(or Left, Right, Left, Right…)
Once upon a time, I fancied myself to be a runner. Before I had kids, I used to run regularly and it was my exercise of choice. I preferred running outside, but probably did most of my runs on a treadmill at the gym at work because it was convenient and appealed to my statistics-oriented brain. I could monitor and track time, distance, speed, calories, all right on the treadmill console. I kept a running log in a spreadsheet (of course!), charting my progress to run longer and faster and tracking when it was time to buy new running shoes.
I really started running seriously when we lost the baby. I poured most of my grief onto the treadmill as running felt like something I could actually control. I could control the speed of the treadmill or how far I wanted to run each day. I got lost in tracking the numbers and statistics and could therefore avoid dealing with the overwhelming grief I experienced inside but wasn’t able to process. I loved getting lost in my own head for a while, far away from the torturous real-world.