Today was an awesome one where I managed to bust my bad mood.
It was the beginning of the semester, but I have already felt I got stuck in everything I do. I got stuck in the coding projects that i am committed to, got stuck in job-hunting, got stuck in my fitness goal, got stuck even in answering a question on StackOverflow (well this is actually the most usualy one) By this evening, I was so frustrated that I didn’t have the concentration to focus on any task. So I went down to have a run. The worse thing was, I couldn’t even have a decent run. I breathed so hard after a few minutes of warm-up and it just did not feel like I would manage to finish the run.
Sitted at the bench of a park, I was overwhelmed by frustration and self-hatred, An old uncle was exercising before me, when I was too powerless to even move. I kicked the bench with my greatest strength, trying to ease my negativity with pain. Why would my life suck so badly? I couldnt take it any more, not even one second.
I stood up and started running again, breathing as if every one was my last breathe. I sprinted uphill, faster and faster. My body was heating up and heart bumping at crazy rate. It was not pleasant, but I felt like living. Well as you can predict I kept this crazy freaking state for no more than 2 minutes. It was quite relieving, but it was too short to restore my self-esteem. So I kept running, away from my home, just like Forrest Gump. Since I have taken the same bus both to my primary and secondary school, I decided to run all the way to my friend’s home, who lived half-an-hour away, on bus time.
I didn’t know how far the route is exactly, I didn’t guage how long it would take me to finish the distance, like what I would have done in any other time. In fact, I didn’t want to, I am so glad I forgot to put on my watch, or I would have kept watching it. I just wanted to run, and run to that spot.
So I ran, and ran and ran, breathing the dust exhaled from cars, passing the smelly alleys, bumping into pedestrians, getting lost in areas where I passed by for ten or fifteen years, but didn’t put my feet on it until today.
Initially, my emotion was on a roller-coaster, up when I managed to find the way and made progress, down when I realized I was circling around. Part of the reason that kept me on the path, was the way back soon became longer than the remaining distance, but the main reason was the fact that I set no alternative. I had no phone to call anyone; I had no money to ride on a bus. I could choose to sprint, run, jog, or walk, but quitting was not an option.
As I ran, or forced by my previous decision to run, the whole world boiled down to just myself and the fact that I was running. No expectation, neither past, nor future. Sounds miserable, doesn’t it like an machine? But it was amazing. I just ran whenevr there was enough space without urging to stop, stopped in front of traffic lights without urging to run again. Just stay at the presence.
Now back to home with legs total exhausted and sore, I am refreshed to put my nose back into study and projects. Getting stuck is part of life; learning how to cope with it with elegance and awareness would be always on my to-master-list.
I have so much magic moments in this two-hour run that I want to share But I guess there is no better way to understand any life lesson than trying it out youself.
Truly encourage you to put yourself in a no-key-no-money run, or a scenario in which you have no way to chicken out. You would be surprised at how much you can beat the you under normal circumstance and your resilence in pciking up yourself in times of setbacks.
There was one side-lesson I learnt: never ask people for direction to places farther than their neighourhood. This is quite applicable to programing. When we are attempting a big task, better to slipt it into smaller ones for which we can seek help from others with a better response and accuracy.