Running is my safe haven, and anxiety tried to rob me of it.
Anxiety- I hate it.
Anxiety was nonexistent before I had my two-year-old daughter. Within the first few months of having her, I developed an uneasy feeling that would stop me in my tracks.
Prior to her, I ran all the time with both headphones in, carelessly listening to music. I ran primarily on a familiar busy trail. I loved feeling free while praise music thumped in my ears.
Running is my therapy, it’s what I love to do most during my alone time.
Then I met my unwanted companion, Anxiety.
After having my daughter, I became terrified to run alone. I would ask my husband 100 times before each run if he thought I’d get abducted or hit by a car. I’d run laps in my neighborhood (with pepper spray in hand) just to feel safe.
I decided to conquer this fear and signed up for the Alamo 13.1 race. It was also a good tactic to lose baby weight. At the time of the race my daughter would be six months.
Little did I know, my new unwanted companion anxiety, would alter my runs.
For my long runs, I’d try to find someone to go with me, which meant we’d run at an easy talking pace. When I was alone, I’d run lots of never-ending miles on the DREADmill. If you know me, you know I thrive off of speed, so I was no longer running at a challenging pace.
Unfortunately, I had to cancel running the race. My daughter came down with RSV a few days prior to the run.
I never told anyone until now, but I was secretly relieved that I couldn’t run it. I didn’t feel properly trained.
Fast-forward to a year later to the 2018 Alamo 13.1.
This time I ran it and finished with a New Personal Record (PR) of 1:47:19.
I’d like to say I overcame my fear of running alone, but I continued to rely on long runs with friends and lots of laps in my neighborhood.
A few months after the race, my husband recommended I start counseling. I had been in denial for almost 2 years that I was altering my life for this new unwanted companion, anxiety.
I don’t think people realize how much anxiety can control your life.
I’m still in the process of overcoming my fear of running alone, but I am happy to say I completed the Austin Marathon this past February! I ran 18 miles BY MYSELF during the training.
I have channeled my anxiety into:
- Praying and diving into God’s word
- Learning self-defense moves
- Being aware of my surroundings
- Counseling has been a huge help
Let’s work on conquering anxiety together, remember Jesus says “Cast all our anxiety on him” (1 Peter 5:7).
Spiritual Workout Challenge:
- When has anxiety stopped you in your tracks?
- What can you do to ensure anxiety doesn’t become an unwanted companion?