Before launching into this week’s post, I want to invite you to read Aly Gulamhusein’s response to “Writing: Art or Science?” He poses new questions to ponder on the topic. Thank you to all who provided their insights.
I spent the past weekend in Canmore, one of my favourite places on earth. While the mountains are my sanctuary, the place where I get back to basics, settle my mind, and revel in peacefulness, they helped fuel something a bit different for me this time: rage.
Granted, that might sound a bit funny to those who know me. I generally don’t show anger, let alone rage. This weekend though, I ran my first 10-kilometre race and needed some fuel. I’ve been running for a few years now – I’ve done 5k races and a half-marathon, but this was my first 10k, and let me tell you, running in the mountains isn’t exactly comparable to running in flat Calgary.
Knowing this, it was my intention to train furiously for this race. I wanted to run it fast and push personal limits. Then bad weather and a few busy work weeks cramped my training, and I started to get angry with myself.
As soon as I got to my mountains though, anger was replaced by a lightness and excitement. I started the race feeling relaxed and calm, and I enjoyed my surroundings as they passed and let the mountains take effect. Then gradually, with lungs filled with fresh air, I started to push a little harder, and a little harder, and I could feel determination bubbling. The beautiful surroundings inspired me to go just a little faster, and a little faster.
At the 7k mark, I hit the wall, and the voice in my head said, “It’s OK, there are lots of hills at the end. Just walk for a bit and save up your strength.”
And that’s when the rage hit. I shouted a few profanities at the timid voice in my head, found the angriest heavy metal song on my iPod, and channelled all of my energy into pushing forward. And when I crossed the finish line, I smiled and said a silent thank-you to the mountains for helping me find balance, a place where I could feel powerful.
Anger isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. Have you ever been spurred on by anger with a positive result? How do you strike a balance between good and bad anger?
Song of the week: “You On the Run” – The Black Angels (one of my favourite run songs, though not the angriest – that honour goes to The Smashing Pumpkins)