Running In The Dark

Sometimes a good RunningNurse will find her/himself running in the dark. It’s the way some things just happen.  We are alchemist at turning some very dark situations into light at the bedside, and at times we do this for ourselves too.  Just look at how Nurse Helene Neville and her team worked out an alternate route for the very first National Nurses Half Marathon & 5K despite government shut down, which included Red Rock Canyon where the marathon was supposed to take place this coming Sunday October 13, 2013 in Las Vegas.  Many things are not within our control, but real nurses work hard to make things happen!

Some parts of Fort Lauderdale Beach are relatively beautiful and safe places to run even at night.  When in the neighborhood, I like to run along a strip near Las Olas area, where many tourist hang-out around the clock.  Some folks like to start happy hours well before the sun hides it’s face from that part of the world, and one has to be mindful to keep ‘an eye’ wide open for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians along Highway A1A.

One day after being shrouded in a heavy blanket of a long ‘to do list,’ I left the gym where I’d just had an unscheduled hour of plyometrics, followed by three challenging games of racquetball with friends.  It was too late to run home to change into a “I Am A Running Nurse” safety yellow or green running, moisture barrier, t-shirts.  If running in the dark, you have to pull out every good straw when dealing with South Florida motorists.  This might sound like a sales pitch, but this t-shirt boosts my visibility quite well during the day and night, and I don’t like to leave home without wearing one when hitting the road or trails.

It was very late.  But I had a commitment to run 8 miles, which I decided to follow through despite wearing all black Nike workout clothes–a hell of a BIG NO-NO for a runner!   The only thing visible on me that night were my teeth (I had a serious tan on top of my natural color), and my colorful Newton Running shoes.   Running in dark clothing is not recommended by any runner with a decent bit of common sense, so please turn a blind eye on my transient foolishness this time, and never do this.

Besides my commitment to run this night, I conformed myself with this fact, “Mama taught me to pray.”  So I said a prayer to “Dear Jesus,” included the “high and holy saints (just in case they were listening),” and off I went!  Running in the dark.

Life sometimes pitches you in a dark spot, and oftentimes you find yourself raking your brains with “worry-ations (as my mother used to call it).”  While we’re on the subject of “worrying,” my teacher recently said to me, “In any situation, do your best.  So if you have to walk away, you will know in your heart, mind, and soul, you gave it your very best shot. That’s the part you’re allowed to worry about.  But if you haven’t done your best, you need to see how you can change this.”

This reminds me, there are some things we just don’t have any control over. Yes we may have some choices, but oftentimes our experiences involves dealing with people, clients, job, family members, etc.  Should you find yourself in the dark alley of life running BEHIND factors not withing your control, stop trying to change these!  Instead, change what you can about yourself and the choices you make.  Keep placing one foot in front of the other, giving your best effort, until you come to the light of the situation.

Contrary to what some people believe, there is a light that shines out of darkness.  Besides, darkness is just on the opposite pole of light, and it’s degree is definitely subjective–depending on who is viewing, and from which level of the spectrum.

Maybe we just need to stop limiting what we can see in the dark.  If you expect your dark moments to remain darkened, then you’ll keep running in the dark–expecting just that–and sometimes without much bearings.  So keep pressing and doing your best, until your darkness opens up and in it is revealed the light.  Just a word of caution:  at first, you may have to squint a bit to see the light.

OYE!  That night after adjusting the lacing on my running shoes and heading off along SE 17th Street and Highway A1A, down to my red bones, I felt I’d made a poor decision to run in dark clothing.  A car almost hit me on way back.  That motorist was eager to press his gas before the light could change to solid green, and I was also in fifth gear, eager to finish my run.  When I felt the dangerous wind of the motorist accelerating, I ran even harder!  With my heart pounding on the edge of my nervous bottom lip, I thanked God for preventing what could have been traumatic or morbid.  After this near miss,” I practiced even more safety measures.  So I cut off the low music playing in my ears (not a good practice either day or night), heightened my senses, and found the quickest route back to my car.  If you are a runner, please DO NOT RUN IN DARK CLOTHING, ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT!  If you are a RunningNurse, please put this under your personal Nursing Careplan, under IMPLEMENTING.   And like my teacher friend said (and boy is she a walking encyclopedia of SAYINGS), “In any situation, do your best!”