Sometimes I think it would be nice to work a job that didn't come with quite so high stakes. A job where a simple mistake could quite realistically result in someone losing their life can wear heavily at times.
This uncertainty 2 days before I have an interview (today!!) for a graduate school program that will cost a significant amount of money, will consume a significant amount of my life, and will require significant sacrifice from those in my life. It takes me much further down the path I am currently on, and the responsibility for others' lives will only be greater. However, the result of successfully completing the program could be life altering for my family and me.
Faced with the enormity of it all, I knew that I wouldn't fall back to sleep.
I also knew that I would likely sit there and wallow in the stark negativity of my dream.
So I got up, got dressed and headed to the gym for a run.
By all accounts it wasn't a particularly enjoyable run. I had a stitch in my side the whole way, regardless of how much I focused on form and breathing. I couldn't easily find my headphones without waking anyone up before I left, so I was music-less. There was a loud talker/laugher chattering away a few rows behind me during my entire run, with just the perfect grating edge in her too loud voice. It took my legs a while to loosen up, and my muscles were not fans of having no breakfast before being required to perform.
That terrible run, was so, so much better than the alternative.
I crave the simplicity and clarity that running brings. Life is as simple as the next mile, the next interval, the next step. I covet the perspective a workout grants. It was 3 miles of chances to evaluate myself, 30 minutes of time to recenter myself. It was a welcome pause before I had to deal with whatever life was thrusting upon me.
It was an escape.
My day didn't get much better--in fact it only got worse. A truly bad day regardless of the timing or impending potentially life altering events.
Clearly running is not a cure all.
But in the moment, mid-stride, I am free.
And things are so very simple.