I love to run. I love my sneakers. I love the powerful high of feeling strong, pounding the road or dancing across a path. I love getting up the mileage, crossing distances. I love hill sprints in the grass and high knees and butt kicks and long, long periods of stretching and yoga after and before, feeling in my body and seeing how far I can go. 10ks and half marathons and the short 2 mile loop around the pond in town. I love to run.
It’s what I do.
Terrified of making mistakes over and over, I run to a new job. Suffocating from shame, I run away. Hiding from everyone and anything that reminds me of the shame, I look into moving across the country. When I get yelled at at work and am triggered into that scary-six-year-old-hide-and-cry place… I run.
It’s what I do.
When I get into a panic, I flee. I don’t fight. I flight. Sitting in my therapist’s office re-experiencing a trauma, my eyes darted to the door and I half jumped up to flee, in flight. I run.
I want to run to the other side, where the grass is greener, and it often seems greener than where I stand right now. And as soon as I start to run, I get overpowered by panic and fear and realize I’m running instead of facing an issue, and if I can, I stop. Sometimes I set a ball in motion running running running and it’s too late. Then I get to the grass on the other side and maybe the grass is different, but I’m still the one standing on it.
Exit. Leave. Yet, if there’s no where to run, I shut down. When I get overwhelmed, I shut down. Check out. It’s running away inside of myself. I run away deep into that gone, far, dark place. I run and I hide. It’s what I do.
I’m a runner.
I’m a runner, but I want to stop running all the time. I want to stop running from fear, from perfectionism, from shame, from overwhelm, from shutdown, from over-stimulation.
I want to keep running on the streets, in the woods. I want to keep running and strengthening my body; I want to continue to build strength and feel safe inside my body.
I want to run and I need to stop running.