I do not Escape the Voices in my Head

I’ve read on many other runner’s, especially ultrarunner’s blogs, that running is an escape for them. It quiets their anxious mind, it silences the thoughts, problems fade away.

I used to think this was my story as well. After I started running a few years ago till now, my life has gotten so much better. I respect myself and my family, I am strong physically and emotionally and I do not tear myself down as much. I believed running was eliminating the bad feelings, the mistrust, the self-hatred.

I believed running stopped the running thoughts. Running quieted the voice inside my head telling me I wasn’t good enough. Running allowed me to get away from those things.

My real story is different. Running has not stopped the voices. Running has not helped me hide from them.

Running allows me to face the voices, acknowledge them, and then allow them to pass. Running helps me “sit” with or hold space for those voices. It challenges me to be uncomfortable in my body and my mind. It holds me accountable to what I know to be true.

Running keeps the voices there until I’ve faced them enough times and convinced myself of their lies. Then it allows them to fade away, occasionally reappearing in moments of vulnerability or exhaustion, only to be fought again. Largely however, they are dealt with, proven false and invisible to me.

What I’ve realized is that the voices never go away, but my response to them has changed. I do not run away from the voices because some of them are true.

I was dishonest last week.

I didn’t run this correctly and I knew it.

I didn’t complete some job to the fullest potential, it was simply “good enough”.

These thoughts are true. The voices are right. Yet, they do not define my person. They prove that I am human, that sometimes my choices are not the best, but I am still doing my best in the grand scheme of life.

When you think about it, I could never “run away” from these voices, because they are me. Running has helped me accept these voices, realize I might have made a bad decision, but that I can move on from it.

The voices do not tell me who I am. Running allows me to see hear those voices, see my flaws and move on.

It is never an escape, it is a path toward freedom, voices included.

11 thoughts on “I do not Escape the Voices in my Head”

  1. Wow, this is a good way of putting it; I have to agree that running does not help me run away from them, but it often helps me process, pray about them, and gain a better perspective of them.

    1. That’s good to hear Emily. Sometimes just movement allows my brain to look at things in a different way. What an amazing feat of the human body 🙂

  2. I love how you acknowledge these thoughts and focus on not letting them define you. Yoga helps me a lot with that. Releasing the judgment against myself for having these bad thoughts from time to time instead of just trying to escape them

  3. Ohhhh girlll, this is on point. Not only will the problems hang around if we run from them, they get BIGGER AND WORSE. Running towards them and through them is the only way to go. Well said.

  4. This is really interesting. I notice sometimes I feel scared to go to a yoga class or a long walk because I know it will just be “me and my thoughts.” I think though that these activities help me think them in a way that lets let peacefully pass through. It can be hard to think/feel those thoughts but chances are they become a lot less hurtful than when I’m distracting myself away from them with mindless activities.

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