A conversation with my oldest and truest friend – Running. We love each other, but every now and then we need to sit down and have a serious talk.
Me: “Hi Running. I’ve been thinking. I’m worried about this upcoming winter with all of the closures and limited social opportunities, along with the darker, colder, shorter days. I just want to let you know I think I’m going to be relying on you more than ever, so please be prepared and be there for me”.
Running: “Sure, happy to help. What exactly do you think you need me for, so I can be clear?”
“Well, you’ll be my social outlet for sure – that’s super important. I need to use you to be with my friends and to laugh and connect with people. I need you to be available when people in my family want to run together because I facilitate some of their access to you. I will need you for my thought clearing solitary runs. I will need you as an emotional outlet when I’m angry or stressed. I will need to use you when I just need to force myself outside for some fresh air, nature connection and mental health. And I would like you to keep me energized enough to be present and available to take on adventures and activities with my family, not drained and tired”.
“Ok, I can do that”.
“Thanks so much – love ya!”
“I wasn’t finished. You often ask too much of me. If I am going to commit to this role for you, you need to let go of some of the things you normally ask of me”.
“Don’t use me to measure your sense of accomplishment and achievement. Don’t use me to compete with yourself and judge yourself and continually try to better yourself. Protect me from getting tied up with your ego. Care for me and nurture me and love me back. Don’t abuse me”.
“Do I do that?”
“Seanna, I’ve been with you for over 30 years. You know I’ll always love you but yes, you do. You sometimes wring me like a wet sock to see how much you can squeeze out of me. When you don’t treat me well, I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to be there for all that you ask”.
“Well, you’ve broken my heart many times too, and I always come back”.
“And I always come back too. But sometimes it takes time. And you’re telling me you don’t want this winter to be that time. So let’s treat each other gently for a while and give you what you say you need”.
“Ok I will do my best. And Running? I love you”.