Running With, Not Away From, Emotion


The past few moths have been riddled with high emotions and life challenges. I knew going into this race that I had a lot on my mind and a heavy heart. I could have just not run the race and avoided facing my deep thoughts; however, that would be weak. I could have turned to substances to “numb” the pain, but that is not an option. Instead, I chose to take off into the woods all day and allow myself to process some deep, deep thought and emotion. 

Sitting on a rock about 30 yards off the trail on top of a mountain I found myself on my knees in thought and prayer. About 13 miles into the Quad Rock 50 tears began to fill my eyes and they could not stop. I did not want other runners to worry for me, as ultra runners care about one another and surely would check in on me. Thus, I wandered off course and spent a painful 20 minutes allowing the anguish to run its course. The emotion was strong. However, I could not be hypocritical and try to avoid emotion. After all, I teach people every day the importance of sitting with feelings. There is no such thing as negative emotion. It might be painful but it’s not negative. 

After a good 20 minutes passed I felt more calm and ready to keep running. I thoroughly enjoyed the summit of Horsetooth Mtn. and the steep trails. I found myself experiencing drastic shifts of emotion. I didn’t try to tune out anything.  I wasn’t there to win the race. I was there for training and to finish…and enjoy running in such a gorgeous environment.About every hour I found myself wandering off to a rock sometimes sitting and sometimes kneeling. As the race went on I noticed more energy and good physical strength. I felt, and feel, great physically. 

I’ve never won an ultra marathon; in fact,  the best I’ve done is 3rd on a 12-hour race. I’ve never been last in an ultra marathon either. Usually, I finish in a reasonable time, and if it’s not reasonable I at least finish 🙂 Nonetheless, I woke up this morning feeling so positive and a much stronger man for allowing myself to experience and not avoid and to finish hard things! 



One Reply to “Running With, Not Away From, Emotion”

  1. Drew, awesome post! Wow, you really allowed you to take that time in your race and sit with your emotions?! Very helpful advice! I hope you and shayna and those cute kids of yours are doing well. I haven’t talked to shayna in a bit but I think of you often and keep up with your thoughts on your blog. God bless you both!! Love, WA

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