For three days I was a bundle of nerves. Zero attention span, butterflies in my stomach, working until late just to make myself drop dead tired so that when I finally went to bed I’d be out like a light. No time to contemplate anything while I lay in the dark, just deep sleep. I’d wake the next day and do it again.
Then today I decided to go for a run and it all just came together… the explanation for all this sudden craziness.
You see, I’d been sick the previous week. A low grade fever on the Wednesday had me flat out on the couch for the day. Thursday I didn’t run but Friday I went back to the pool and over the weekend I went on an easy bike ride in the sun. Monday morning I had chills again and a high fever. It’s a strain of virus that’s going around Italy right now, a sort of programmed double whammy.
When I saw 101°F on the thermometer I threw in the towel and decided no exercise until everything was clear. I ended up feeling much better the next day but stuck to my original plan, which I did for five days.
On Day Five I left the house to run an easy 5k to get moving again and see how it felt. It felt great. It was just a nice run through the neighbourhood but as the k’s clicked by I could feel my nerves calming and the butterflies dislodging and a nice calm took over my body.
That’s when I realised: this is why I run. This is why I love to move my body. After decades of running it’s become my body’s way of handling stress. And the reason I was so crazy nervous that week was because I hadn’t been moving.
Don’t get me wrong, when we get sick the first step is always going to be rest. But when the fever’s gone and the cold is settled, we need to get back moving again pronto. Softly, slowly, just enough to get those endorphins circulating and the brain waves pulsing again.
After a simple 5k run I felt like myself again. Cue: sigh of relief…