I lost my buzz last week. I couldn’t find it in my cup of coffee. It wasn’t at the swimming pool or in the yoga video. A bath didn’t bring it back and neither did a glass wine. It was with my keys and my glove that went missing; I lost it on the mountain and I had to go back there to get it.
Last week was a recovery week for me. I was looking forward to it when I was in the middle of an intense training programme for The Maurice Mullins Ultra. I was committed to the training because I wanted to see what result I could achieve if I trained properly and raced the race. The event went well (my piece about it is on the way) but the recovery was a bitch.
Ok, I know I only took off a week. Big deal right? Well, for me it was. The first couple of days were fine. It was a relief to be off my programme but by the weekend I’d had enough. I was turning into a person I didn’t want to be around. I was on edge, cranky, distracted and in a crap mood. My body had trained hard and I needed time to recover physically; my mind needed the chance to be void of its usual stream of thoughts about miles, routes and speeds. But I missed running.
Last week wasn’t my proudest week. I’m not proud of the bad moods I was in or when I lost my temper or when I got overwhelmed. I’m ashamed of those moments. I don’t often share them because it’s scary to admit that things can get out of control. It’s easier to run up a mountain than to admit that I’m not perfect. Everyday life is full of challenges, even when running is a part of it. The challenges seem to be magnified when I don’t run.
The reason I started this blog was to share, that’s why I’m sharing this experience. I’ve learned a lot from reading blogs and articles. Some of them have touched me on a deep level. Like most of us, there have been times I’ve been lonely in my own little world. Reading about other people’s journeys has helped me to feel connected to the wider world and to feel more confident.
When we were young kids we puffed out our chests and we ran full throttle into the adventures that appealed to us. We sought out activities that made us buzz. We were unashamed and we engaged in what excited us. Our full commitment was given to backyard races and sitting room karate matches. But as we moved into the teenage years and onto adulthood, fulfilling ourselves through action took the backseat.
In adulthood as we search for where we slot into society, it seems arbitrary to put our energy into physical activities. Instead we try to fill that empty space from our childhood, that used to be full of excitement, desire and curiosity. We stuff it with relationships, substances and distractions. This isn’t a solution but a direct route to a miserable situation. It’s a route that I am trying my damnedest to avoid.
There isn’t a person, a food or a drink that can fulfil us. We know what will, we just need to be courageous enough to go and get it. We are better people when we engage in what excites us and when we do what we need to do for ourselves. For me, running is the thing that makes me a better me. It electrifies me. Thank Christ I’m back on the trails this week and I’ve found my buzz again.