Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Run Happy

Just like pregnancy, the postpartum period is a necessary evil. It is completely worth it, but evil nonetheless. At least when you're pregnant you look 'cute'. The postpartum shape is just icky. Also, there is no hit to the self esteem like someone congratulating you on your pregnancy when you've already had the baby!

With this general feeling of blah I sat down during nap time today to watch the documentary Happy.

The film takes a look at different cultures and examines the research in a poignant look at what 'makes people happy'. It was a decent watch, if a bit slow at points, and I'd recommend it. The main take-away, for me, was that; 50% of happiness is genetic predisposition (termed your 'set point'), 10% comes from what happens to you, and a whopping 40% is due to choices you make. The relevant choices vary from person to person, of course. Yet, a common thread was that 'happy people' spend more time doing things where they feel 'in the zone'. That point where one is doing something they love and it seems to flow effortlessly.

So, I thought to myself; 'what puts me in the zone?'. I realized that it used to be running, but I hadn't felt that way about running recently. Then it occurred to me that I haven't really been running, I have been pushing a BOB stroller. It's hard to find your 'zen' when you are pushing ~your weight, listening to constant jabber/screaming, and stopping every quarter of a mile to replace a pacifier or retrieve an ejected sippy cup. No wonder I wasn't feeling relaxed and rejuvenated from my runs.

Don't get me wrong, I love the freedom my BOB strollers bring me. Especially during times like the past week when my husband was out of town. It's the only exercise I can get. 

Tonight, however, as soon as Daddy came home from work Mommy went out the door. This was my first run alone, without at least one of the kids, in months. Man, was it nice! After 7 miles of quiet, watching the sun set behind the Golden Gate Bridge, I arrived home a much happier and more centered Mommy.

Lesson learned; I won't forget to run to my happy place on at least an occasional basis. I'll be a better mom/wife/person for it =)

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