Sweat as Salve

Last Thursday, I received some disappointing news that wasn’t wholly unexpected. Hours after the initial melange of hurt and panic and rage, a single desire overwhelmed me: a need to run.

I’m not new to running but it’s been a while. I’m well acquainted with the positive effects of the sport: it’s mood-altering, energy-boosting, and brain-sharpening, among other things. Somehow, during periods when I’ve stopped running for one reason for another, I always seem to forget running simply makes me feel good.

Over the past few days, as I nursed my secret disappointment in solitude and silence, the desire to run grew. So today, in spite of the persistent drizzle and cold and fog, I ran.

It wasn’t pretty–to tell the truth, I walked most of the time–but during the fitful moments when I’d challenge myself to go just a little faster, just a little longer, I felt the emotional ache fall away as a feeling of empowerment took its place.

Half an hour later, the change in my outlook was astonishing. I even documented it on social media:

Solitary. Nothing but the fog-dulled roar of the waves, the shrieking of seagulls overhead, and the rhythmic strike of foot on pavement. Bracing, exhilarating, glorious.

What a difference a little sweat makes. It’s the ultimate salve for whatever ails ya.


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