Everybody has their own way of dealing with change. My way just happens to involve running shoes.
I had my heart broken, so I laced up a pair of sneakers and started running around my neighborhood. Sweltering summer humidity in the South is a great to help you forget your woes. No, seriously, I was too busy putting one foot in front of the other that I could forget about the hurt (temporarily, anyway). And, in the process, I found a new hobby.
Now fast forward two years: I moved halfway across the country and started my masters degree, so the early part of first semester found me on a treadmill at the school gym a couple times a week. I’d like to say I was always diligent about running that first semester, but midterms might have had something to do with getting out of my running routine.
Five years later, I had my heart broken, again, so off I went to the local park to do what I’d done before: run my way to wholeness. By this point, I’ve finished my masters, and I’m working my first full-time job. So now, in addition to my own healing, running is also about offsetting the effects of a sedentary job and a two-hour, roundtrip commute. Incidentally, this was also the point that running finally clicked as a steady constant in my life, and I finally bit the bullet and invested in my first “real” pair of running shoes.
I can keep going listing all the major changes in my life over the last few years, but then we’d be here a while. I found my way to running in the face of change. And regardless what changes have—and continue—to come my way, part of the answer to how I respond to said changes is always the same: lace up the running shoes and go run. The when and where had changed. The time of day has changed. The shoes have changed multiple times. And yet, at some point, every change involves running.
In the face of a shifting landscape, running is the constant—the one place where all the variables can fade away and I can, usually, find the perspective to face whatever change (or changes) is happening in my life. Somewhere in the sweat, the sidewalks, and the effort, change stops being something scary and starts becoming something I can handle. And to that end, running is going to be part of my life for a very long time.