The Peace of the Road

running, health, fitness, life, mental health, peace of mind, humor, Modern PhilosopherWhile I’m always griping about how much I hate running, Modern Philosophers, I inevitably come around to begrudgingly admitting that I can be in the same room as it without coming to blows.

The truth is that running might very well be my best frenemy.  I’m running five days a week now, and can bust out a 3+ mile run before work like I’m walking to the corner to buy milk.  On the weekends, I look forward to seeing how my body handles a five miler.

Running is tolerable when it becomes a positive challenge, and right now, I’m enjoying seeing how hard and far I can push myself.  I’ll readily admit that I wouldn’t have lost so much weight if it weren’t for running.

Forty-two pounds and shrinking.

This morning, though, I looked at running with an entirely different perspective.

I realized that my morning run is probably my most peaceful time of the day.  It has been a very stressful week.  Luna has been sick, I’ve been dealing with this weird stomach thing, work has been challenging, and the car added to my woes by mysteriously stalling at a red light on the way home last night.

Because of that last one, I stressed all night, tossed and turned in bed, and then woke up early worrying.  I couldn’t clear my head of the thought that the car was going to die on me again, so I lost sleep and drove myself bonkers over something over which I had absolutely no control.

Every morning before I run lately, I take care of Luna.  I clean her nose, I feed her, and I try to figure out why she doesn’t seem to be getting better.

Then, I finally lace up my sneakers, turn on the music, and hit the road.

When I run, there is no time to waste worrying.  I’m far too focused on pushing myself down the road, trying to improve my time, working on my breathing, and inspiring myself with mini pep talks.

running, health, fitness, life, mental health, peace of mind, humor, Modern PhilosopherThis morning, it was raining, so I was telling myself “You’re not going to melt“, “A little water isn’t going to hurt you“, and “If you want to get out of the rain, run faster“.

Most mornings, I’m singing along to my tunes as I run.

Basically, I’m too busy being better at life and finding that next gear to have any time for stress.  Running clears my Deep Thoughts of all negativity, and somehow takes me to my Zen place even though I’m breathing hard and sweating like a madman.

When I stop to think about it, it’s ironic that I’m in such a rush to complete my run because I should want my moment of peace to last as long as possible.

But what makes my runs so exhilarating, so distracting, and so therapeutic is the fact that kicking ass and proving myself is what brings me mental nirvana.

Bringing out the best in myself chases away the worst thoughts in my head.

It really is that simple.

running, health, fitness, life, mental health, peace of mind, humor, Modern PhilosopherCheck out how happy I look after my run.

The stress is gone.

I know I kicked ass.

I’m already thinking about how I’m going to push myself to do better the next time I hit the road.

For the record, the car made it back and forth to work without any problem.  Although, I must admit that stress levels rose every time I had to stop for a red light.  But I survived.

Work was stressful, but I went for walks on all my breaks and that definitely helped to clear my head and bring me peace.

My stomach is still a little zany, but at least I haven’t woken up in serious pain either of the last two nights.

When I got home from work, Luna was in the kitchen eating on her own.  That made me very happy.  And guess what she’s doing right now while I’m writing this post…

running, health, fitness, life, mental health, peace of mind, humor, Modern PhilosopherShe is relaxing in her cat bed and watching the Yankees!  How cool is that?  Hopefully, this means she is finally feeling better.  That would really make me happy.

Is there a particular activity that helps you find the peace of mind you so badly crave? 

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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32 Responses to The Peace of the Road

  1. ksbeth says:

    i’m so glad to read this, austin. it sounds like you’ve made so many positive changes in your life. glad luna is getting better, now she just needs to watch the tigers….

    i enjoy walking in the woods and parks, one of my summer projects, always an adventure –

  2. Glenda says:

    Looking good and sounding great!

