Eight weeks of grieving the loss of my dear friend, Cold Beer, was enough to make me feel pent up and stir crazy. Spring was beginning to show herself with sunshine that warmed the face and smells that promised brighter days ahead. A time of renewal, just what I needed.
I began with a walk and found that the intense shame and emotional baggage of alcoholism didn’t feel as heavy when I was busy noticing nature. After a few days of walking, I began running again, the only way I knew that worked…walk 4minutes, run 1 minute(so I could do the math easily) and repeat. For anyone who has ever developed any amount of endurance to their running, you KNOW that this walk/run business is a far cry from your true running talents, but it works if you can be humble enough to accept it. I figured I had been humbled to my knees over the past few months, and I needed this to work. I needed to run, like I wanted a beer, but I wasn’t going to let the beer win. So away I went.
Several weeks later, I was running 10 and 1’s with the natter, chatter still raging in my head when I decided that I was going to run the Good Life Fitness Toronto Half Marathon and I was going to rope my friend into doing it too.
To keep me busy and off the sauce, my friend agreed. I totally could have celebrated with a glass of red wine, but I didn’t, I ran instead. I ran with hope and happiness, two things I hadn’t felt in a long time. My happy headed thoughts led me to some corny rejoicing in the power of the human spirit to heal itself, in my case through something as rudimentary as running.
I enlisted a ten week training plan that I plucked from some website and since I had eight weeks until race day, I promptly stroked out the first two weeks. All I needed to do was to stay focused and to make sure I never ran by the liquor store. I was a great runner as a kid. This was like coming home. I never doubted my talents and abilities as long as I could stay sober.
As the weeks passed, I was desperate to be free of the monkey on my back. Run, I told myself. Just run. Don’t think. Just run. Feel the road. Breathe the air. I need to run… feel… breathe. These are the things I did over and over. I developed habits. I needed certain socks with certain shoes for certain routes. I ate the same foods before a run. I obsessed about the right amount of hydration…then it hit me! I was kicking the beer alright, but I was knee deep in NEED for the daily run! I had a new addiction. I truly am happiest when I am consumed by something and this “something” wouldn’t give me cirrhosis. Cheers to that!