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When It Rains, It Pours.

As a runner, it is not unusual for me to use a long, weekend run to de-stress from one hell of a long week. It could be work, weather-caused disruptions, or just a typical week that felt long. Clearing the mind by walking or running outside just hits the spot when needed. But what about those times LIFE happens, and one stressful event happens after another? How does someone deal with events, and oh, by the way, through mental and physical health in the mix? The saying goes, “when it rains, it pours.”

Figuratively speaking, each event is a raindrop.

Kids must attend virtual school. Employers close businesses without pay. You have no savings, nowhere to go, and cannot go outside due to a pandemic. And after all those raindrops, here comes the storm. Not only are do you lose a loved one, but two, back-to-back. These are just a few things that happened. I could describe many other raindrops, but the storm: the loss of two loved ones? How do you just move on from that?

But sometimes, it storms!

A full-time job, kids virtual learning, wife in pain due to hearing her father of 65 has stage IV cancer. My 90-year-old grandfather whose organs are shutting down when I just saw and talked to him. He seemed perfectly fine. These two events, among a myriad of others, made up my storm. Losing my Grandfather and Father-n-Law within few days of each other, and both viewing and burial closed to only a group of 10 due to the pandemic kept me from attending either one. While alone for the holidays, trying to comfort and support my wife and mom, I looked around. I asked, Who is here to help me? Who is here to support me during this storm?

Who is here to help me? Still I Run.

The running community and fitness community are always there. Dealing with mental health and having lost two loved ones would put anyone in a position to question their ability to continue moving on. A long run would not clear the mind from this, or at least I did not think it would. In the past, I realized that putting one foot forward was how we make it each day. Why would it not be true this time?

Ask yourself, why did I stop putting one foot forward? You can do it. You can make it. I woke up one morning and looked at the mirror, and even after finally allowing myself to grieve, “Still I Run.” After feeling alone, but knowing I wasn’t, “Still I Run.” Even if I felt a bit of me died with them, “Still I Run.” You can still run/walk, workout, or just get back to some normalcy in your life. One step at a time, and just remember when it rains or pours, you are ready for it.


By Arturo Valdez

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