Sunlight Releases Serotonin

I ran today for the first time in a couple of weeks. I felt horrible. I felt overweight and stupid. I couldn’t find my nylon running shirt so I threw a torn   jean jacket over my baggy velour sweatsuit.

I might run better if I felt more stylish. I know that’s ridiculous but there you have it.

I felt out of shape because I only worked out once this week — one lunchtime Pilates class. I skipped my other class, opting to attend the new book club started by my friend Tracy the librarian at the Interchurch Center.

We discussed The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell — really good! And I always love sharing my opinions on a book. My other book club just finished reading Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. Also brilliant.

Any way, when I started in Riverside Park, the sidewalk was hardly cleared. I had to jump over patches of ice and move out of the way of dogs. It was like 30 degrees and windy. I thought, “This is dangerous. I should’ve stayed home with the Times.” (See again, here’s my dilemma — fitness or literature? If only I could read while running.)

But then the sunlight hit me. It’s hard to be grumpy with a face full of sunshine. I felt good. Okay, not stylish, but not pathetic either. I had nobility and purpose in my slow run. I felt proud because I wasn’t totally pathetic. I ran to the end of the 70th Street Pier I remembered running out here in the summer and running on top of this sidewalk art. 

According to my Cardio Trainer app, I ran 1.6 miles in 22 minutes — I know that’s not great, but it’s not nothing.

I think when the sunlight hit, the endorphins kicked in. Or maybe the serotonin — the brain’s natural mood enhancer.

I stopped at a deli on the way home and picked up bagels and blueberries for the family.

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