Something about being outside, feeling the cool breeze on my cheeks, having my nose run uncontrollably, and bounding along the sidewalks makes everything better. Dashing across the streets when there’s a break in traffic, feeling my heart race when I misjudge, it makes me come alive. Fitness is my therapy and it has become my savior. My old friend who pats me on the back when things don’t go the way I want. It’s also my enemy who challenges me to improve, to show my true colors. Because when the going gets tough, I can either shut down, lose control, or stand up tall and push forward. Fitness allows me to rise up to the occasion. It calms the choppy waves that arise from time to time.
I get lost in the challenges though and that’s when fitness becomes dangerous. I love the discomfort and the burn. When my legs are aching for me to stop, but I push forward anyway. When my breathing becomes shallow and my heart is beating loudly like a timpani. Those are the times I crave but know to be cautious. I’ve used fitness in the past to punish myself. To feel the agony and torture my mind cannot translate. To break myself and physically hurt in the way I emotionally do. Fitness is my lifeline. My serum. My therapy.
The challenge of tomorrow gives me a reason to get out of bed. I need to run, I need to bike, I need to feel my body twist and burn.