You can’t be stuck in your own head when you run

The thing about running is that it’s damn near impossible to be stuck in your own head while you’re out there putting one foot in front of the other.

You can start a run in your own head. Maybe you’re angry or frustrated, riddled with anxiety, or even sad. Doesn’t matter really. But about 1/4 of a mile in, that all disappears.

If you were stationary, you would circle above the thought over and over like a vulture spotting road kill. With running, you can have the exact same thought and the emotion stirred is more contemplative or meditative than reactive.

I’ve come to the conclusion it may not even be physically and mentally possible to lose your shit while you’re running. That is, unless someone fails to stop at a crosswalk and instead speeds up when they see you, then yells at you with their window halfway down. I’m looking at you little black Honda Civic. P.S. You better chill or I’ll rip that damn window out the door frame.

But I digress.

By the time you reach a mile, you realize that whatever thought you were having, from the moon, it’s not that big of a deal; or, at the least, it’s not something you can’t handle. If you manage up to five or six miles or more, everything bounces off of you like water to oil.

Run.

It’s the most basic form of human exercise available.

By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, TheBody.com, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.

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