(My posts are often inspired by the people I meet during my day job. For three long years I worked as an employee in a local running store and was inspired by many of the athletes, companies and products I encountered there. However, recently I returned to my original pre-baby career as a mental health therapist. This post is a result of the client-therapist interactions I encountered this week.)
At 10 am I listened to a young woman in her 20’s speak of jealousy in her now tumultuous relationship with her boyfriend. Flicking her hand in the air to signal the simple nature of her statement she asked, “Why can’t he just trust me?”
At 1:15 pm I bore witness to a grown woman enter the dark recesses of her mind as she attempted to describe her father’s physically abusive nature. The screaming. The crying. The welt marks that appeared later that day. The emotional scars that are still burned deep into her psyche of self-worth.
Lastly, at 4:25 pm I carefully observed a recovering heroin addict in her early 30’s visibly shaking as she recalled memories of being repeatedly raped when she was not even 10 years old.
This is how I spent my Thursday.
I sat in each session with my notepad in hand listening to each story with my eyes, ears and soul wide open. Throughout the session I scribbled down notes- dates, ages, names, powerful quotes from the client and relevant themes that revealed itself throughout each session. By 5 pm I was alone in my office and took a moment to reflect on the day. I flipped back through my notes only to see the word TRUST written, bolded and boxed out on each of these client pages. Hmmm. Trust. So easy a concept, yet so difficult to execute.
Trust represents a relationship between two people, one in which you put your feelings, hopes, goals and dreams in the hands of another person. At that moment my mind flickered to two or so years ago when my new coach Beth and I were lovingly bickering with each other. “Kass. It’s simple, I promise. I make the plan. You follow it. You succeed. TRUST ME and stop thinking so hard. TRUST ME AND JUST RUN.” The memory elicited a puff of laughter from my lips. “It’s just that simple,” Beth so calmly assured me. But is it? I don’t think so.
Trusting another human being with your hopes and desires, to love and feel loved for who you are, and to truly feel seen and heard- yes these themes are at the core of what makes us human. Then again, to err is human.
So I ask you what happens when our trust is broken? How do we repair? Can we repair? Can we trust again?
What if trust is not only represents the relationship between two people but also the relationship you have with yourself?
Marathon training has the power to change you, move you forward and evolve into a mentally, emotionally and physically stronger person. How this change actually occurs is what is at the heart of the matter. It’s the 85 degree summer runs where you chafe so badly that for a moment not showering seems like the smartest post-run option. It’s the 10 degree (with a wind chill in the negatives) winter runs that have you screaming F-bombs so loud that you’re actually laughing while saying, “NEVER AGAIN.” It’s the burn in your lungs while pushing MAX FORCE around the track during a solo workout. It’s covering 20 miles on a Sunday morning long run and knowing that you will still have 6+ more miles to run on game day. It’s taking one more step than you have ever taken in your life and slowly but surely realizing exactly how resilient and powerful this piece of machinery called your body truly is. Marathon training forces us to face the demons within, find our strength and learn how to trust ourselves. Marathon training teaches the walking wounded how to trust again.
We have learned to choose running as a way to feel good. We run to overcome. We run to face our fears. We run to become better, faster and stronger. We run to heal.
We run so when we do fall and life kicks us in the teeth again- and it will- we will know that we can take it. We run so that we will never underestimate our own strength again.
We marathon as a testament to our ability to have faith and trust our abilities.
And THIS is why marathon training has the power to change you, inside and out.
Right now I need to run myself a marathon.
I need to have something to pull me out of bed in the morning and something that will make me so tired that it will quiet my busy mind at night. I need something to be proud of. I need to challenge myself again. I need to look my fears in the face. I need to come back from a long run so cold that I never want to leave the shower.
I need to remind myself that I CAN run 26.2 miles. Because if I can run 26.2 miles then I can do anything. Get through a divorce. Single mom like no other. Fall down again and again and GET BACK UP.
I hate the fact that I decided to train through yet another winter. I love the fact that I will feel 10,000x stronger as I training through another winter freezing my ass off while I run around Quincy.
Do you know what this means?
#1 IT’S FRIDAY
#2 Let the BOSTON MARATHON 2017 training begin!!!
Never Stop Running,