I RAN OUTSIDE. F*ck treadmill vertigo! I RAN OUTSIDE!
All my fears of face-planting and eating a healthy portion of cement were silenced. I didn’t run as hard as I did when the temperatures were 25°C degrees outside, but my running shoes connected to dry pavement and icy sections alike. The familiar rhythm of right-left footfalls restarted, and my body easily picked up where I left off. I didn’t run as long as I normally do either, but I RAN. I only did one short slip when I flailed wildly to keep my balance, but I stayed upright! I think I had mini-core workout when that happened as well. As I pushed hard but not too hard, I realized that the main thing keeping me from running are minor, tiny challenges that exist solely in my head. All my obstacles are in my head, not outside of it.
I realize that as I typed this sentence that the cheese factor is off the scales. It smells an awful lot like a banal platitude a la “Anything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”; “Living well is the best revenge”; “Go with the flow”; “The only thing to fear is fear itself”; etc. Really banal, yes? Like really, really banal. I’m even rolling my eyes reflexively and I wrote that. Sure they’re true, but all I hear is the, “BANAL CLICHE BANAL BANAL PLATITUDE,” and tune it out.
But you know what isn’t banal? Anxiety. You know what’s really hard to tune out? Anxiety. Anxiety is dangerous. Anxiety is the leading cause of unlived lives and a lack of fulfillment. Anxiety is the cause of spiritual and emotional death that leaves an abyss of blackness right where a will to live would be. Anxiety whispers in your head all the reasons why you can’t do something. Anxiety creates doubt, and doubt creates fear. The next thing you know, you’re lying in the snow like Hammy paralyzed by a lack of survival instinct. It’s a mental scourge.
I did list all the obstacles. I couldn’t run in -30 (fair enough–that temperature is inhuman, insane, and not fun, and I do.not.want frostbite and gangrene). I can’t run when the sidewalks are icy because I’ll slip and fall. I can’t run in the cold because it’ll cause my lungs to seize. I can’t run because I can’t train as hard as I did. I did listen. I nodded as I listened, and then I laced up my shoes and I went anyway.