I completed my tour of Seligman, Arizona on today’s A2B Run.
Among other popular sites, I ran by Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In, a major landmark. The place is full of Route 66 signs and artifacts.
With little money in his pocket, Juan Delgadillo built the restaurant using scrap lumber from the Santa Fe Railroad yard. His sense of humor is built into every aspect of the place. A neon sign announces, “Sorry, we’re open.” The front door has two knobs, one a dummy and the other actually opens the door. There is an outhouse that screams for its photo to be taken with someone stepping out of it.
Seligman and Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In were stopping points on John Lasseter’s research tour while writing the screenplay for the 2006 Disney/Pixar motion picture Cars.
Leaving town, the A2B Route left Route 66, turning due north to eventually arc over to Valle, Arizona.
The next 50 miles will be pretty quiet and lonely on the A2B trail.
Because of a sudden change my work schedule, I had a very small window of time in which to get my run in. Wanting to make my weekly distance goal, I skipped most of my pre-run stretch routine. Moreover, in order to fit the required distance into the allotted time, I ran a little faster (and harder) than normal.
Upon seeing my first mile split, I was excited and nervous. Excited about my time for that first mile and nervous because I know that combining little/no stretching with an unusually fast first mile is a great recipe for injury.
I backed off a little for the next few miles while paying attention to my body. Fortunately, there was no major outcry from any part of my body.
Armed with some anxiety and endorphins, I decided to up my pace a bit for the last couple of miles.
As I finished my run, I wondered if I might have pushed a little too hard. I prescribed myself to stretching 3-4 times throughout the rest of the day, hoping for the best. We shall see. . . .
The Mind (Thoughts While Running):
This morning, I found myself thinking about how life doesn’t always go as planned. It is not unusual that choices will lead to results that are different from what is expected. Especially when it involves other people.
Most of the time when this happens, we just roll with it. We may adjust a little (or a lot), but otherwise we keep moving.
Every now and then, however, things happen that really shake us and hurt. Commonly, this leads to anger. Sometimes, a lot of it.
Generally speaking, anger is a secondary emotion, meaning that it comes only after another emotion, such as fear or pain.
Anger certainly has its place. It can be the catalyst to make a person more focused on the outcome or problem at hand.
It is also a coping mechanism. (It’s easier to feel anger than pain.) Although if left unchecked, it can become rage which is a stage 4 cancer on reason and one’s power of choice.
To me, the concept of a secondary emotion has a couple of implications.
First, “secondary” sort of indicates that it is temporary, or at least should be. Perhaps more importantly, it implies that the role anger plays is a choice, especially in terms of how long we hold onto it. Sometimes we want to hold on to it like it’s a security blanket or something. But there is a point, when it becomes poison.
At some point, we have to return to root causes for real resolution and/or healing. Experience teaches me that to do this calls for strength and courage (and sometimes endurance). It often means having to look in the mirror honestly. It eventually means having to forgive or the even-more-difficult, “I was wrong. I’m sorry.”
I am well acquainted with anger, especially in recent years. So for a good part of my run, I quietly considered my own need, desire, and resistance to forgive, resolve, and heal. Humbling. . . . There may be hope for me yet.
After a while, it occurred to me that if anger is a secondary emotion, then maybe there are other secondary emotions to fear or pain. And if that is true, then maybe I could choose which ones to leverage. Perhaps, there are more positive options to help me deal with the weighty matters. Like laughter. Or maybe a runners high.
I think I like that idea of having choices, even if it requires work and practice.
What has experience taught you about this volatile emotion?
Feel free to share!
Or in the comments section below.