“I can’t tell if I’m being kind to myself at night with my buzz — enjoying the mixture of edibles, Guinness, vaping and family board games — or if I’m numbing myself and my fears,” writes Ben Kaplan
I haven’t been running as much as I used to. There’s just something about the impending end of the world that’s holding me back.
When my training partner asked me on Saturday morning what my plan was, I was waiting in line at Nova, my local cannabis store. My plan was — since my wife had the kids and was taking them hiking — to take an edible and vacuum the house.
I’ve been running intensely for a decade: with a running group, alone, and with my training partner, also named Ben. Everything in our training pivots around races. Twice a year we run marathons, and the rest of the time we prepare for the big day.
Now, though, I’m tired: Physically and emotionally. I’m also a little hungover. I can’t tell if I’m being kind to myself at night with my buzz, enjoying the mixture of edibles, Guinness, vaping and family board games, or if I’m numbing myself and my fears. We’re only a week into the pandemic, so I guess we’re all still figuring out our rhythms.
The kids, though, are happy. They’re sort of on a prolonged spring break, and my wife and I (all things considered), are happy, too. It’s fun taking turns picking movies, FaceTiming with people all over and listening to music by candlelight.
The problem is that I’m not sure if my diet of alcohol and weed is sustainable, good for my immune system or the right approach to these strange times with no end in sight.
With that in mind and plenty of guilt, I told Ben I’d run with him on Sunday morning. We went out for 32 km in the cold and the wind. The first 18 km were relatively simple, but it became a real effort to make it home, and truly nightmarish when I topped 27 km. I’d like to say that I tapped into the runner’s high or leaned into the metaphor of hard work and overcoming obstacles, but really I just wanted to collapse. And when I came home, that’s what I did.
The pandemic survival guide that I’d imagined sticking to — train as hard as you can during the day so you can party as hard as you want at night — won’t last. Moderation, just shy of satisfying, is probably the key. And so Sunday night I didn’t smoke, vape or eat any weed. I drank one beer.
We’re all rearranging our schedules to find something that works. It’s some sort of mixture of mental and physical health, plus enjoying our cannabis relief valve. The pressure of sick loved ones and the dying-on-the-vine economy makes it difficult to figure out what to do, how to live.
I have dual pastimes that bring me clarity and pleasure. They’re not working in perfect harmony, but they also don’t have to clash. If you’re worried about your health and new to running, start with walks. Give yourself a goal that you can accomplish. Think about getting out three times-per-week, for 20 minutes. Then, next week, push it to 35-minutes, add a fourth day, and try jogging for a minute every ten minutes into your walk. You’ll feel pride as you increase your distances and having a goal gives a sense of purpose, something we all need right now.
I know I need to tweak both my intake and outake proportions. Edibles have been comforting and I’ve enjoyed my indica Afghan Kush (what sort of sick person smokes smokes a sativa in a pandemic?), but I stumble on assigning myself a new set of rules. I bet a lot of you are in the same boat as me — who knows. I’ll get out for a run today and try to create a schedule that sticks. I want to be kind to myself and others. It’s all I can do to keep my nihilism at bay.
Subscribe to the Cannabis Post newsletter.
Written by Ben Kaplan