As I’m running this morning, I keep hearing, “Find your Happy Place.” Over and over. Okay, well, this is my happy place – this beautiful stretch of Oregon coastline – but when I’m at 25 minutes of running and 15 more to go and my muscles are screaming and my arms are doing some kind of weird, flapping, dead seagull thing and my breath is not matching anything that the rest of my body is pretending to do – there’s no Place and definitely no Happy.
Nothing about this is fun or enjoyable. Eff that concept. Eff the Happy Place. Forget this running thing. It’s hot and I’m wearing all black and there isn’t a lick of breeze.
And quite frankly, I look like an idiot. This might be the stupidest thing I’ve ever done… Eff the Happy Place. I can just walk back to the car and call it a day. I can do that, that is within my power right now …
… this is the moment of decision, to stop or continue …
Right now, Seagull Arms needs to get it together. Seagull Arms needs to find The Strong Place, The Brave Place, The Place Where Courage Resides.
Get it together. Right now, woman. Get it together and run.
Pull those arms in. Find your breath. Find this step. This beat. Feel this leg go through the motion from the hip all the way through the toes. Feel the thigh flex as it powers through the rise. Strength. Fight. It’s there, woman. Listen to the dog’s tag jingle along next to you, music along the road. Yes, that’s your knee, but it’s not pain – acknowledge it and keep moving. This is your Strong Place. This moment. This breath. This step. This decision to be brave and keep going. This moment to persevere even though failure is eminent. This body of yours. It is strong. This body of yours will carry you through – have faith.
Ignore the voices yelling for failure. Ignore the shouts for mediocrity. Ignore the doubt.
Reside here, in the Strong Place.
At the finish – that’s where I find the Happy Place – at the end – when I’ve run farther than I’ve ever run before at the best pace I’ve seen since starting to train for the 10k. The Happy Place – when I share the joy of my accomplishment with my love. The pride of not failing, of completing.
The amazing thing – the Strong Place – we are forever residing in it, we just forget – we let the other voices cloud it’s existence. We let the moments pass us by while we search for our happiness, for the Happy Place, for the joy of this life. Be strong, dear friend, find the courage to live now, in this beautiful gift of a moment, to grant yourself the grace to be successful and the power to act.
If you are looking for some running support, I’ve found this amazing group of women runners (and bloggers) – Red Faced Runners. Check them out.
This is my red face after finishing my run this morning with the amazing retired racer, Savannah – who is the true athlete in my household.
If running isn’t your thing, have a beautiful day doing the amazing thing you do!
By the by, my t-shirt reads, “Women who behave rarely make history.” Be strong. Just saying.