The Running Angel

Just because I don't have wings, doesn't mean I can't fly.

Climbing Out of a Rut

on 08/17/2014

I’ve been stuck in a rut for a few months now, maybe even years.

When I hear the word rut, I imagine a dark, damp hole in the ground with nothing but soil and rocks and roots all around. The clear blue sky can be seen, but it is too far out of reach. It is lonely and miserable and depressing.

But the rut I’m in is actually quite comfortable. It’s got a nice couch and a TV with all my favorite shows. It’s got the Internet and an iPad with games like Candy Crush and PvZ. It’s got a fridge stocked with goodies and sweets. It’s got a Kobo filled with books (though most of the time, they are ignored when there’s a new update on the games). When you’re stuck in a place like this, it is very difficult to climb out, to will the body that’s gotten slow and sluggish to just get out and run. When you’re already so comfortable, why would you ever want to leave?

Because seeing the sky above, knowing there’s a big old world out there just waiting to be explored, leaves one wondering and wanting more. Because the whispers in one’s ear, saying it’s time to get out, are becoming too loud to ignore. Because the pounds that have crept in and the clothes that no longer fit have started to pile up.

Here are a few things I decided to do to get out of this rut:

1. Sign up for a race.

Roland and I are going on a trip to the US in October. It’s our first trip outside of Asia together and I could not be more excited! Running is one of the best ways to explore a new place so we decided to look for a race we could join while we’re there. (Plus, it’s a great way to counter all the eating that’s sure to happen.) We’re joining theย Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon on October 25. Running + wine sounds like the perfect combination to me!

healdsburg half

2. Get a coach.

I am really not a morning person, but last Tuesday and Friday at 6 am, I dragged myself out of bed to train at the Ultra track oval. Luckily, it’s just a five-minute walk from our place. We booked several training sessions with Coach Roel Ano, who was also our coach when we did the Runner’s World 25-K Challenge last November. It’s really very helpful to have someone motivating you and pushing you to your limits. Though those first two sessions were tough, I’m beginning to see the benefits of training in the morning. Nothing beats breathing in the fresh air, soaking up vitamin D from the early morning sun, and seeing other runners pound the track with their lean legs and perfect stride.


3. Start writing again.

The irony of being a magazine writer and editor for a living is that I find it very hard to write for myself. After a stressful day at work, I just want to stay away from my computer and retreat to my comfy rut, where I can watch my shows and play my games. But writing has always been a way for me to reflect and see things in the right perspective. Back in high school, when I had limited access to the Internet, I’d write pages and pages of words on my journal, looking back on my experiences and processing how I felt about them. As the digital age took over, I did this less and less, apart from the occasional silent retreat where I had no choice but to power off my gadgets.

After my shingles attack back in 2012, I got very busy with getting married, adjusting to a new home, and dealing with added work responsibilities. I’ve been able to keep running and traveling, though not as often as I used to. It’s all been overwhelming but I’ve been very blessed. Though safe and comfortable in my rut the last few months, I don’t want to be removed from the world anymore while life passes me by. I want to participate and engage, enjoy and appreciate the little moments.

So here I am, trying to claw my way out, one handful of soil and rocks and roots at a time. โ€”A

2 responses to “Climbing Out of a Rut

  1. Ines says:

    You can do it, Angel! I’m so excited for you guys and your US trip! And your race ๐Ÿ™‚ Something I totally cannot imagine. I really need to exercise again. Remember our gold’s gym days! Sigh. But I know you can do it and you can begin writing again ๐Ÿ™‚

    Try deleting a game from your iPad/phone or taking a break for a month maybe. You’ll realize a few things after ๐Ÿ™‚ hugs!!!

    • angelamc23 says:

      Super thanks, Ines! Yes, I miss our Gold’s Gym days! It was so easy to workout because the gym was so near! Haha. Thanks for the tip. Will try to do that. ๐Ÿ™‚

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