Sprints and Mental Orgasms

“Only your imagination limits the ways you can spice up your running routine.” —Bob Glover, coach and author of instructional running books

I don’t claim to be a coach or any type of actual authority on running, but trust me when I say I’ve come up with a little enjoyable drill that is going to improve my run and yours as well.  I don’t even claim to be a good or fast runner.  My only claim is that running has enhanced my life.  Although I run for the mental benefits, I still want to improve my pace.

In my quest to become a faster runner, I knew I had to add in some sprints.  A couple of times, I tried revisiting the dreaded high school track, a place I haven’t really gone back to since my own high school graduation in 1991.  But trying to do repeated sprints around the track just wasn’t for me.  After that failed attempt, I planned to just start by incorporating a 2 minute sprint at the end of my usual neighborhood run.

Often during a run, I replay conversations I’ve had with people when they said something to me and I didn’t tell them what was on my mind.  Then later on you think, oh, I should have said this…that would have put them in their place.  I’m sure you’ve had the same experience; moments where you have held back only to come up with the perfect response later when it’s too late.

I decided that I’d combine this exercise of what I should have said with my sprint.  So I’ll pick a conversation that I’m still holding on to, and for the duration of my 2 minute sprint at the end of my run, I will just have a mental spew out of everything I should have said.  When the sprint is done, the mental spew out is done, and I can just follow Queen Elsa’s advice and once and for all ….Let….It….Go….

It can be a pretty simple remark that someone made.  For example, I chose to start with when I felt crushed by a few words spoken by my pediatric attending when I was at the end of my residency training.  Let’s not name her, that seems unnecessary, but she was someone I really admired.  She was an adolescent medicine specialist who specifically worked with teens with eating disorders, and in that world, she is known.  She had two kids, a great faculty position.  She was what I wanted to be. I still have great respect and admiration for her.  I actually requested for her to be my clinic preceptor so she could personally mentor me.

Towards residency graduation time, she invited me and a couple of other mentees to her home with our families for a barbecue.  I went with my then 10 month old son.  We were having a great time, and then my son was hungry and I took out a bottle from my bag and she asked, “Are you giving him formula?”

“Yes,” I said.  “He just nurses in the morning and night now and has formula during the day.  My milk supply really went down after 6 months.”

“I nursed my kids exclusively until they were one.  The AAP* says to do it, and it was hard but I said if the AAP says to do it,  I’m going to do it.”  Boom, just like that.  I felt devalued by the woman I admired and didn’t say anything.  If it wasn’t for my dark complexion, I would have been beet red.

Ok, so sprint and mental orgasm exercise will be that I will set my watch for 2 minutes.  I will sprint as fast as I can while spewing out (in my head so that people don’t think I’m actually crazy) everything that I would say in response, and when the 2 minutes is done, I will let the comment rest in peace.

Beep.  Beep.  Go.  What the f##k did you just say to me, you b#tch?  Do you know how hard it has been to be a senior resident with a baby?  Do you know how many times I left the PICU and the NICU to go and pump so that I could nurse for as long as I could?  Do you know that I have f##king ADMIRED and IDOLIZED YOU for the last 3 years?  That in college while every one else was having fun, I was volunteering at the Western Psychiatric Hospital in Pittsburgh in the eating disorders unit because I want to do what you f##king do?  That I had a baby while I was a resident, while you waited until you were an attending, so obviously that would make it easier to nurse when you were not working the 90 hours a week I am.  And maybe having my baby in residency was too early, but now every time I hug him I take a big inhale because I don’t know how much longer he will let me hold him tight.  You f##king bitch.  Do you know how many times I have fallen asleep nursing him and how many hours I have cried over having to leave him with a nanny while I had an overnight call?  And now with your one insensitive stupid statement, you have made me feel inadequate both as a mom and a pediatrician.  I don’t even know if I want to go into adolescent medicine anymore.  WATCH… your…. f##king…. WORDS… b#tch!  They are powerful.

Beep.  Beep.  Done.  Stop.  That….felt….great….  Just….great.  My workout today is done.

IMG_1718*AAP:  American Academy of Pediatrics


About Paria

Runner, mother, pediatrician, blogger

6 comments on “Sprints and Mental Orgasms

  1. Part runner, part friend, part therapist … this is some solid mental cleansing advice you are giving Paria! There are some days that we I get to the gym or in my workout, I just repeat “let it go”. Over and over.

  2. LOVE IT!! Stuff like this is constantly rolling around in my head… sometimes it spews out when it shouldn’t… sometimes I tend to to hear those voices and play the passive aggressive role… but now I shall take your advice… last 2 minutes… last 2 minutes….

  3. Paria,
    This is awesome, awesome, awesome!!! on so many levels!!! Wow, your prof was such a total fricking Bi$t.chh!!!! Honestly the only way I can understand why she said that was that she is insecure, immature, and obviously stupid and jealous of you….what a judgmental egoist and loud mouth prick. So many of them in Medicine!! Surprised I survived this long in this field of judgemental immature insensitive people!!

    But what’s amazing to me is that you incorporated this ‘mental orgasm’ with sprinting and increasing your pace!! followed by (a key part) letting go!!

    Running is therapy.
    Therapy is running.

    reminds me of incorporating a similar mental exercise with a boxing class…pow pow pow (synchronized with ‘!!@&$?!!!’). But at that time I did not have the maturity and wisdom of realizing the importance of letting go.

    And hilarious too. You are such a great writer. Was looking forward to reading your post on my walk to work this morning. Reading it tonight was the highlight of my day. Thank you.

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