I started training for a half marathon with my sister Kristina about 2 weeks ago. For the most part, we’ve been doing 3-mile runs, and for the most part, they’ve been relaxing. In the third week of training, our 3-mile runs are transitioning into 4-mile runs. We did a 4-mile run towards the end of the first week of our training, and a 5-mile run last week, but for some reason, the idea of doing more 4-mile runs felt daunting. This morning, and maybe last night as well, I turned to visualization to alter my thoughts and feelings about doing this morning’s 4-mile run.
In college I ran cross country, and our go-to short run was a 4-mile run to the right of the campus that followed these gorgeous trees by these picturesque homes. That was my relaxing run. This morning, while in bed, while getting on my shoes, while untangling my ipod, I was envisioning that 4-mile run and how it made me feel. Visualizing the happy and relaxing thoughts and feelings that that past run held helped me transfer those thoughts and feelings to my run this morning, and today’s run turned into one of the most relaxing runs I have done these past 2 weeks.
After my run, I stretched, showered and ate breakfast, and then I took a nap. After my nap, my head felt pretty tired, like a pressure was pushing down on it. Sometimes when my head is like this, I want caffeine to wake it up, or I get more easily frustrated and irritable, and my focus wanes. I left my house tired and irritable, driving to the Safeway Starbucks to help wake my brain up.
When I got out of the car, to the left of me sat a parked truck with the window rolled down in the front and an old man lounging in the driver’s seat. I smiled at him, tiredly, and said, “Good morning.” He wished me a good morning as well and asked me how my day was. I said, “Good,” and asked him the same, then smiled, and walked towards Safeway.
I thought about my interaction with that old man, and smiled some more. As I was crossing the street to enter into Safeway, I paused as a car drove by me, and my smile continued onto the driver. She was maybe in her early 50’s with short brunette hair and was donning sun glasses. She smiled genuinely back at me.
As I crossed the street, I saw an older lady, who was probably in her 70s or 80s, and we smiled at each other as we entered into Safeway. I walked towards the Starbucks counter, and was still extraordinarily tired, that kind of tired that others notice on you physically. I smiled to the Starbucks woman as I gave her my order. I waited, walked around, noted that Safeway has a wifi spot, as well as a man in his 40s who made a complaint about his coffee cup. He didn’t carry a negative tone, be carried a negative energy.
As I grabbed my large iced vanilla latte, I smiled at the lady who made it and thanked her. She gave me a genuine smile back, and I left Safeway to the parking lot, tired, but relaxed.
Lately, when I feel a pressure pushing down on my brain, my go-to mood is irritable, but back to visualization, I remembered back in college when my brain felt the same, but my default mood wasn’t irritable back then, it was relaxed. I’d be really tired and sluggish, but relaxed.
I left my house irritable, and on my way to get coffee, and on my way back home, I remembered what it felt like to feel exhausted, yet happy and relaxed, and that helped me to let go of my irritability.
– Emelina Minero
Michelle Minero, the Co-Founder of this blog and the overarching Love Warrior Community published her book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. You can buy her book online or at stores in Petaluma, Sonoma and Healdsburg, California. For upcoming events and book signings, visit Michelle’s Events page.
Emelina Minero writes for Curve Magazine and EDGE Gay Media Network, and is Curve’s Social Media Manager. She’s launching her own progressive LGBTQ publication, The Human Experience. She’s a Connection Connoisseur, Networking Maven and Self-Love Enthusiast. She founded Community Bucket List and co-founded the Love Warrior Community. Find her on Twitter, @CommKr8veWriter.