I sat with a restlessness in my gut Sunday night and most of Monday. I couldn’t stop thinking about the race I just signed up for. The fear I spoke of felt like a stomach cramp I just couldn’t shake.
It was irrational in nature. I can survive and thrive in a 90 minute Bikram yoga class, race to the top of a Flywheel board, and walk for hours upon hours in foreign cities. Based on my level of physical activity, there’s just no reason why running 3.1 miles should be remotely intimidating.
But like I wrote in my last post, I’m tethered to memories and emotions that make me not trust my body.
And so I sat there with that feeling in my stomach. I sat with it as I plowed through my InBox and it grew with each subsequent call I was on throughout the day. My last meeting ended at 11 PM (5 PM ET) and the thought of resetting my brain and shifting to “get ready for bed” mode just didn’t seem like an option.
I looked at the temperature: 83 degrees. Warm, but not unbearable. Already dressed in leggings and a t-shirt, I put on my socks and sneakers and hit the pavement. I didn’t plan a route. I didn’t even have a plan. I just knew I needed to run and I needed to run the fear out of my body.
Then it happened.
I ran 3.4 miles until there was no fear left, just a sharp pain in my left knee and the worry of it getting worse (worry, not fear). The first mile, I was cautiously optimistic. I felt fine. Actually I felt more than fine. I was moving at a pace that felt comfortable and I was running through the streets of Sevilla happily listening to Despacito on loop (true story). There were families eating gelato on the steps of the Cathedral, couples taking their evening paseo, and a bustling street festival in Triana. My beloved Sevilla came alive and she keep me company every step of the way.
During Mile 2, I started to feel nostalgic, both about products and people. If I were to share the stream of conscious narrative in my head, it would sound like a cacophony of First Round Review articles, Brené Brown, and maybe a Buzzfeed article or two. My mind was racing faster than my feet keep could keep pace.
On Mile 3 my mind zeroed in on work and once this happened, my legs began to move faster. There were a couple of points, once on Calle Betis and another crossing the bridge where I had clear paths to sprint. There were no obstacles or people in the way, just pavement. It made me think about the market, our runway, our velocity. How can we eliminate obstacles? Go faster? Achieve more? If only moving hearts and minds were as easy as moving my legs and feet.
As I walked the rest of the way home, I burst out laughing because I was still listening to Despacito. I wiped the sweat off my face and let the tears run, liquid fear escaping my body.
“Feet, what do I need them for if I have wings to fly?” – Frida Kahlo