I squeezed my run in last night. The lake sparkled in the early evening light and the bright sky cheered me. It felt good to be out in nature.
I was all set to enjoy myself and then a few minutes in my left calf tightened and wouldn’t let up. All I could focus on was the discomfort. Next think I knew I was full on into what a therapist-friend of mine calls “mental looping.” It’s where you play the same conversation over and over again in your head. Or where your mind worries over a situation the way a dog worries a bone. And it’s usually negative.
Mine went a little like this:
“Ack it’s that calf again. Maybe something is wrong. Lots of people say running isn’t good for you. Maybe I shouldn’t be starting this so late in life. It’s really uncomfortable. Maybe I should stop.”
So much for savoring my beautiful surroundings or feeling pride in doing something good for my health. Instead, I was stuck in a internal loop of negativity and bullshit, and ready to quit.
In a the briefest moment of clarity, I remembered that I could use the release technique to stop the looping. It’s a way to let go of any painful or unwanted feeling in the moment. And it’s worked for me many times.
It’s not so much that this process removes the physical pain, although I have had that experience. It’s that with the release technique I can get my focus off the pain or the negative feeling.
It’s a quick process where you name the feeling/sensation you’d like to release, then ask yourself a few simple questions.
Here’s what I did last night:
My calf is tight.
Could I let this tightness go?
Would I let this go? (As in…am I willing?)
I repeated the questions until I felt a complete release of the feeling/focus on my tight calf.
After that, I was able to be present to enjoy Mother Nature and the hearty breeze that kept me cool. I was struggling for breath the last few minutes of the run, but it felt so good to see it through. I think I actually experienced the runner’s high.
If you want to know more about the release technique, check out The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-Being. It’s a great book that will walk you through the whole process.
“The Sedona Method is an easy-to-use, practical guide to releasing emotional tension, one of the key steps I recommend in my medical practice for achieving resilience, vitality, and long-term health. This book is a valuable adjunct to every healthcare program.” — Frank Lipman, MD