Have you ever felt the heat? Heat that starts in your chest and rises up like misshapen loaf of hot bread? Heat from stress. Heat from an argument. Heat from the straw that breaks your already weak camel's back. I did last night. 10:45 pm and the heat was rising, rising, rising. I try to stop it before it reaches my arms, my legs, my fingertips. Or worse yet, my tongue.
My tools I use against the unpleasant sensation of reeling out of control sometimes include praying (VERY tricky and hard to do if the heat has risen too far), eating (the after glutton guilt is often worse than the heat) and sometimes, running.
Last night I chose running.
Luckily my access to a treadmill provided a safe 11 pm run. I set my ear buds set to "leave me alone for however long this takes." I usually start out with a jog. I push shuffle and let whoever pops up try to get me out of the funk that sneaked up on me. One mile went by and there was still some residual pressure and hotness that did not belong. Push the incline button, one, two, three, four ought to do it. Increase speed by a few clicks. Yes, that's better. The shuffle no longer satiates my thirsty, wanting to be empty head. I seek out songs I know will erase the dirty junk that is still sitting in my adrenals. Nirvana, Mavis Staples, Shinedown, Kings of Leon, Akon, Ozzy Osbourne, Metro Station, Shakira, The Strokes. They all showed up on demand throughout my run and were quite helpful when I decided to take the incline up to five, six, seven, eight, nine. Yes! There it is! A few minutes here then back down. Now my paces feels light and easy and it is just so great to run and run and run. I forget why the fire rised. Mile two, mile three. I forget what the uncomfortable burning in my brain felt like. Now all I feel is cool, clean sweat drip down my face as I unconsciouly beat out the rhythm of my steps. One two three, one two. One two three, one two. One two three, one two. Then back up to nine incline. Can I do four minutes here at nine with this pace? Who am I grinning at? There's no one here but me and I am staring at a wall. But I'm smiling. I challenge myself to see if I can stay at this pace for that long.
Fifty minutes later the inner fire is put out. I am now hot and sweaty on the outside and feel amazing.