Stress. Anxiety. Excitement. Combined with large social gatherings involving food, these three emotions have been known to trigger binges of epic proportions. The fat chick in me was screaming, “Eat the cake! Eat the cake!” The runner in me was screaming, “Run for the hills!” Literally. Instead of taking a day of rest after a very intense physical weekend of flyball, I took to the trails last Monday. I pushed hard. With the stress mounting, I pushed even harder on Tuesday burning over 1,000 calories between running and Zumba. I felt great after my work out, but as the night wore on it became increasingly apparently that sleep was not going to happen. I contemplated a midnight run through our neighborhood but instead kept myself occupied getting organized for the weekend’s festivities.
As soon as the sun peeked over the horizon on Wednesday morning, I laced up my shoes and headed out for another quick run. Bill’s graduation and the installation of my homegrown materials management system weighed heavily not only on my mind, but somehow on my body. I was dragging so I pushed harder. There was no stress. No anxiety. Not even excitement. I felt great and I continued to push. I missed a step and heard the pop before I felt the icy pain in my right ankle, bringing me crashing back to reality. I evaluated the damage and decided it was nothing major, more strain than anything else. I walked the rest of the way back to the house then prepared for work as usual.
By the time I finished my first meeting of the day, however, every single bone and muscle in my body ached. I was miserable. Worse, my anxiety was mounting under the pressure of a rapidly approaching project deadline at work. I needed time to physically recover and now heal but this sparked a new internal debate. Without running, I would be more prone to binging. A new realization crept into my mind. Instead of tackling my emotional issues head on, I had substituted one compulsion for another. Sure I wasn’t binging, but I was physically driving myself to the point of injury.
I’d like to say that with this realization came some sort of strength where I suddenly began working through the issues in my head. The clouds did not part and wisdom was not imparted on me. I did rest. I did not binge. I did a little strategic planning I had been avoiding. Baby steps.