Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Running As Therapy

Sometimes I wish I could talk about work on my blog, but at the same time, it's nice to have this outlet that is totally unrelated. 
If you're new to my blog, I'll just say that I work in law enforcement and have been in the field for about ten years now.

Work has taken a toll on me this week. 
While much of the time, my job is administrative (I'm no longer a cop), I sometimes deal with other sides of the field.  This week was one of those times.

I love the field I work in for a lot of reasons. It is interesting and important work, and I am aware of that pretty much every day.  Obviously it's tremendously rewarding to know that you work for a cause.
Still, the fact is that we deal with some tough stuff in this field.

When I worked at my first police department, I vividly remember a conversation I had with a Captain.  He was giving me advice and said that I should not lose my spirit, because in this field it is something easy to do.  I grew up a happy-go-lucky kind of girl, and would venture to say that most of my friends, classmates, and family would not have predicted that I would enter this field for my career.  At the beginning of my career, I definitely still had a lot of the silly, happy, innocence I grew up with and I know my Captain was trying to tell me to keep that part of myself alive as I made my way through the ugly parts of this career. 

I will say that the field has no doubt taken it's toll on me.  I'd love to see my old Captain and tell him I haven't changed at all, but that would be untrue.  Unfortunately, in this field, you see a lot of the worst of human nature.  It can't help but change you and how you see people.  I am guarded and suspicious of people a lot of the time.  I believe that often, if people are given the opportunity, they will do bad things.  In some ways, it's made me stronger and safer to feel this way.  I've seen how people become victims by being too trusting, not thinking the worst could happen, and not being prepared for it.  I feel very street smart because I give a lot of thought about how to protect myself and keep myself safe.  Obviously, it's crappy to walk around thinking the worst of people though.  I can't say that I haven't let this attitude damper my spirit at times.

This week I heard and saw a lot that affected me.  I worked off hours (night) and part of what I'm feeling is due to my sleep being disrupted, but a lot of it is the disgusting picture of human nature I have seen recently.  I got home last night and just wanted to run to deal with the stuff swirling around in my head..  I didn't put my Garmin on or worry about training.  The miles didn't matter as much as the therapy the run would provide me.  I put on some somber music instead of my usual AC/DC, Lady Gaga, and upbeat stuff, and just let my feet hit the pavement.  At times I thought of work and at times I thought about everything else but work.  I let the endorphins lift me from the darkish place I was.  It helped...  I'm glad I have running for this reason, among all the others.  It's nice to have running there as an outlet.


Kristina @ spabettie said...

*SO* interesting... I would LOVE to hear more about your work... I totally understand - I have a blog where I talk about Jason by name only, and don't even show photos of him... :D

running (or, for me, sometimes the heavy bag in our garage!!) can be SO therapeutic. I love it!

so can a cuddle from a dachshund !!

Cassie said...

There are days it happens on the fire side of things too ;-) We all have days that get us down. I try to think of the better times when humans can actually respect one another.

Running therapy sounds great, sounds like you were able to unwind a little bit. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

I thought of you today...I fell in the middle of the street. no reason, just tripped over my own feet! I seem to fall more walking than running! Sorry about work being a bummer :( hang in there!

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