Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sweating It Out

Okay, so I may or may not have had a few too many drinks Monday night and I may or may not have woken up for my 5:something a.m. run with a splitting headache and feeling dehydrated as hell. And by "may or may not have," I, of course, mean, "definitely did."  This is the part of the story where I say do as I say and not as I do. I do not recommend an evening of beers and bar food before a morning run. What I say is to eat a whole and healthy dinner and hydrate like crazy the night before a run, especially now that summer is here and it is hot and humid out there on the run. But what I actually did was a different story. 

When that early morning alarm went off for the second time (yeah, there was some snooze button usage the first time), I wasn't feeling great and had trouble motivating myself to get up. But the thought that finally did get me out of bed was, "you will feel better if you sweat it out."  So, sweat it out I did. And feel better afterwards I also did. It wasn't easy and it certainly wasn't a record setting run, but I know I felt better yesterday after the sweat session than I ever would have if I'd just hit snooze again and stayed in bed. 

So that got me thinking about all of the other ways in which I use running to sweat it out.  It's not just unhealthy food and beverage that I've been able to detox on a run. In fact, more often than not, I use running to sweat out the toxic thoughts and emotions that come with every day life. The theory of sweating it out has come in handy for me many times over the last few years. When things at home were overwhelming and scary and I could feel everything inside of me bubbling up and ready to spill out, I would strap on my shoes and set off running. And, every single time, without exception, I felt better after.  On days when work is killing me and I feel stressed out and frustrated, I go for a run and by the end, I've been able to sweat out all of those negative emotions and come back at the situation calmer and happier. I can honestly say that I don't think there has ever been a time when I haven't felt better after a run than when I started. Of course, I'm talking mentally here. Physically, there have been some days when I've felt pretty trashed after a run. But, I've never regretted a run. The emotional clarity and peace that I've found, even if only temporarily, through sweating it out has been priceless. The hours I've spent sweating it out on a run have saved me hours on a doctor's couch. 
Here's the thing: we put into our bodies and minds a whole lot of pretty bad stuff.  Keeping it all in just leads to the inevitable explosion.  Letting it out in negative ways tends to make the bad stuff worse.  My suggestion?  SWEAT IT OUT.

I tried to take pictures of how much better I felt after sweating it out. Can't you tell how awesome I was feeling?


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