Running on Empty; at First I Ran to Hide Addiction. Now I Run to Stay Clean

By Lebowitz, Michael | Newsweek, May 14, 2007 | Go to article overview

Running on Empty; at First I Ran to Hide Addiction. Now I Run to Stay Clean


Lebowitz, Michael, Newsweek


Byline: Michael Lebowitz

I'm an addict/alcoholic. Pretty much everything I do reflects this part of me. Perhaps the best way to describe the nature of me in the world is to say, in a phrase from the Eagles, that I've wanted "everything, all the time." It has been a hard way to live. For folks like me, and there are an awful lot of us, addiction is best described as taking a normal activity and doing it abnormally in response to what's going on inside. One such activity for me has been long-distance running. I started running the way all kids do, down the block, around the corner. In college

I ran on the track team in order to stay in shape for swimming. Running was about fitness as much as it was about competition and courage. I learned early on in the '60s that I was free to indulge in drugs and alcohol and sex if for no other reason than to try to be included in my generation. I did my part. Running changed for me--it became my way of balancing the hard living, of "sweating out" the whisky, of clearing away the cobwebs of the drugs. The more I used, the more I ran, 70 miles a week for years. The inevitable disaster took the form of a cocaine-induced heart attack at the age of 50. The irony of it is that my heart sustained very little lasting damage--the result, the doctors said, of all the running. I was invulnerable, it seemed, and foolish. I went right back to the drugs and hard living. Complete collapse--broke and jobless, out of time, out of hope, alone, beyond despair--came five years later, in 2001.

I went to treatment in Texas. The facility frowned on running as an activity in early recovery because the activity itself was part of the disease; the endorphins created a masking effect, a running away from self. Maybe this was true. It didn't really matter. The loss of running, while poignant, was simply one more loss among many.

Two months into my stay I went out one morning to do hill repeats, which require running up and down a hill many times. After all, what did the doctors know, I thought--running is good for me. Repeats are an activity that requires training, fitness and care. I had none of those. My choice to do them and my attitude are absolutely typical of addiction and early recovery. I not only didn't run very well, I finished in the ER of the local hospital, having pulled my Achilles tendon. The weeks of limping and moaning that followed made a strong case for the doctors' point of view. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Running on Empty; at First I Ran to Hide Addiction. Now I Run to Stay Clean
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.