Is it Stressful, or is it Empowering?

Deb Runs

Any kind of creative activity is likely to be stressful. The more anxiety, the more you feel that you are headed in the right direction. Easiness, relaxation, comfort – these are not conditions that usually accompany serious work.
–Joyce Carol Oates

Just take out “creative” and insert “physical”, in other words: running.

I think most of us, myself included, want running to feel easy. It can, of course, if you just go out there and don’t worry about pace, don’t worry about distance, don’t pay attention to the huffing and puffing if you do worry about pace and/or distance.

The truth is we want to just step out our door, be able to go fast, and have it feel effortless. If it were effortless, though, would we feel that we had earned it? Would it be as satisfying?

I don’t think it would. There is something very satisfying about hard work. In the words of Tom Hanks’ character in “A League of Our Own”, the hard is what makes it great.

There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.
—Β William Shakespeare

One of my favorite quotes. And still so true. I can allow myself to feel frustrated by my lack of speed (and yes, of course, sometimes I absolutely do), or I can realize that I can run. I can put in the hard work. And hopefully, someday, that hard work will be rewarded.

Even if I never get faster, even if I slow down as I get older, my plan is to never stop running. It’s one of the first things I turn to in stressful times. It used to be food, but now I’d much rather get out for a run when I’m stressed than eat too much sugar which will only make me hungrier and feel sluggish and ultimately even more frustrated with myself.

Stress in our lives makes us work harder, try harder, and oftentimes, it makes us surprise ourselves.

What do you turn to in stressful times?

20 thoughts on “Is it Stressful, or is it Empowering?

  1. Stress is something I do very well with keeping out of my life. People laugh when I say that, but life will happen, we can only control so much, so there is no reason to worry about it, enjoying it much more satisfying!
    I’ve been there with ya on the lack of speed on running, but you nailed it it wouldn’t be satisfying if we didn’t have to work hard for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Does it every get easy? Not for me. Every race feel hard even the shorter ones. And yes, it does relieve stress & is healthier than chocolate or alcohol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure about healthier than chocolate. πŸ™‚

      We’re still talking about 2016 halfs; I went back & forth on VA Beach a lot but I think I want to do it (not saying you should, since it’s in March & a long trip).

      Any interest in Wineglass? I’m thinking about it. It drives my husband insane that I haven’t done NY yet!

      A lot of people seem to like it. Many people in my group have done it.


    1. I like ice cream, but it’s not really my thing. Chocolate, OTOH . . . there was a day I couldn’t keep it in the house but I can now. In fact, I have a ton of it! Just a little bit satisfies me — probably shouldn’t have it almost every day, but oh well, a girl’s gotta have her vices.

      I do enjoy ice cream more in summer & won’t keep in my house, either, much to my husband’s chagrin (not that he needs it either).


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