Like many, I use running as a medication, a mood-lifter, a quick shot in the brain of adrenalin and inspiration. Trouble is the days when it is not enough. When I can’t run far enough to be able to say, oh, that doesn’t matter. When in truth, sometimes the bad stuff does matter. Sometimes it is simply too big to be run down.
Being a parent to young children is hard. Dinnertimes where I make my best effort and the plate is literally thrown to the floor. Times when my youngest shouts, “I don’t love you” or ends the day with “My best part was making you upset.” I’m tough, tough as nails, tough as old shoe leather, but these things go right to the heart of me, and in those moments, I just can’t run far enough to push down the emotions that jump up and bite me. I’m hit right in my core, and it shakes me. I hide in the kitchen, where the kids can’t see me and I am grateful the wall is tall enough that they can’t see how I’m feeling.
And when they go to bed, I write. When I can’t run any further, I write away the feelings, let them become mere words on paper that drift away and lose their pain over time, like sheets hung out to dry in the summer sun.
And I hope that in the writing and the sharing that others who feel that same pain feel better somehow. Like that old Elton John song, Sad Songs Say So Much.
So tonight, if you are a parent, if you are a runner who simply can’t run far enough to mask the pain that very young children can sometimes inadvertently cause, know you are not alone. I feel it too. It scalds, it burns, but it will pass. As all trials and pains eventually do, it will pass.
Right now, it simply is what it is. Sometimes we can’t run far enough to make it go away.
But sharing it helps.