That Other (Forgotten) Coping Mechanism

Last night when I was distraught, Pete asked, what can you do to feel better? I jokingly offered to drink a bottle of wine, or maybe eat 5 cookies, or write. He handed me the computer and said, write it is. 

So that's where yesterday's post came from, in case you were wondering. Writing continues to a way for me to express myself; there's just something about writing that enables me to think things through and process them. It's one of the first things I said when we came home from the doctor that horrible day: "I need to write."

But up until today, I had forgotten about running as a coping mechanism. I went to the gym to punch the punching bag, only to discover my gym is too foo-foo for those things; they have kickboxing but I don't think anyone kicks anything. ANYWAY, I had to find another option. I remember that day back in January I was LIVID with the diagnosis of asthma for Lucia, and ran until my lungs hurt. I had been running 90 second intervals; that day I ran for 5 whole minutes, then stopped to walk. I just told myself to keep running until I didn't feel ragey anymore. 

So that's what I did tonight. I ran 2 laps on the track until my lungs hurt, then walked one. Repeat. Each time I ran I poured over the anger and really tried to bring it up and feel it, then pound it into the track with each step. Left. Right. Left. Right. I remember doing this at my last job to combat the ongoing rage from the ridiculousness that was that job. I ran intervals then, and let the treadmill propel me and set my pace. Tonight, my anger was enough to propel me. I joked with a guy on the track who was sprinting with a gigantic weighted ball over his head that I was totally beating him, it was obvious. I felt squishy, and just decided to go with it. I still felt somewhat ragey afterwards so I walked home from work (2.2 miles). I felt everything shift about a mile in. Just shift, and soften. 

In my adaptation of the Paleo lifestyle, I have to admit in hindsight that I think I threw the baby out with the bathwater in terms of cardio; a lot of that whole dogma is so entrenched in CrossFit only or just lifting heavy or whatever. That may work for a lot of people, but I think running intervals is absolutely included in my Operating Manual. It's in the Troubleshooting section: when machine is Ragey and inconsolable, put on treadmill or track. It's pretty remarkable. 


  1. Amen, sista. Not all exercise is about being physically healthy.

  2. I hate reading these fucking miscarriage posts. I mean, I'm happy that running is helping, but I feel pretty ragey toward your situation and I'm on an opposite coast.

    Sorry. I'm sure this isn't helpful.

  3. Amy, thanks. I hate reading them too, if it's any consolation. I hate that this is my reality. HATE IT. But it is.

    Thanks Amanda and Robin! I'm going to RUN HL RUN indeed!

  4. Anonymous11:35 AM

    Yep, it's why I run so much--you won't see it on my FB page but my husband has cancer that has spread to his liver and so I deal with the stress by running, working out and eating. It all balances out somehow. I tend to think running helps ease many a bad day. thinking of you
    Melissa R.

  5. Melissa, wow. I'm so, so sorry. My heart goes out to you. Please keep me updated. I'm sending you hugs.

  6. Anonymous6:44 PM

    Thanks, Heather! I appreciate it--we found out this past February very unexpectedly (as I guess is normal)--things are going OK right now with treatments and he's feeling good lately, thank goodness. People have been amazing with support/prayers/thoughts!


Post a Comment