I had a vivid dream last night. I was in a race. It was in a school. My parents were on the sidelines (that’s how you know it was a dream; they were there for every basketball game growing up, but races simply aren’t as fun). And I was flying. So fast, in fact, that my legs were outstretched fully in front with every stride – like a whippet, whipping around the track. I couldn’t be stopped. I couldn’t slow down. And then I got confused. Where did one lap end and another begin? Was I still on the course, or had I gone astray. What a waste of speed! What a waste of a race! What a waste, what a waste, what a waste!
Though I’m pro-therapy, I don’t need a shrink to tell me that my dream had to do with feelings of anxiety. This is old news. Kittens on windowsills give me anxiety. Getting engaged gave me anxiety. Everything gives me anxiety.
Unsurprisingly, this also isn’t the first time that an anxiety has manifested itself in the form of a dream or, specifically, in the form of a race. If wasn’t failure but rather confusion, dizziness and a general sense of being lost.
It’s funny, because this week, after several pretty tough ones — between work and a bit of stress over having to run 10 miles during the Broad Street race — I feel pretty damn good. Working long hours? Sure. Running every morning? More or less, save for a few inclement says on Monday and Tuesday. Noah and I even took a 12 mile bike ride on Saturday that was just lovely. It was under tree canopies, near the river, and alongside other bikers, runners and sun worshipers. Life doesn’t get much better than that.
I choose not to overthink these dreams, but nevertheless find it ironic that it came back so colorfully while in the midst of this morning’s run, as I raced (much more slowly, mind you) along the Schuylkill River. Monday marked our one year anniversary since moving to Philadelphia, which means I’ve now been exploring this territory for an entire year. I may not be fast, but time sure does fly.
Wednesday’s run was cool and crisp — much more early fall than late spring, with giant drops of last night’s rain falling down upon me from up above in the trees. It was perfect, albeit sluggish. I started in a sweatshirt and wound up in short sleeves, thinking about nothing and everything, planning my day, plotting my night, and contemplating the future. Who needs therapists when you have an hour of that, daily. Running may just be the greatest anxiety killer of them all.
Curious: Do you ever have weird running dreams that have nothing to do with running at all?