(619) 425-8613 [email protected]

Out of Breath, Starting Over and Divorce.

by | May 3, 2024 | Divorce, Uncategorized

I consider myself a runner.  I ran cross country and the distance track events in high school, ran a number of 10k’s over the years with fairly competitive times and whenever I decide it is time to get myself back into shape, I dawn my shorts and lace up my running shoes and head out for a run.  As we get older, age, and perhaps gravity, seem to start making getting into shape a bit more of a challenge.  I am discovering that fact each new time I set out to start running again.  This week I decided after a long hiatus to get back to trying to get into shape once again.  I spent the week gasping for breath and wondering how I ever allowed myself to get to this place.  In this week’s blog I explore what lessons I am to learn from this latest rocky beginning and before I am done I will try to find some way to connect it all to divorce.


Starting at Square OneSo, who was this horribly unfit person huffing and puffing when encountering the slightest of uphill climbs?    It took every ounce of my will power to trudge on as I struggled to catch my breath and keep my heart from beating out of my chest.  Any onlooker would call into question my claim that I am a runner.  I imagine it was not a pretty sight.  In my defense, I had been nursing a long term calf injury which seemed to get in the way every time I started trying to get back into running.  After giving my running a long break for recovery, I felt the calf issue was finally resolved and I could now give it another go.   


MondayThis all began on Monday.  If you have ever tackled trying to get yourself back into shape, that first day is the worst.  You are at some mental crossroads where you have to convince that contented, lazy part of yourself to leave the relaxing environment of the couch, stretch out a little bit, and get momentum moving forward out the door and onto the street.  That act is half the battle even before the pain begins.  The 20 minutes or so of my run on Monday consisted of the previously mentioned panting and gasping every step of the way with the smallest of hills (when does a mole hill become a mountain?) almost pushing me to the point of surrender.  On a scale of fitness from 1 to 100, I think this might be the first time that I was starting at a zero.


TuesdayThe argument with my lazy self while trying to get out the door lasted about half as long as it did on Monday.  From yesterday’s fiasco I could at least hang my hat on the fact that I had survived the endeavor which gave me some confidence that I would likely be able to again survive it.  The gasping and wheezing whenever there was any sort of incline was there to grapple with every bit as much as day 1.  At least things didn’t get worse.


WednesdayI wish I could say I woke up Wednesday fit as a fiddle.  Not so, but then again I realized on my Wednesday run that after the uphills I was catching my breath a little faster.  Another phenomenon that I was finally able to experience is that on this run I actually settled into a comfortable enough pace that I was able to stop thinking about how miserable I was and was able to get lost in my thoughts.  One of the reasons I enjoy running is that it stimulates thought and I come across unique and creative thoughts when I am able to get past the suffering of the run.  It makes the run pass more quickly.  One of the joys of running is seeing progress.  When I finished this run I finally recognized that maybe there was hope that my situation was improving.  I now wait for tomorrow willing to go out and do it again because surely it will even be a little easier next time.


Oh yeah, this is a Divorce blog…  So, why have I taken the time to share how miserably out of shape I am?  I guess for the lesson about starting over.  Sometimes it is easier to just ignore it.  Why start over when you can just stay where you are.  Starting over is hard.  You will find yourself out of breath.  You will want to just stop and go back.  The littlest of things can pose big obstacles.  Making that first move toward starting over can be the hardest as it involves getting ready mentally to do it and then actually taking the first step.


If each step after the first one was every bit as hard as the first, it would be easy to get discouraged.  The good thing is that the second and third steps get a little easier.  Monday will be hard.  You might find something to point to on Tuesday that gives you hope moving into Wednesday.  Then Wednesday comes and the progress might be a little more obvious.   Before you know it, here comes Thursday!


Starting over after a divorce is not the same as going out and trying to run around the block.  I have no intent to minimize the difficulty of moving on to that new life that comes after divorce.  I am just saying that if you want to get back in shape you won’t get very far thinking about it on the couch.  When it comes to starting over you can’t remain denying that it is happening, or you can, but it won’t get you very far.  Instead, lace up your sneakers, stretch out a little bit and head out the door.  It will be hard today, and perhaps even tomorrow, but it will start getting easier after that.