Today is my runniversary. Or it could be. I don’t actually know the date of my first run. Or the run that started it all. The run that was the first of hundreds of runs. Thousands of miles. I do know this: it was an unseasonably warm day in the first two weeks of April, 2013. It was a Thursday or Friday. And it was an act of desperation.

It was a day when my anxiety was overwhelming. It was so bad I left work early in the afternoon because I couldn’t function. When I got back to my stifling second floor apartment I looked at my couch and thought that I could lay down on that couch and drive myself crazy listening to my racing thoughts and hyperventilating, or I could leave. I could run. I could run until I was tired. And then I could turn around and come home. Walk home if I had to.

And so I did. I also don’t remember how far or how fast I ran. I’m sure it was slow and short. What I do remember is the feeling of my heart pounding, not because I was terrified about the collapse of every plan I had made for my life, but because my body was working hard. And I remember how warm it was. And I remember the sun shining on me. 

That was the beginning. The first step. 

Routine Maintenance 

My boyfriend asked me on New Year’s Day what my resolution was. And I told him that was going to try to be less of an asshole. I was only half kidding. 

My anxiety sucks my patience away like a vortex some days. My own mind is chaotic and the harder I try to control the chaos in my head the harder it is to tolerate the chaos in my life. So I try to control it. To orchestrate the morning perfectly so that no timetable is overturned. No deadline missed. And the result is always more chaos because control is an illusion. It’s like throwing rocks down a well. Pointless. Energy depleting. 

So my real resolution this year is to deal with my anxiety more effectively. To take better care of myself. To not allow my fear of dealing with mundane details keep me from performing necessary maintenance on myself. 

If I can do those things the 300 pound gorilla that crushes me beneath its weight will visit less often.