Thursday, March 7, 2013

Running - The Gift That Keeps On Giving

It's that time of year again - when I start to hyperventilate when I think of work. It's gone from manageable to how-the-hell-am-I-going-to-get-everything-done-and-still-be-able-to-sleep.

I don't like it when it's this busy.

I don't like it when it's too quiet either but it seems to be the nature of my business. All frantic hysteria for the first few months of the year and then a slow slide to sloth and indolence which I really quite enjoy. I wish the competition organisers would spread out the comps just so I could get a more even level of work.

On Wednesday I got another big order. On top of the other three that I already have. And it mentally tipped me over the edge. I was feeling stressed and harried - totally convinced that I'd never get the orders done in time. And they have to be done in time or little girls may have nothing to wear at their event.

Wednesday is the day when the whole family eat at my parents place so Wednesday I didn't have to cook (it's such a blessing every week to have that day off) but this week there was a lot of talk about my birthday next week. What did I want? (I don't know) What would we eat? (I don't know) How was I going to celebrate? (I don't think I'll have time)

I left there feeling totally frazzled and flustered and NEEDING to run.

So yesterday I was out of bed just after 4:30am and out the door at 5:00. For the first time in days it was dry. Except for the oval that I have to run through at the beginning and the end - that was a total quagmire. There was no beautiful sunrise, just a gradual lightening making silhouettes more distinct and distant objects turn from men back into signs. The river was high and muddy (we've had a LOT of rain) but it was flat and calm.

I ran into the city and around the Botanical Gardens and left all the work behind me. All the stress and anxiety just dropped away. It was like having a mini-holiday.

As usual, as I ran I solved all the world's problems. And most of the answers involved some form of running. How do we solve the North Korean nuclear threat? Put Kim Jong Un on a running program. I'm sure he'd lose that petulant aggression (to say nothing of the puppy fat) if he was running 50k a week. Gang violence? Running of course. And the gangs would have a different arena to show their superiority - a running track. Childhood obesity? Doh, that's a no-brainer.

I even worked out why I end up with a headache every time I run with a cap on (and that's been a lot lately). It had something to do with all the thoughts that crowd my head during the run not being able to be released into the cosmos and making my head swell. It totally made sense around the 12k mark.

Yes, I went a little further than my program dictated yesterday but sometimes the run isn't just to improve times or prepare for a race. Sometimes the run serves a higher purpose - bringing a little dose of sanity into a sometimes crazy life.

And the benefits didn't just stop there. I got through my working day with flying colours. Finished a big cutting job and a costume that had been sitting on my table for nearly a week. Sorted out my plan of attack for the next few days. Rang some clients to come pick up their stuff. And organised my fabric order. The dogs got a walk and the grocery shopping got done. And I slept like a log when my head hit the pillow.

And this is why I will keep running until my body no longer lets me.


  1. I love this...truer words were never spoken! Well, except maybe the Kim Jong Un part. But glad the run served a great purpose for you.

    We actually have a really cool program here in the States called Back on My Feet. It targets homeless people and helps them learn to run. So many of them have beaten addiction and gotten their lives back in order, all through having a running program and coaches at their disposal. They show up at races in big groups and it's really powerful to watch.

  2. Tru-dat! I'm not sure what it says about us, but running is my drug of choice. Definitely an addiction. When things get a little crazy, it somehow seems to get me right again, at least for a while until the voices start again.

  3. Yes yes! I agree with Jim...running is my drug of choice too. If we could bottle it up and sell it, we'd make kazillions!

  4. Oh it sounds so wonderful but I will be back there too. I hope you post pictures of some of your (sewing) creations.

  5. Oh yes, running is a fabulous escape hatch. I often leave all of my crankiness and frustrations out on the road. Glad its helping you get through your busy season!

  6. So, so true Char! Running provides so much more than a workout :)
    Good luck with getting all of those costumes done! It never rains, it pours hey?

  7. I do that when I'm swimming, just process,process, process. Yep, bodybuilding season about to hit full swing!

  8. I agree with you: running makes us feel good ... I hope that the North Korea's leader (and all his People's Committee) will give it a try soon :) You made me laugh :)

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  10. Lovely! This is where running comes from the heart and not the legs. My running is my alone time and early morning runs are my time to rid the world of all evil. I sometimes get back home and can't even remember that I ran certain parts of my route. Awesome post Char! Glad work is going so well for you although it is overwhelming.

  11. I am not going to order anything, but keep running anway.

  12. Yes! Great post, Char! I've tried to explain it as "draining the bathtub" - you know, getting rid of all the dirty water before you add new. Anyway, not many people get my spectacular analogy :).

    Glad you are so busy (even if it is stressful) because I know you will get it all done and those girls will look beautiful in your costumes!

  13. Love this - the best reason to run!! Good luck filling the rest of the orders - a few more good runs should help!!!

  14. Brilliant, so true how it sets you up for a good day; now if we could harness that energy and power the world is ours for the taking :-)

  15. Ahhhhhh I loved this.
    And you.
    And I'm grateful for posts & people like you.
    Running is my drug. I'm a healthy addict.

    You're awesome

  16. I loved reading this post. This is how running makes me feel too. It always helps me feel better.

  17. Oh yes, running is always the right solution for everything. My mother in law cannot run but I (more or less) can ..... and I run far from her!

  18. great post...running just makes me happy! if i'm having a crappy day, running (or any exercise) just makes things right. and i TOTALLY think if kim jong un ran, he'd be WAY less cranky. tee hee!

  19. As you know, I don't get it... this running caper, but I love that it's something you love enough to drown away the rest of the world and your stresses!



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