What Do You Do When the World Goes Insane? Run, of Course.

Yesterday, Friday the 13th, felt like a wonderfully lucky day for our family. Lots of great things happened, including the closing on the sale of our house. Woot! We were flying high. That is until we heard the news from Paris. Like all of you, we were horrified, sickened, saddened, furious…you name it. There aren’t enough words to express the depths of our emotions.

News of this tragedy hit right when I was about to drive my daughter to ballet, and I was fuming inside that I would have to explain this unthinkable act to her. How do you explain such insanity, anyway? I tried to keep it simple and age appropriate, but she wanted to know more: the who, what, where, when and why. Especially the WHY. Fortunately, the start of her class let me off the hook from a much deeper conversation. I needed time to process it myself before I could possibly explained it to her.

Because we had such a busy day, I didn’t have time to run in the morning. Instead, I planned to go when Miss O was at ballet, but suddenly I had zero motivation. I just wanted to huddle in a cozy chair, sipping a warm chai vanilla latte at a coffee shop while I obsessed over the news flooding my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Fortunately, because I committed to this damn Chase the Bird Challenge, I dragged myself down to Goleta Beach Park and forced myself to run.


And of course, that’s exactly what I needed.

That’s what runners do. Whether we’re happy, sad, stressed, confused, frustrated, angry, afraid, ____(fill in the blank), running is what we do.

We’re insanely lucky to have the luxury of sorting through our emotions out on the roads and trails. Pace and distance have no place in the conversation. It’s simply about having the gift of health, and time and space to process our lives and the moments that change them.

Yesterday, I knew I needed to get the rage out of me so I could re-center myself and have a meaningful conversation with my daughter.

And so I set out.

It was a lovely late afternoon/early evening…despite the atrocities in Paris. Take that mother fucking terrorists. You can never take this away from us.

Step after step, the f-bomb continually popped into my head, but I was determined to turn it around and focus on all that was still good in the world and not let the mother f’ing terrorists win.

And then if by some “other worldly” design, my playlist took over.

I wasn’t listening to my normal iPod Shuffle with all my usual go-to running tunes because somehow it accidentally got packed into a moving box. Instead, I was improvising with tunes loaded onto my phone– a mish-mash of my music, my daughter’s and some classic gems loaded when I was making a special playlist for my 90-year old mother-in-law.

It started out with one of U2’s more current songs. “There is no them. There’s only us” kept repeating in my ears as I hoofed it along the UCSB lagoon. I may have taken the words completely out of context, but somehow that simple refrain felt undeniably relevant to what is happening in the world, reminding me that we’re all in this crazy thing together, that the “us” and “them” mentality doesn’t work. It’s only “us.”


As I powered up the hill, I forced myself to inhale positive thoughts and exhale fury. Step after step. Breath after breath. Goodness in. Anger out. Goodness in. Anger out.

On my second lap around the lagoon, as the sun dipped into the ocean, couples wrapped in each other’s arms gathered along the cliffs, gazing out at the breathtaking sunset. As if on cue, Louis freaking Armstrong’s (What a) Wonderful World started playing. I’m not kidding! I actually laughed at loud at the absurdity of the timing. The landscape, the screaming color in the sky, Louie, the feeling of gratitude suddenly washing over me…it was all too much. A big lump formed in the my throat.

Heart and lungs pounding, legs feeling light, body and mind working in harmony…anger slowly fading away.

What happened next, I’m almost afraid to share because you’re going to think I’m full of bs, but I swear as the evening sky darkened John Lennon’s Imagine began playing. My playlist was on “shuffle” so I had no control over what song popped up next. I couldn’t have even planned this. It’s as if the “peace, love and happiness” gods were in control of my music. Somebody up there clearly knew what I needed to hear last night.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
Thank you running gods, and thank you musicians for reminding me that no matter what happens in our world–nearby or far away–I will always think to myself, “What a wonderful world.”

Be strong my friends, and continue to find the good. There is always good. Running helps remind us of this. It always does.

xo Becky

PS: Thank you Oiselle for hosting your Chase the Bird Challenge. If it weren’t for you, I never would have gone running last night.
Day 13: 5 miles and an entire mental workout.
Day 12: A high octane spinning class–24 miles in 60 minutes, followed by an arms and abs class.

Let me repeat:
Thank you Oiselle.


4 thoughts on “What Do You Do When the World Goes Insane? Run, of Course.

    • Thanks, Jane. All I can say is, “Thank god for running!” (and writing)…the two things that help keep my sanity when the world goes insane. Thanks for swinging by my blog to let me know you were here. I just checked yours out and love it. Can’t wait to sift through it some more. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Someone at Spotify read your post and made a PEACE playlist with the songs you mentioned in this blog! I guess we are all on the same page… Peace!

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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