I've been going on very long runs every weekend for about a year. I started these for my "Year of Health" in 2019, and then noticed pretty quickly that they were possibly the thing I looked most forward to each week.

I usually do them on Sunday NOT THAT WE KNOW WHAT BREAKING THE SABBATH IS afternoons. I start from my house and run to downtown Salt Lake City, weaving through some neighborhoods, and then I turn around and come back home. It's about a 12-13 mile run, depending on how many detours I take.

The Sunday afternoon run has honestly been the best thing I have ever done for my anxiety. Since I started doing it last spring, I have been calmer than I can remember being in a long time. I told you recently that my Achilles was hurting me and this stressed me out to no end because the last thing I needed while on lock-down during a pandemic was to lose my ability to go on these weekend runs. Fortunately I got some advice for physical therapy exercises I can do at home and they have been a miracle.

I did not expect these to work. I kind of don't trust anything a doctor ever says to me. I don't know why. Maybe it's because my brain is so incapable of computing science on even the most basic levels that whenever a doctor prescribes me something I feel like they're just attempting to do magic tricks. This, of course, drives my medical student husband crazy.

Not long ago he demanded I make an appointment with my doctor (the one who gave me the physical therapy instructions) and I was like "yeah, and then maybe after that I'll do a rain dance to end the drought" and this very funny joke did not get the laugh it deserved.

So I've been able to continue the runs, and for that I'm incredibly grateful, even if there is no logical reason why standing on a step stool and doing slow calve raises several times a day would heal my heel.

Yesterday I set out on my run. It was a beautiful day. I passed others out on their own solo adventures. People on bikes. Kids on scooters. And then I ran by a house with a little boy who caught my eye. He must have 10. He was sitting on his front lawn, wearing a "Vote for Pedro" t-shirt, a full Darth Vader mask, and he was doing yoga completely by himself.

And I thought, "you do you, kid." Because who's to judge people's coping mechanisms right now?

What has been your most effective "therapy" during social distancing? Anything you've worked into your day that has particularly helped you stay calm and get through this?

And while you stew on that, please enjoy some Strangerville:

This time in Strangerville, Eli is not sharing his opinions anymore and Meg is FINE WITH THAT. Also, a story about how the benefits of technology probably outweigh the negatives.Segment:Is Technology Really All That Bad, by Eli McCann (music by Superoro)Production by Eli McCann & Meg Walter

~It Just Gets Stranger