I have realized, in my fifth year of running, that it has become a metaphor for my life, and an amazing tool that has helped me to manifest a better Nicole.
I run now and I accomplish things in my mind. I shake off stresses and pressures, anxieties and fears, negativity and dissatisfaction. Running has changed me into someone who is unafraid of failure. I even choose to go towards challenge, rather than hiding behind the door. I seek out ways to improve my experience. There is great reward in challenging yourself to try something you once thought you would never have the gumption to do. It's like shedding skin.
I have noticed that when we are stuck in a holding pattern, the Universe inevitably pushes us out of it, and oftentimes we are forced to deal with the exact thing that we so fervently tried to avoid. I have had times in my life when I go towards the things I have an outright aversion to - like getting into a small boat, killing a spider, running. And it always turns out to be less scary than I thought it would be. (Except for the spider. That was freaky. Ew.)
This weekend I will be running the Deception Pass 50km trail race. I am looking forward to meeting my demons, looking in their eyes and shaking their hands.