Saturday evening started out rough for me.
Our neighbors had a party and we could hear their music in our house. And I know that people are allowed to have parties. And even though I think that after you reach a certain age, you are supposed to have parties where the music only lives inside your own house, I know that people have parties with loud music.
Unfortunately, music seeping into my house from the outside is one of my biggest sensory nightmares. It completely dysregulates me. I have to wear headphones with my own music blasting, but I still can’t do much that is functional. I get agitated and stressed and a rock drops into my chest and I have to escape.
It’s pretty horrible, honestly.
Fortunately, on Saturday, I had someplace to go.
I had signed up for an 8K race that started at 8:45 at night. I was an early arrival thanks to my fleeing the house, but at least I had plenty of time to decompress.
The bummer of the whole thing, however, is that I had absolutely no desire to run five miles, especially after my rough early evening. Adding to that is the fact that running has been really tough for me lately. There are a lot of reasons for that, chief among them being that I barely ran at all in May and June because of everything that was going on in my life. In addition, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it is damn hot out there. And humid. And generally horrible.
Saturday night was cool and dry though. And two of my running friends who were running the race also met me at there. They are super fun to be with and by 8:45, I was relaxed again.
Sadly, I still didn’t want to run five miles.
Happily, I didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter, as I was lined up in the race corral wearing a number and my running shoes, plus my friends probably would have been confused if I’d just sat on the ground instead of moving forward.
So move forward I did.
Step step step step/breath. Step step step step/breath.
I started to run and with each quartet of steps and each breath, I felt better. My body loosened and relaxed and I settled in for the next hour of steps and breathing. Because when you really look at it, that’s all running is—steps and breathing.
As it turns out, everything I needed after getting away from my house that night was steps and breathing.
I returned to my house late Saturday night, happy, tired, and (thank god) to a neighbor who had turned off his music.