Sometimes You Just Need To Run

running, mental health, Modern PhilosopherIt has been a considerable while since I last suffered through a long, dark teatime of the soul, Modern Philosophers.

I’m not sure what changes I made in my life to fend off the dark clouds, but I knew that they would return eventually.

After all, such storm front are relentless.

Therefore, I was not surprised when I could not bring myself to get out of bed this morning.  Christmas is the time of year that most seems to attract the dark clouds, and I suppose it wouldn’t be the Holiday Season if they didn’t make an appearance.

Of course, this morning’s misadventure with my emotions was directly related to the Holiday in question.  I woke up ruminating about the one thing that had gone wrong and ruined what had the potential for being my best Christmas in ages.

I was more upset that I’d come so close to breaking my Christmas Curse, than I was that I’d spent the day alone again…naturally.

I’m not sure if you understand how the dark clouds work, but once they gather, they only increase in number, making it nearly impossible to escape their wrath.

And with my overactive mind, I simply made matters worse because I couldn’t stop thinking about what had me so upset.

running, mental health, Modern PhilosopherSomething about this photo perfectly sums up how I felt this morning.

I was facing an uphill climb, over slippery, rocky terrain, and all that awaited me at the top was dark clouds.  It was intimidating and I didn’t think I had any fight in me.

But somehow, I convinced myself that I needed to get out of bed and go for a run.  Something about the crisp, Winter air would clear my head.  Maybe I could outrun the dark clouds.  Perhaps the snow clouds already outside would prevent the dark clouds from following me.

Running is far from my favorite activity, but this morning, it was a godsend.

I bundled up, headed for the river, and did not dare look skyward.  If I didn’t see the dark clouds over me, then there was a chance they weren’t there.

I focused on my breathing and setting a solid pace.  I let the music from my phone fill my head.  I didn’t allow my mind the opportunity to wander back to the topic that had me afraid to crawl out from under the covers this morning.

And I just ran.

I didn’t break any records.  I didn’t run any further than usual.

running, mental health, Modern PhilosopherI just gave my brain something else to keep it occupied for forty-five minutes.

And I even got to chat with the ducks, who seemed extremely pleased that the river was no longer frozen, which meant they could splash around and go for a swim.

Thankfully, when I returned to The House on the Hill, the dark clouds had cleared.  Maybe they’ll be back, but it’s comforting to know that my running shoes and I will be prepared for them should they decide to return…

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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16 Responses to Sometimes You Just Need To Run

  1. Ocean Bream says:

    I like this a lot. Sometimes I do similar things to clear the dark clouds. Always a focus, always a voice (or voices) to fill the mind (music), always an activity that requires pushing oneself. It’s good you went out for a run. i hope those clouds stay away longer than you anticipate.

  2. beth says:

    now you know the magic cure when it begins to get dark

  3. Jean X says:

    But what if I cà ñt can’t run?

  4. markbialczak says:

    Way to handle it, Austin.

  5. GD says:

    Know the feeling so well. Fresh air always seems to help me too, even though the idea of moving outside can be dodged too easily! Stay healthy and happy as you can x

  6. Bolaji Gelax says:

    Oh, Austin. I hope you never leave your running shoes and music behind, until you never need them again to lift the dark clouds. Until then, I wish you loads of love, warmth and sunshine. ♥️✨

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