Three weeks ago, I started running. I finished my morning prayer and visualized taking down my new Wal-mart tennis shoes and going for a run.
I'm the least athletic person I know. I didn't even own a pair of tennis shoes for 5 years.
My "run" is very light. I run in the street in front of my house. I don't even go around the block in case someone wakes up early and needs me.
It feels incredible. It's so great to do something outside of a "gym class" where someone else is telling me how far and how fast to go.
I like being out in the morning and watching the sunrise. I like the extra energy I have during my long day.
There's something else, I love have a "steady template" to know instantly if something is "off." After Hurricane Sandy, I could barely run. My back was very tight and sore. I realized how much stress I'd been under during the storm. I made sure to be extra gentle with myself that day--both physically and emotionally.
Today, the first day after the election--I couldn't run at all. Nothing. It was a beautiful day. The air was perfect. I felt great to be outside, but there was nothing. My back was so tight, it turned into an all walking day for me. I thought "Wow, this election was more stressful than a Hurricane!"
I'm usually very out of touch with my emotions. I don't realize I'm stressed until I start snapping at kids or sobbing over some minor hiccup in my day. I'm so grateful for my new morning run--however short--because it lets me "check in", figure out where I am on the stress meter for before resuming responsibility for six precious souls in my care.