With my piping hot coffee in hand and my leather booties click-clacking their way along the pavement I power walk my way from the gym to my office. Just an hour earlier I was focused and running hard run along the cool, still waters of Wollaston beach with Boston’s skyline peaking out in the distance. And now? Clickity-clack I go in my red blouse, navy blue slacks and my fancy shoes into the parallel universe known as my day job. Careful to not spill coffee all over myself in true Kass fashion I hold my arm uncomfortably erect in hand and far from my body. I will not drip coffee on this blouse. I repeat- I will NOT drip coffee on my new blouse. I vow to avoid doing dry cleaning for as long as humanly possible because #1 that shit’s expensive and #2 last time I did dry cleaning I left it there for over a month.
I arrive at the counseling center a mere 3 minutes before my 10 am client arrives. Typical. I maximized my Lilly time, my run time and my shower time to minimize my time at work. Don’t get me wrong I like work, actually I love it, but I love my daughter, the rush of the road and a relaxing hot shower just a wee bit more. Is that weird?
My days are spent in back-to-back therapy sessions from 10 until 5:30 pm. What do I really do during this time? I listen with my heart open to those around me. An emotionally charged position and yet incredibly fulfilling career in so many ways this is what I have been searching for for so many years. I listen, validate, advise, reflect and reframe the thoughts and feelings of my clients. I hope that my presence helps take some of their pain away, much in the same way that running takes mine away. Funny how they only see my therapist side: a true facet of my being and yet only a small sliver of my persona.
Running often feels like my secret life; it’s a window into a world where life feels manageable, peaceful and balanced. Running is the deep breath in my busy day.
My clients don’t know that I ran 9 miles this morning HARD. I nailed a 2 by 2 mile tempo at a 7:10 minute/mile pace across all four miles. YESSSS!
They don’t know that I woke up at 5:30 am to finish off my athlete training plans before I went for my morning run.
They didn’t see me with my hair tied back in a high pony, my face flushed bright red or the sweat dripping down my forearms and off of my elbows.
They didn’t see my focused fury on the road.
They didn’t see me fighting for every second.
They couldn’t hear me reminding myself that YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE!!
They don’t know that I always find my way to the coast to run by the water. The backdrop of the rising sun over the boats in the still water relaxes me.
They don’t know what it is like to watch the sun rise from the road and to feel the crisp morning air fill your lungs.
They don’t know that running is when I feel at peace. Running is when I feel alive. Running is when I feel strong.
They don’t know that running reminds me that everything will be okay.
They don’t know what running changes me, inside and out.
They don’t know that running is my therapy.
In so many ways my clients and colleagues don’t know the real me.
I suppose they don’t really have to know. They don’t have to get it.
I run for me.
…random thoughts by yours truly.
Never stop running,
The Lone Runner