Floating through the air as if in a slow motion movie scene, I thought, “I’m going down.” And I did. Hard. I hit the rubble riddled concrete after my leashed dog cut in front of me as we were running full speed. You see, he was concerned about a young and aggressive pitbull and the pitbull’s young and little-muscled owner. As I laid in the middle of the road for five seconds, my thoughts were not clear. I was just angry.
As a hot-head by nature with the nurture of the northeast USA (think city cab drivers honking and beer-bellied men fighting), anger is my go-to emotion. In this wipeout situation, anger worked for me because it energized me to get up, get running, and get home fast to deal with my injuries. I was so, ahem, energized that according to RunKeeper, I earned a Personal Best for fastest pace under 3 miles. Some consolation.
Once settled at home and attended to by my husband and sons, my anger passed, leaving me with only scraped skin and disappointment. Dang it. I had expected a good run but instead I would be out of running for a bit.
My mind wandered. Who in their right mind would send a 70 pound girl out with a 70 pound untrained dog? And why hadn’t the city cleaned the copious amounts of pebbles on the road left behind from the latest downpour? And why did the utility guy park his truck on the sidewalk squeezing me onto the road? It was a perfect storm.
But see what I did there? My anger was fueled by boo-boos and distorted thoughts. It was easier for me to be angry, frustrated, and blaming than it was for me to take responsibility for my feelings. The feeling below the anger was disappointment. Up until I hit the concrete, I was heading toward my Best. Run. Ever. And in a moment, it was gone. Dang it, again.
Here’s a hard-earned tip for how to manage anger. Look for faulty thinking as well as other emotions that are driving it. My unclear thoughts were looking to blame something, anything, for the welt on my hip. Blaming can easily lead to distancing from real issues. The truth is, as a new runner, I have a lot to learn. So does my dog! So, I’ll give benefit of the doubt to others instead of blame as I wish them well. I’ll change my run path, stop my dog if he appears anxious, and not run on a bunch of little rolling pebbles atop concrete. And I’ll hopefully earn a new personal best sooner than fading of my bruises.
How do you manage anger? What is your go-to emotion? Any running with a dog tips? 🙂
Have a terrific and wipeout free weekend ❤