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Mar 5, 2008

Therapy

There are few things in the world that calm my soul better than a good run. Something about the rhythmic pounding of feet and heart soothes and quiets me, whether I'm running in a gym or on the street, alone or with a friend. To me running is about far more than heart health or calorie burning -- it's about who I am.

That's why I'm so excited about the new treadmill in my garage.

I just finished my second workout in two days. In spite of my aching muscles and throbbing head, I feel like a million bucks. Alone in the garage, as I struggled to move body parts that haven't been moved in a year, I rediscovered a piece of my internal puzzle that I almost forgot I had. I felt so good --so much like myself -- that I cried. Two nights in a row, actually. Me on the treadmill, running and crying and feeling like I've been reborn. It's kind of silly in a way, but it also makes sense.

So many things in my life are beyond my control, and for a control-freak like myself, that can be hard to handle. I cannot control my children's reactions to things. I cannot control other adults' behaviors. I cannot control sickness or tragedy or the timeliness of certain blessings I wish for my dearest friends and loved ones. I cannot control the housing market or individual buyers or how or when my house is shown or whether people like my ridiculously small back yard. The list is dizzying and often depressing.

But tonight when I was on that treadmill, I had a small measure of control. I controlled how fast I went, how hard I worked, and how steeply I ran. When I cranked up the incline or the speed and didn't think I could make it for the five minutes remaining on the clock, I thought to myself, "Heidi, you made it through this day. You survived the last six weeks, the last three months -- the last year. You can run for five more minutes!" And I did. I made it.

There have been many times in my life when I have believed that my brain, my relationships, and my family all needed professional help. While that may or may not be true, I have come to the decision that sometimes the best therapy of all is remembering who I am, working hard, and putting one foot in front of the other.
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