The Only Way Out is Through

Thought of this scene while running on a brutally hot day recently, how I wanted to check out, think of other things, keep my mind off the hurt and the heat.

“Stay with the pain, don’t shut this out.”

When I let my mind wander, I think about work, money, taxes, and all sorts of stressful stuff. Since I’m thinking of that nonsense, my pace can quicken, which just leads to more pain. Or maybe I forget to drink.

“This is your pain. This is your burning hand.”

Lately I count, which I learned from the Headspace app. Check in. Bring the focus back to the breath. Count one when I breathe in, two when I exhale. To ten. Then repeat.

“It’s the greatest moment in your life, man, and you’re off somewhere missing it.”

Tonight I set off on a bike ride. I didn’t make it 10 feet before I realized I had a flat.

It was already raining. I was already reeling from some work stuff. I had to burn this stress off, so I changed into my running shoes and set off.

There’s a storm rolling up the east coast, and we’re getting lots of rain here in PA. The sort of rain that keeps you indoors, where it’s safe. Today got nasty.

I was getting pelted. I was three miles from home, on a stretch of road with corn fields on either side of me. The only exit strategy was keep running. No phone call, no one was picking me up. I was soaked, sweaty, and teetering on burning out. I felt the weight of my heavy clothes, it was cooler so I could run a faster pace. The rain was dumping on me, the wind was kicking up.

I thought about the junk food I ate coming home from the grocery store. Or how maybe that salad for lunch didn’t provide enough carbs.

Could I keep up this pace? Was I gonna fizzle?

One, two. Three, four.

One foot in front of the other. Make it to that tree. Then that one. Slow down until that sign. “I’m not walking home,” I thought.

Five, six. Seven, eight.

The rain let up.

I literally thought the of the most David Goggins-esque quote:

“The rain will stop, but I don’t.”

For a lot of people who know me, they don’t that’s not a Seth-like quote, but that’s where I was tonight.

Drenched, making sure I didn’t get run over, managing my energy, staying present.

The miles on the roads, on your feet, can reveal a lot. Tonight was spiritual. I went to church tonight.