Hey, Stranger

Yesterday it was sunny and then it rained and then the sun came out and then it rained and then when the sun decided to come out for a third time I decided to go for a run.

It’s been months since I went for a run outside but today something inside of me told me I would feel better after a run so rather than ignoring that something inside of me, I listened.

Shortly into my run I unconsciously started relating my journey through grief thus far to running.

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I seem to have misplaced my iPod shuffle that I typically use when I workout so I grabbed the old iPod Touch I bought to fill with Stephen’s iTunes library. It has 7,317 songs on it which is still only a portion of his music collection.

I love to listen to Stephen’s music because in a way it makes me feel closer to him knowing I’m getting lost in the same songs he used to get lost in.

The first mile of any run is usually the most difficult for me. But almost immediately following that mile I settle in, find my stride (which resembles that of a duck), and my breathing becomes rhythmic. Yesterday was nothing out of the ordinary.

A good run in my opinion is one where I can get lost in my thoughts, like I’m invisible inside myself just observing the world around me. It’s very healing to get lost in a world while giving it all of your attention at the same time. (If that makes any sense?)

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The song Ocean by John Butler Trio came on during my run and after a while I began to wonder when it would end. I checked just to see and the song lasts for 12 minutes and 28 seconds. Stephen would have a 12+ minute song with no words on his iPod so I wasn’t surprised. 

But it was the perfect song for my thoughts at that moment so I put it on repeat. (More like I listened to it about 2 and 1/2 more times.)

There are parts of every run of mine where I get a boost of motivation and my pace speeds up, I’m full of adrenaline and nothing can slow me down. At other times, I’m running so slow I might as well be walking – actually I’d probably be moving faster if I were walking. I get angry on some runs and curse every time my feet meet the ground and push off it again. On others, I swear I close my eyes, tilt my head to the sun, and smile because it feels so incredible.

Regardless, I keep moving.

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Running isn’t always easy, in fact, it can be very uncomfortable. But that’s the point.

You slow down, you speed up, you run in circles, over hills, down hills, and on straight-away flats. You might trip or even fall down. Sometimes all you want to do it stop and that’s ok.

 

But you can’t give up.

I can’t give up.

 

You can stop to catch your breath, tie your shoe, take a drink of water, or in my case burp lunch which didn’t have time to fully digest.

Yesterday (aside from the burping), I stopped to take a moment and enjoy a beautiful view that made me thankful for the presence – something to be so, so thankful for. After my brief stop, I felt like there was a new breeze in my face and wind at my back. It felt good to start my run again.

Usually, I never let myself stop but I’m really glad I did yesterday. I think it’s important to let yourself know that it’s ok and almost necessary at times to stop for a moment. You know your body and its limits better than anyone else and believe it or not, that little voice inside of you that’s quietly telling you to do something usually knows what’s best. Whether you’re running or just living, taking a moment to let yourself breathe and just be thankful for the beauty of presence can be the perfect boost of motivation to never give up.

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Running is about constantly pushing yourself past your level of comfort in order to find a new one.

As humans we are constantly changing. In fact, the struggle to survive is an effort to constantly cope with change and in order to be able to cope with change we must learn. Learning is a change in behavior due to experiences and change and learning can be very uncomfortable. But just like with running, once we push ourselves past one comfort level we find a new one and  with that new comfort level we become stronger. 

I’m in the process of learning to cope with such a drastic change in my life and it still feels too impossible to be real. But know that I am not giving up regardless of how I may appear to an observer. I am still moving and whether I realize it or not I am a little stronger with every passing day.

 

I had a completely different post drafted that I had planned on posting in place of this but this one seemed to fit better. The purpose of this post is to let those who might be wondering know that I haven’t given up on blogging. However, I hope you all can understand that I am a different person now and HNC will be different also, but for the better.

I have some product reviews, possibly a giveaway, and plenty of recaps up my sleeve for you all so get ready.

Lots of love,

Claire

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