  3. Ben Aqiba says:

    Every physical activity is excellent. I do not like running, but I do like cycling, which is also great. We must find something for us, some kind of physical activity in which we enjoy 🙂

    Thank you

  4. grannyK says:

    I sure hope both you and Luna are better today. I understand about the car issues! Mine needs a new intake hose and it wants to stall. We are saving to have it all fixed, but we be poor people lol. I hope you have a great Friday!

    • Austin says:

      Luna seems to be doing well today. Thank you. Hope you fix your car problems soon. I think mine was just a hiccup on a day I needed to stop for gas…

  5. Kelly Welch says:

    I too absolutely enjoy running. It lifts me up whenever I am feeling down. It is always exhilarating seeing how far you can push your body. I LOVE the positive message of your post today.

  6. Megan Sloan says:

    I love how you talk about running! Its so true!

    • Austin says:

      Thanks, Megan! I’ve got a bunch of running and fitness posts, so I hope you’ll check out a few more. 🙂

      • Megan Sloan says:

        Oh I will. I’m a weak runner working on improving.

      • Austin says:

        Well, I’m here to chat about it any time you’d like. 🙂

      • Megan Sloan says:

        Fantastic thank you so much. I’m trying to train for better run times at my races. I walk about 60-70% and I want to improve.

      • Austin says:

        I’m by no means a speed demon, but I am steadily improving my time. Tomorrow, I plan to give a longer distance a shot. Pray for me. 🙂

      • Megan Sloan says:

        Will do! I just finished running bleachers at my local high school so I’m more prepared for my next race. Do you walk much on your shorter distance runs? I still find it hard to run a mile without stopping to Walmart least twice.

      • Austin says:

        I’m 17 weeks into my new fitness program, so no more walking during runs for me. I do at least 3 miles every time out and can to it all without stopping. I’ve topped out at about 5.25 miles. Maybe slow down the pace?

      • Megan Sloan says:

        I can slow down but much slower and I’d be walking. I know I need to be more regular about it. Intentionally focus on running a solid mile or two without stopping. A lot of my training I’m running maybe a quarter of a mile and then doing reps of some kind of exercise

      • Austin says:

        I started with three miles and had to stop to walk many times. Once I could do 3 without stopping, I started to add distance. Now I run 5 days a week. The other two days, I go for long walks to build endurance…

      • Megan Sloan says:

        I’ll have to try that. Thank you for the advice

      • Austin says:

        You should read some of my other running posts. Especially the ones called Being Better At Life and Finding That Extra Gear. I hate running, but I understand what I need to do in order to get healthy. If I can do it, anyone can. 🙂

      • Megan Sloan says:

        I’m trying to keep up with my competitive runner of a boyfriend. That and I would love to just improve my time running. I’ll give them a read

      • Austin says:

        I’ve found that it’s best to compete with myself. I have friends who are runners, and it bothered me at first that I couldn’t match their pace, but then I realized we weren’t at the same place in our running routines. Now I just try to improve on my time and only worry about how I’m doing. That really has helped a lot. 🙂

      • Megan Sloan says:

        Oh yeah that’s what I do too. I call it racing my shadow. Last run Megan. I ultimately want to compete again my boyfriend and runner friends but you’re spot on I’m always going to compete against myself first.

      • Megan Sloan says:

        I actually blogged about that. Racing myself and finding inspiration

      • Austin says:

        I’m like Peter Pan, though. My shadow goes off on its own whenever I go for a run as it is lazy and just likes to sit around. I’ve yet to find a Wendy to sew it back on for me. 🙂

      • Austin says:

        I’ve lost 42 lbs since April 1, and my main goal is to get into shape. You know, so I can find a runner girlfriend and all. 🙂

      • Megan Sloan says:

        That’s fantastic! Great work!! Yeah I found the runner boyfriend and I was more into weight training. Now I spend time trying to catch up with him too.

      • Austin says:

        Thanks. Tell all your single female runner friends about my blog. 🙂

      • Austin says:

        It really does seem like the only fair thing to do, you know 🙂

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