why i run and stepping off The Hedonistic treadmill

General situation:

8/9/20 Six weeks post surgery: Sling taken off last week. Have to wait 3 months post op (Sept 26) to run.

COVID situation still very bad in US – most states escalating cases and death rates. Wearing masks wherever we go. Travel/quarantine restrictions – cannot travel outside of US (banned in Europe, etc).

Political situation horrible with the divisiveness pulling apart friends and families. <90 days til I pray we have a new President and a general population fed up with how things are to really drive changes to systemic racism, supporting the poor vs. making the rich richer, etc.

My company continues to be in “wind down” mode with my last expected day end of next year. I have had several team members quit and many apprehensive about their future in general.

So, last weekend I also had an emotional Sunday because I arrived at my husbands RC field to find many, many people without masks in small close knit groups. Germ central with many of them refusing to wear masks so at higher risk than others. I was pretty mad and scared for Kenny and the rest of the guys and yelled at them all, went home and posted on their facebook page asking them to care about each other. Spent rest of the day upset at my husband for not being careful as I don’t want him to die. I am also having a hard time separating out “politics” and maintaining relationships important to me – having had an argument with my sister and possibly damage with my godparents, who voted for Trump yet are religious. I cannot reconcile how good people can support such a disgrace of a human being. Kenny says to think of it as if they are conned vs. supportive of the evil things he does and says as well as all the enablers around him. This helps.

When I got the news of a further six week recovery period prior to running, I was down. There possibly went my goal for the year although I don’t disagree it’s probably the best for healing.

Finally, I recognized what I already knew. Happiness is in the process. You don’t become an “ultraanything” overnite – this is a years long + adventure and six weeks doesn’t really matter.

There was a great piece on NPR today where someone who studies happiness talked about the “hedonistic treadmill” which is how people are always getting more things but never being truly happier. The fact is you get used to things, to people and stop appreciating them. Perhaps that is why I like the long runs. They are hard. You appreciate more the non painful times and by being outdoors/training, you appreciate simpler things like nature, the sounds of birds, the beauty of the outdoors and the drama that occurs over the course of a day. When I had also become more restrictive on food, it made the “cheat” food way more fun. A lack of something renews your capacity to appreciate it. Maybe post this COVID situation people will slow down and care more for each other and fight more for each other. Per my marriage vows, I do make a point to tell Kenny every day how much I appreciate him – and I honestly do. He helps me every day from pulling up my skort, to doing my hair, to cooking, cleaning, and just being supportive of my dreams.

So I went out today in my “big girl trail shoes”, the Inov8 X-Talons, which honestly aren’t needed on the easy Hollis trails, just to enjoy myself, to remember I am an ultrarunner, to remember that it is a beautiful day, to remember that I’ll ultimately be stronger, and to appreciate that I’ve taken this time to meditate more, to get my sleep better, to move my diet to more vegetarian and to use my slower time for more mobility work.

Here are some pictures from the run today:

And one picture of the future, some equipment I’ll bring out again, when I’m ready and strong enough, to continue this process but that for now, will help my car when the snow finally comes back 🙂

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