November has been a month of writing and running. Last week I managed 15 pain free miles as well as thousands of words.
Both of these activities serve a purpose for me.
The writing has provided an entrance into a fictional world of my own creation. A doorway into a non-political existence.
The running also provides an escape.
It is not entirely by chance that I have committed myself to these activities now.
During this post-election time I have been striving to withhold any political opinions. I try not to follow the news too closely even though my news obsession makes this difficult. Right now, more news feels like it is not going to help me come to terms with world events.
I strongly believe it is important to be as well-informed as possible. Information and knowledge have always been the most important tools in preparing for the future. Only information can inform us when we need to worry and when it is okay to relax and breathe easy. In order to know whether a fight or flight response is required, I must have information.
How can I judge when it is safe to go outside when I don’t know what the world is doing? Maybe on this particular day it would be better to just stay inside.
Maybe today is a day I should stay invisibly in my house. Alternatively, this might be the exact moment I would be better raising my voice as loud as I can. Sometimes it is difficult to tell these times apart from each other.
This month has stimulated a different response than either hiding or speaking out. This month, I have taken a jump to an alternate universe. This universe, created from my own imagination is empowering. It is empowering in the same way that running is empowering.
In my fictional universe I have the ultimate power. When it is time to answer the question, “What will happen next?” I get to decide.
Running also reminds me I have the power to control my actions. I head out the door and put myself in motion. It can only be accomplished with a personal level of determination and focus. I get to decide what I will do.
But I have realized that running is also serving another purpose. It helps me feel prepared to flee.
I cannot control our reality the way I can control my fictional universe. When I ask, “What will happen next?” I don’t get to decide. I can only try to be prepared.
I feel an urgency to be in better shape. I need to be prepared for flight. In case of emergency, I must be ready to run.
And the time spent in the creation of an alternative universe in fiction?
That is just a way to keep me from noticing what all the running is for.
The running keeps me prepared to flee. The writing keeps me from noticing the need for preparation.