Have you ever been angry before?
That was a silly question. Of course you have. As long as there are sports, politics, and money in the world, the human species will always find something to get fired up about.
So the real question here is: How do we handle that anger?
Do we devote an entire afternoon to feuding with a stranger on Facebook? Yell at our kids with such ferocity they’ll be talking about us in therapy 30 years from now? Put the pedal to the metal on the highway?
There is so much negative energy to stave off when anger begins to find its way into that space between your ears. And the decisions we make over that span, for better or worse, can often define who we are as humans.
Dating back to childhood, I’ve found that having a physical outlet has been a consistent way to battle through the waves of rage, both big and small. When I was younger, I’d take all the hurt and embarrassment from being bullied at school, and unleash that anger on the football field against anyone with the guts to stand in front of me.
Of course I’m decades removed from my gridiron glory days, and can’t just tackle someone if I’ve had a bad day. But anger is still an issue I deal with, especially last Friday when my kids came to blows with each other at their joint doctor’s appointment, seemingly not hearing a single word coming from my horrified mouth.
I could feel my face burning red and the hair on my arms rising as I tried again and again to corral my kids, being met with failure each time. As we left the office, I disgustedly tore off my face mask and sat in the driver’s seat of the car. My kids slowly shuffled along into the backseat, buckling in without being told because they knew they could be in for one of their longest drives home to date.
I consider unleashing a salvo of unintelligible profanities, but instead keep my lips sealed. When we walk in the door from our dead-silent drive, I’m calm on the outside as I send the children to their rooms.
But I’m shaking and maybe even snarling as I approach my next destination: The treadmill.
I grinded for seven miles, pushing the pace every time I felt ill will in my heart. Before I knew it, there were more important things in the world than being mad… most notably trying to breathe while running hard.
As my body cooled down from my workout, so too did my head. I returned to the house and handled my kids’ indiscretion like an adult should: Firmly, yet under control.
I’m happy to say that after a couple of days, at least, we’ve seen a dramatic turnaround from the kids. And we were able to reach our shared goals without any added trauma. But as we often learn through the news, these stories don’t always have a happy ending. As we move forward in a world where there’s increasingly more to be upset about, it’s important to know that even one angry and ill-timed impulse decision can seriously harm another individual.
We’re all taught to confront our problems head on, but sometimes “running away” is the calmest and most reasonable strategy you can have. I’m very thankful I’ve found my “anti-mad” and I hope you can find yours, too.
1 STEP BACK, 3 STEPS FORWARD
It won’t be long before Kyle Phillips finally reaches that dreaded 30th birthday.
But judging from Phillips’ performance at the Martins Mill Covered Bridge 5 Miler in Greencastle, the former Waynesboro and Bloomsburg standout hasn’t lost a step. Phillips conquered the challenging race in 27:47, running at a blistering 5:34/mile, to defeat the 50-runner field by nearly six minutes. Jarrett Gelsinger finished as runner-up in 33:08, while fellow Greencastle runner Jordan Statler took sixth in 37:37. Sharon Allen, also from Greencastle, finished as third female in 40:32.
At Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Gardners, a pair of Local.News runners landed Top 10 finishes at the Buck Ridge Burn Half Marathon, while another runner finished as third female. Philip Samotus, of Fayetteville, finished second in the field of 171 with his time of 1:44:41, while Chambersburg’s Eric Brennan finished eighth in 1:52:55. Chambersburg’s Sarah Boward crossed the finish line as third female in 2:02:09. Greencastle’s Matthew Smith (1:55:40) and Chambersburg’s Clayton Rotz (1:58:50) also broke the two-hour barrier. As for the Buck Ridge Burn 5K, Chambersburg’s Eric Guyer nailed down the seventh spot in 28:50.
The Heralds of Hope 5K in Shippensburg saw Greencastle’s Emanuel Ciocan (20:28) and Bryce Ocker (21:30) both finish in the Top 10, while Fayetteville’s Wing Lam Cheung was third female in 24:20.
A number of others were involved in races across the region, including Waynesboro’s Tina Hough (29:13 at April Fool’s 5K), Greencastle’s Kenneth Walker (39:23 at Live Bold 4 Miler) and Ethan Izer (24:32 at Hagerstown 5K), Fayetteville’s Morgan Neuberger (4:16:09 at Eagleton Trail Challenge 25K), Chambersburg’s Michael Day (1:01:23 at Cherry Blossom 10 Miler), Christine Metcalfe (1:40:43 at Capital 10-Miler), Dustin Walker (1:59:31 at Salisbury Half Marathon), and Stephanie Hare (34:35 at Hot Chocolate 5K), and Smithsburg’s Matthew Kelly (45:14 at Hagerstown Duathlon).
And it’s better late than never to give a shoutout to our longtime trail-running friend Rheeanna Walters. At the end of March, the Waynesboro runner took on the Georgia Death Race and completed the 74-miler in 22:26:50.
And now, a look ahead:
Run for the Horses 5K: Saturday, 10 a.m., in Lewisberry. Run through the trails of Gifford Pinchot State Park in this event, which benefits the Central Pennsylvania Horse Rescue. Find the race on runsignup.com.
Logan’s Run for Autism 5K: Saturday, April 22, 10 a.m., in Harrisburg. This race, which helps the Autism Society Greater Harrisburg Area, will have its 18th running. Learn more at autismharrisburg.org/logansrun.
Halfity Half Marathon: Sunday, April 23, 8 a.m., in Harrisburg. There are race options for a half, quarter, and eighth marathon in this event, which runs along the Susquehanna River. Find the race on runsignup.com.
Also: April Foolish 10 Hour Endurance Trail Race (Saturday, in Elverson); Boston Trail Half Marathon (Saturday, in Elizabeth Township); Medal Madness Bunny Half Marathon (Saturday, in Harrisburg); New Holland Farmer’s 5K (Saturday, in New Holland); RunPA Kids Little TrailBlazers Trail Run 5K (Saturday, in Lancaster); Cancer Crushin’ 5K (Sunday, in Jacobus); Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run 5K (Sunday, in State College); Run to Breathe Half Marathon (Sunday, in Portersville); Tussey Teaser 11 Miler (Sunday, in Petersburg); Valley Forge Revolutionary 5 Mile Run (Sunday, in Valley Forge); Thirsty Thursday 5K (Thursday, April 20, in Reading); Butterfly Trail Run 5K/10K (Saturday, April 22, in Lancaster); Celebrate Trails Day Distance Medley (Saturday, April 22, in Shickshinny); Chip’s Champions 5K (Saturday, April 22, in Denver); Hyner View Trail Challenge 50K (Saturday, April 22, in Hyner); Medal Madness Bunny 5K/10K (Saturday, April 22, in Akron); Rock the Nock Half Marathon (Saturday, April 22, in Quakertown); Yuengling Light Lager Jogger 5K (Saturday, April 22, in Pottsville); Philadelphia Trail Marathon (Sunday, April 23, in Philadelphia); St. Luke’s Half Marathon (Sunday, April 23, in Allentown).
Foot Notes is a self-syndicated column by Central Pa. sportswriter Andy Sandrik that has been “running” since 2016. Andy always follows back on Strava and can be reached by email at [email protected]