Running as grief therapy

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I'm a great believer in the therapeutic benefits of running. Sure, it doesn't make your troubles go away, but inevitably you feel better after a run. It's almost impossible not to.

So I just loved Karin Kuipers description of how running helped her cope with the loss of her husband Karl. Karin and their three small children lost him to cancer. She wrote a book about the first 1001 days without him and titled it: 'You can always call me'

There are not many things I do these days that really bring me pleasure, but running is one of them. No matter how miserable I feel after an hour of running around the heath I feel and look a lot better.

I used to run one or two times a week, but when Karl got sick I started to run more and more frequently. To keep the panic at bay, to worry, to relax, to stay healthy, to produce endorphins.

I always run in the same circle of ten kilometers, in an hour. Never faster, because my only goal is to produce endorphins, and I manage that quite well with a pace of ten kilometers an hour.

No one knows how much I need my ten kilometers to keep the longing for alchohol at arms lenght. No one knows that without my ten kilometers I have even less patience with the children. That without them I can't fall asleep and will become totally stressed out. That without my run I'll start worrying about money and become depressed. No one know that those last ten minutes on the heath are the happiest minutes of my day. The only happy minutes of my day.

Others don't know about the endorphins that course through my veins for hours afterwards, as an antidote to all the stresshormones and fear for the future. If they knew, I'm sure I would have daily childcare to run my 'circle'.

It's a pity I can't explain it to them.


But Karin, you just did.
And I think more people would understand than you think.

9 comments

  1. That is SO true. I often fall off the exercise bandwagon, but when I'm on it I'm less stressed, less irritable, and wondering why I always forget the benefits it gives??

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  2. dropping by to say hi. cheers!

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  3. Cheaper then therapy I guess. Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

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  4. Such powerful, powerful words, Nicole. Thank you for sharing. Although I realize that I have not commented much, I am de-lurking today to say how much I have been enjoying your blog over the past few months.

    As testament to my cyber-love, you now have a new follower...us!

    -Francesca

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  5. I like to walk but have never been much of a runner. What are some good ways to start out?

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  6. I hate running - love to dance. I keep trying to get past my abhorrence towards running and I get about three blocks before I say "GOD I HATE THIS!" Did you ever feel this way? ANd how did you learn to love it?
    Cath

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  7. oh i'm a HUGE believer in the powers of running!!!!

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  8. Thanks for sharing those moving words - so vividly honest.

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  9. I love this. It is so true and if I didn't run I would be a ball of stress too. I totally believe that endorphins are a great coping medicine. No matter what happened that day, after a good long run, my mind is so much clearer and can handle more of what is going on. I guess endurance too gives you strength, not only physicalyl but mentally.

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