There are so many things that can motivate a person to make a huge change in their life. Unfortunately (or maybe not, depending on how you look at it), for me it was a crushing breakup. A week ago, the man I love decided to end our relationship and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I've never been the type of person to wallow in my own misery, but that's exactly where I found myself wanting to be. After he walked out the door and the sobbing was over, huddled in a ball on my bed with mascara all over my pillows (which thankfully came out) I thought to myself "this can't be right". Not the breakup itself - which isn't, but that's a completely different story for a not-so-public journal - but my attitude. What kind of person just lies in a puddle of tears, instantly defeated? Even worse, if I'm going to think as my usual "never say never" self, why would he even want me back?! Life goes on after all, no matter what we're faced with. That night I drifted off into an Advil PM-induced sleep, hoping to wake the next morning with some sort of answer to this question: How do I want to live my life from here on out?
I decided in order to distract myself from the sadness, I needed a new hobby. Not just something to keep me busy but something that would simultaneously make me feel good about myself, something that would give me a sense of accomplishment. Something that I actually had to focus on. I went to work per usual that next day, still a mess but somewhat functional. To be perfectly honest I didn't really think about much else but him that day. I worked all day, cried a few times, and managed to make it home in one piece. I suppose considering the circumstances that was to be expected, but it was what happened when I got home that astounded me. After the pups were walked and fed I changed into my workout clothes, put my sneakers on, grabbed my ipod and keys and walked out the door. I turned on the music as loud as it would go, and just started to run. I can't explain what in the world possessed me to do that. I just knew that I needed to keep moving because if I didn't I was going to fall apart again, and I couldn't do that to myself. It was a total Forrest Gump moment except that I'm not special needs, I'm female and well, non-fictional.
That day I ran/sprinted/walked the 2-mile round trip of Meadow Street, and when it was over I felt so, I don't know - proud. I felt proud that I didn't let myself break down because of something that in the grand scheme of things isn't an end-all. I felt proud that I pushed myself to finish. I have never actually enjoyed running, but when I got back from that jaunt I felt so good. It was a time for me when nothing or no one else existed, a time when all I had to do was focus on my breathing and the road.
The decision to start running has been a complete game-changer for me. There are things that I need to work on to improve my life and my well-being, and it - along with keeping a personal journal - has been a literal life saver. I've been pounding the pavement every day for a week. Some days more walking than running, but I am, after all, a newbie. I find myself actually looking foward to my daily run. Pre-JM, I would have by now either gotten bored or discouraged from making that much an effort (yes, after only one week) and seeing no progress with weight loss. This isn't about getting skinny, though. This is about taking the time and energy to look within myself and figure out what it really is I want and need to be happy. Instead of drowning in negative energy, I'm making a positive change for me.
I miss him terribly every day, and as much as I try to be realistic I do hope we'll be together again. But even after all of this, regardless of what happens, I owe him thanks. Thank you for forcing me to start the process of fixing the things in my life that need it, because I'm the only one on this Earth who can do that.
And, so it begins - a new chapter. My first goal as a runner: to run a 5k. August 28 is the next local race that I'll actually be ready for, and I'll be registering tomorrow. I'll be keeping track of my progress here (yes, that is the actual purpose of this blog, there will be no more talk of JM), and I'm so excited and hopeful for the future - no matter what it may bring.
The Munchkin is on the move!