Have you ever been so preoccupied by something that you can barely sit still? So anxious/excited/nervous/scared/worried, whatever about something that it literally takes over your mind and body and makes you a twitching, blathering, not-so-hot mess? Well, I have. Recently.
I'm not going to say what it was--I'm not quite brazen enough just yet. Let's just say that it took me completely by surprise and was, in my newly acquired sense of retrospect, totally unnecessary. Unnecessary, but very real nonetheless. I found myself constantly thinking about it, talking about it, and checking my email with ridiculous frequency. I was beyond flustered and it was not pretty.
So one night, as I sat in my room, staring at my silent cell phone, imagining countless catastrophic possibilities pertaining to the aforementioned unnamed issue, I decided to pull the plug on the obsessing and strapped on my running shoes. It had been some time since I'd hit the pavement, but I needed something, anything else to pass the time.
It hurt, honestly. It had been awhile and my joints, my lungs and my heart were not ready for it. But I kept on, pausing only at crosswalks. I ran farther and harder than I ever had before. I could feel the sweat dripping into my bangs, which I pushed back until they were slick enough that they just stuck to the crown of my head. The music in my ipod blared and encouraged me on until suddenly I wanted to hear nothing. I wanted my head clear of everything but the night air, so off came the headphones. I ran on.
I ran and ran until I didn't recognize where I was anymore. So I stopped. I huffed and puffed and caught my breath and stared up at the dark sky. Then I realized that I wasn't thinking about it. For the first time in days, I found a moment of calm. I gathered myself, turned around, and headed home. I slept soundly for the first time in a while that night.
It crept back into my mind the next day, of course. It was with me at work, at dinner following work, and as I worked on BrokeAss Gourmet after dinner. Finally I couldn't take it anymore so I shut my laptop and ran, this time with no music to begin with. I pounded the pavement until the images in my mind gave way to the empty streets of the Mission and the cool night air. And again, I felt better when it was over.
So now the issue has gone away, so to speak. It's no longer in my day-to-day life and therefore not taking over my thoughts. At first I felt like I was left with nothing, but now I know that in actuality I was left with much--a fresh perspective and a renewed running habit.