-haul of trying shoes and sending them back until i found the perfect pair to replace my salomons [they don’t make my model anymore. boo.]. lucky for me the second pair turned out to be better than i could have hoped for. no more treadmill running for me–time to get these trail-shoes dirty!
last run of the year: a bit of a let down
as i started out on my last run of 2011 my mind was already composing a beautiful blog-post romantically laying out the last run of an interesting year. this romantic musing came to a screeching halt about a quarter of a mile into my run. allow me to set the scene:
its an unseasonably warm missouri new years eve afternoon in roachport, and just down the hill from the winery i hustle out from the beautiful house some friends rented for our new years celebration–behind me, over the bluff, i can see the missouri river mightily flowing and in front me of lays a beautiful clear sky, and a quiet hilly terrain of midwestern beauty.
sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
it is, for about four minutes. something that i forgot to pack for this journey was my ipod. not really that big of a deal when traveling with family and friends–no bus noise or airplane noise to keep at bay. but i learned this new years eve why i should probably never run without music or distraction of some sort.
the panic began about a quarter of a mile down the drive.
the poetic musings disappear as if they never existed.
the unseasonably warm air that was inviting now becomes oppressive,
i hear no birds singing,
the wind even seems to change direction and be blowing towards me rather than at my back.
being stubborn, and physically needing to expel some energy, i continue on in hopes that i can run through the rising tension of panic and feelings of what i can only describe as pure-terror. i try to keep a steady pace, letting my inner metronome dictate what my feet should do–all the while trying to sort out where these feelings of panic and deep fear are coming from.
this was even more difficult as i could not slow my brain down enough to recognize individual thoughts-i was just repeatedly being hit with a wall of mutual “none of this will ever work!”
coming to a stop, turning in circles, i even asked, out loud, “what is the ‘this’? what won’t work out? how do you know? how do i know?”
“who am i talking to?!”
i close my eyes, “pull. yourself. together. freeman.”
and i start running again.
only the panic and fear do not recede.
i still cannot grab one individual thought to wrestle with it, the best i can do is keep pace with my swirling thoughts. but about a mile out there is a small catch in my step and the eddy of panic takes me down. so i find myself, once again, sitting on the side of a road trying to pull myself together.
i feel disoriented–trying to make the gravel road a dirt one and the trees a sorghum field… i look for a peace billboard and a manyatta that are not there.
after what could only have been a minute i pull myself up and propel myself forward. no, not toward the house like most sane people would do, but farther away–my body wants to run even if my brain would rather have a melt-down. i probably make it about another mile before i allow myself to turn back and to walk for a while. i am not enjoying the scenery. i am not enjoying the exercise nor the walk so the prospect of ending this tortue quickly seems the best option. [that is to say, i ran the mile back with haste.]
once back in the house and in the company of friends the panic and fear melted way.
i shared a bit of this experience with them, and they listened. and i felt safe. a glass of water, a hot shower and some laughter later all was well.
i will not be making a habit of running without music anytime soon.
but perhaps more silent meditation is in order to sort through some of these panic inducing thoughts. whatever they may be.
first run of the new year: treadmill-tastic
my first run of the new year was a bit anti-climactic after the one i’d just had. but that was fine by me. running on the treadmill, however, wasn’t exactly what i wanted but i had these new shoes to try out without mucking them up, so this was really the best option.
soundtrack: gold panda, orchestra baobab