Anguish. That’s what’s missing from my life. Happily, thankfully, and finally, missing. I’m glad it’s gone. It hovered above my head for the better part of four years. Don’t take this wrong. I wasn’t walking around in a perpetual state of sadness. Of course there were good days and bad days, and for the most part, I was a fairly happy person, but it took me a long time to recover from my divorce, my broken heart, and a massive amount of change in my life.
I learned to channel that anguish. Beginning with the first signs of a deteriorating marriage, I started running. Exercise became my therapy. Running, and then cycling were my drugs of choice. I completely related to the Karl Marx quote, “The only antidote to mental suffering is physical pain.”
I know this isn’t a new topic. I have mentioned it in other blogs and wrote a fun piece about it for Elephant Journal, but this is going in a slightly different direction. Lately, the past few months or so, I have been trying to figure out where my motivation has gone. Why am I not into running as much? Why am I not on my bike like I’ve been in the past?
A few weeks ago, while on a four mile run that turned into only three, it hit me. I’m happy. I realized that so much of my motivation for exercising was driven by anguish. Not all, but most. That was my edge. That was what got my agitated self out of the house quicker than anything else. I ran faster, I pedaled harder. I wanted it to hurt. The physical hurt made me feel better. The turmoil in my mind spurred me on. I can’t think of any other way to explain it.
It’s time to discover new motivation and to give myself a break. I’m realizing I don’t need to push myself as hard as I used to and that it’s okay to ease back a bit. I won’t ever stop. Exercise will always be my therapy and continue to make me feel good, but I’m ready for it to be a different kind of relationship.