Shifting focus

I ran 20 miles this week and 63 during the month of August. I haven’t run that much, that consistently since… wait. I haven’t run that much since 2013, when I ran all three of my half marathons and when I was also unemployed or underemployed (at four separate jobs). I made it through that stress and I know I’ll make it through my current stress. I have an awesome track record with these things… 🙂

But it’s not often we get to say we’re proud of how we’re managing stress. Usually amid said stress we’re not focused on how to manage the stress, but rather how to get rid of the stress. I think that’s the point of failure, really, and I can say this with more certainty now. I’m a living example.

My current stress is when I will be moving to China. I honestly have no idea when I’m moving, where I’ll live, when I’ll be paid, what I’ll teach, and other mainstays of what we would consider everyday life. It’s pretty serious. And there is literally nothing I can do about it. So I’m taking care of myself and managing the stress in the best ways I can. Last month I joined the local YMCA. I ran, swam, lifted, did yoga, did pilates, and cycled. I went to that gym almost every single day. Surely I’m better for it physically, but that isn’t my focus at the moment.

Now that it’s getting cooler, I’ve been running outside more. No more YMCA (hello, September bills! I see you arrived safely though my paycheck has not…). It’s just me and my shoes on the trails, roads, or track.

I felt especially motivated to run this week after a supercharged Oiselle PA Volée meet up at Penn State University on Sunday. I’ve been on Oiselle Team for four years now and the energy, positivity, and love of the women on this team never ceases to amaze me. We met to run four miles together on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the month. (Not so lucky for me, who had been running indoors.) I’ve been inspired by my teammates to keep going and build miles. I’m not training for a race (yet). I don’t have any specific health-related goals at the moment. I’m not checking my speed or much else, really. I’m just running.

So while my situation is insane, I’m managing life and all the stress by running. I cannot get rid of this stress. I can only manage it and I’m proud of how I’m managing because I could be in a much worse state. Sure, I still get angry or cry sometimes, but other times I just shift my focus to what’s going well. I think that’s what running helps me to do best.


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