We’ve all experienced some sort of grief before, whether it is the loss of a loved one, a break up, or something so devastating that it makes you think that you’ll never recover. Perhaps you wake up with an overwhelming pain in your gut and an ache in your heart that seems to leave you feeling gloomy and numb. These are the days that it seems like nothing can you pull you out of this slump, and this pain will never escape you. If you have ever felt this way, it’s ok, because I’ve been there too – but this feeling is something that doesn’t last forever. On days that I felt that my world was collapsing down before me, I literally had to drag myself out of bed to go running, as I knew that running was my only escape. Yes, I was temporarily pumped on endorphins and my “runner's high”, but I didn’t realize that running was actually healing my heart.
Initially, I headed out for my run thinking that I was running from my problems, but in reality I was actually running towards my solution. I threw on my headphones, blasted Beyoncé, put one foot in front of the other, and kept my head held high. Whether it is for three or fifteen miles, I always gave my all, for I knew that I was running for me. In that moment, no one else mattered, and no one could take away my joy. Running allowed me to reconnect my body and soul, and to remember what is really important in my life. This time made me think about how loved I am, and how I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing people. If anyone ever makes you doubt your self worth, running fearlessly will help you to remember that you are beautiful and strong. Running gave me a boost of confidence that nothing else could, and for that, I am forever grateful for the ability to pound the pavement every day. To my surprise, I realized running and grief are actually quite similar, for both require an endless amount of strength, resilience, and toughness.
If running has taught me anything in life, it’s that I am stronger than I believe. It is totally normal to be sad while you grieve, but don’t let this stop you from living your life. We all face hardships, but it is how we stand back up that makes us the person that we are. If you wake up in the morning with a throbbing heart, you are not alone, but you must get up and remember that you can mend this with time. Go lace up those sneakers and remember that you may not be able to control all things in life, but you can control this very moment. Whenever you feel like you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, remember that the sun always shines more brightly when you step outside and allow yourself to see it.