Running at Night

Many of you know that this process was not triggered by unwanted state trooper groping alone. It really began after I made the decision to lose over 150 pounds.

When I stopped eating to numb the pain I found I was hungry in a new way and I didn’t know what to do with the rawness that was clawing to get out.

Everyone was so impressed by what I had done and my physical transformation. I was the thinnest I have ever been but it didn’t mean shit. I was absolutely miserable. I needed something to make me not think about what had happened. If I wasn’t eating 8,000 calories a day I had to find a new way to deny I was in emotional turmoil. I wasn’t ready to confront the actual problem. Looking for substitute unhealthy coping mechanisms eventually led to excessive alcohol consumption and my Cumberland Farms debacle.

I know how to be healthy. Sometimes I just don’t want to be. Wallowing in misery is so familiar I have to fight it most days just to get out of bed.

I wrote the following a while ago for a class. I need to feel positive today and to remember how far I have come. I think posting this experience might help with that.

Running at Night

When I first attempted to run it was pitch black outside.

I planned it this way. I didn’t want any witnesses.

I was on a familiar road. It was the same lonely stretch of black top I had been frequenting daily when I first started to add walking to my “lose all this weight” routine. I had been walking for about 6 months and my body felt like it needed a new challenge. When I initially decided to try to get healthy I could only walk for about 10 minutes at a time and I felt like I was going to need physical therapy and a hot bath afterwards. I was 150 pounds overweight.  Imagine my shock and surprise when I decided I was going to run.

At night.

In jeans.

Even after walking for 6 months and slowly building up to 2 miles of walking daily I was still too self-conscious to wear anything that would be comfortable. Of course I have always been ultra-aware of drawing any attention to myself or my body in any way so wearing jeans while running was an obvious solution. It took me a while to figure out that this would cause more curiosity. I imagined I probably looked like I was fleeing a crime scene.

Anyways… I’m geared up. I’m pumped. I walked most of the way and now I’m at that point where I’m ready to run. There are no street lights along this particular stretch. There are no cars (headlights) anywhere in sight. I have just the right song (Thank you x-Tina. I am a fighter) ready to go.

I started to run.

I was doing it! I knew I could!

This thought entered my mind right before I tripped on a sewer grate and hit the pavement full force.

I fell with the grace of a wounded rhinoceros.

After approximately 35 seconds of running.

Foiled. I was hurt of course and angry because I was actually out of breath from running for all of 35 seconds.  Plus I ripped my favorite jeans that I was too stubborn to change out of. What a waste.

The next night, I tried again. I was sore and mainly doing it out of spite but I ran for a full minute. Without falling.

I eventually moved my sorry attempts at running to the woods after a friend asked me why I was attempting to do all of this in any place that could be considered public. Even in the dark of night. He gets me.

I resisted at first but after repeated coaxing I took his advice. Still wearing jeans of course, but hey, I was running! I loved running in the woods. There is nothing to compare it to. The woods became my protection. I had never felt stronger or more alive. I was really doing more of a slow jog than running and I was looking out for rocks and tree roots which further slowed me down but even though I was moving slowly, I was moving. I was building up endurance that I never imagined was there. Laying the groundwork for the possibility of future healing.

One day I realized I ran for 20 minutes without wanting to puke. And I felt amazing. Shortly after that I bought a pair of running pants and ran my first mile.

In the woods.

Where there were no witnesses.

It took me over a year to get to that place. A few months later I finished my first 5k. My time was terrible and I scowled at the finish line because I wasn’t expecting all of the people and the attention.

But I did it.

And I wasn’t even wearing jeans.

I can do this too.

2 thoughts on “Running at Night

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