Because I can … (or, “Would you give your left nut to run along the water?”)

Day 40.

I am now back to running 5 days a week, which is the level I was at before we moved here to foreign-land.

I set out to run 30 minutes today and at about 20 mins I was tired. I know enough to finish the run, and to do what I set out to do. Because the few times that i’ve given up early (in my 12 years of running), i always regret it terribly afterwards. As a result, since I don’t want to disappoint myself, I almost always finish the run, AND I’m super careful to not plan to run too far.  In the mornings when I set out, I plan my run based on how i feel, how much training, i’ve been doing, how much sleep i had the night before, the weather, etc.

And so I knew that 30 minutes was completely within my ability today. I felt like stopping at 20 minutes, but I knew I could ignore those feelings.

[The parallels of running and ‘real life’ and sobriety are many. Don’t take on too much at once, we improve incrementally, don’t quit early, don’t quit at all if you can help it – even if you have to walk instead of run, it’s always better to finish no matter how you get there.]

So this morning, I was planning to do 30 minutes. Unfortunately, I went the “long way around” and at the end of 30 minutes I was NOT at the tram station where I hoped to end up, so that i could easily hop the tram and go home.

OK, no big deal. I decided to run from where I was to the tram (so my run was in fact 36 minutes … and I thought i was ‘too tired’ at 20 minutes … ha!)

On those last 6 “bonus” minutes, I had the coolest feeling. I know it’s in part from reading everyone’s brave and amazing comments on yesterday’s post. As I was running, I thought, I’m going to run this extra bit for all of the people who CAN’T. For everyone who wishes they could, but can’t (yet). And i got goosebumps, literally, like this really warm feeling of doing something for the greater good.  I know, I know, it’s a bit metaphysical even for this chick.

But there are lots of people who’d love to be me (sober on day 40), so I just cannot fuck it up.

There are tons of people who’d love to live in this beautiful city and see what I can see. So i cannot hide in my apartment.

There are billions of people who’d give their left nut to run along the water and then take the tram home.

So today I ran extra because I can.

Today I am sober because I can.




I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • That’s absolutely wonderful to hear Belle, congrats on pushing through on your run and for getting back to your 5 day a week schedule! I’m glad you wrote about running. So many days I “plan” to write about running, but some other thought (or IP traffic log, LOL) catches my mind and attention. Like running, I think I need to schedule a specific running post day and just follow the plan. So thank you for the extra bit of motivation. 🙂 Congrats on Day 40, you’re doing wonderfully!

  • Excellent post with good ideas just oozing from each sentence. I am so proud of you and inspired by you as each day passes and your blog appears in my tab with continued good news. Stay the course, you are doing a lot of good with this beige-toned layout. Smooth, easy on the eyes and gently speaking to us.

  • I do this too. My grandmother had a stroke 10 years ago that left her paralyzed and completely unable to speak. She’s pretty much a veggie that has watched TV for 10 years. Anytime i’m beating myself up running, and i want to quit, I think about my grandmother who at at 62 had everything taken from her, and I run for HER. Because I can.

    Way to go on the extra minutes.

  • How lovely Belle. To be so aware of your blessings. And to know that so often we are responsible for the blessings we receive. Although we can be “lucky” with many things – health especially – other blessings – like sobriety are ours for the taking. I think sobriety is almost giving us another sense – the 7th sense of gratitude and appreciation.

  • Belle. I love your energy! You are so positive and inspirational.
    Have a great day! Xo. Jen
    Day 24. ( I made it through yesterday. Woot. Woot!)

  • I can relate to feeling that tiredness on random runs and how good it feels to push through and how sometimes you just have to walk, and that’s okay too. Progress is slow but it’s there if I don’t quit. You’re an inspiration to many with your attitude and gratitude. Such a wonderful post…thank you for this.