How Running A Tough Mudder Taught Me To Trust Again

01/20/2014 12:01am ET | Updated January 25, 2014

If there's ever a time you need a little distraction in your life, it's during the divorce process. That's why we launched our Divorce Care Package series. With each post, we'll show you what things -- books, movies, recipes -- helped others relieve stress in the midst of divorce, in the hopes that a few of their picks will serve you well, too. Want to share what got you through your divorce? Email us at divorce@huffingtonpost.com or tweet @HuffPost Divorce

Divorce is not for the faint of heart, but neither is running a Tough Mudder -- a 10-12 mile endurance run that's playfully billed as "probably the toughest event on the planet" on its website. Writer Lisa Arends, who blogs at Lessons From the End of a Marriage, has taken on both. Below, the HuffPost Divorce blogger tells us how she survived both divorce and the endurance run in one piece.

The Hobby
Lisa Arends
"I signed up for my first race, a half marathon, months after my husband left. Running events became a constant in my post-divorce life. They were challenges with a defined end, something that was lacking in my life. Races helped to build up my confidence in my ability to make it through. Later on, events such as Tough Mudder helped me learn to trust again as I ran them with my new beau."
The Escape
Lisa Arends
"In my former life, I had a one acre garden that was my passion. In my new life, staying in a friend’s guest room for a year, I had no personal garden space. I splurged on an annual pass to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens where I could again connect with the nature’s rhythms. I would visit my adopted plants every weekend, enjoying the fact that I wasn’t responsible for the weeding."
The Restaurant
"My ex husband and I claimed the local Taco Mac as our "Cheers," everybody not only knew our names but our signature order. We went there weekly and were friends with all the staff. I reclaimed the restaurant once I started dating again, layering memories of Match.com men over that of my ex."
The Dream Location
"I had moved to Atlanta ten years earlier due to my ex’s career. Once he left, I felt like I needed to escape the city and its associated memories. The following summer, I considered relocating to Seattle in order to be near my father, whom I became close with during the divorce. I spent months engrossed in tourist books about Seattle, dreaming of my life post-divorce. The move never happened, but now I know all the cool things to do when I visit the NW!"
The Gift
Lisa Arends
"After my divorce, I felt anything but sexy. Dramatic weight loss flattened my already minimal curves and my hair was thinning and threatening to turn gray. A fling/friend bought me two pairs of tight, ripped and definitely-not-teacher jeans. When I slipped them on, I immediately found my sexy again and my denim-clad self was ready to date."
The Purchase
Elizabeth Livermore via Getty Images
"After the divorce, my body craved touch and affection long before I was ready to date. I found an unbelievably soft and fuzzy blanket in a muted blue color that became my adult security blanket. Whenever life became too much, I could slide under its weight and immediately feel my blood pressure drop and my respiration slow. And, no, I didn't carry it around with me!"
The Exercise
Katrina Huisman via Getty Images
"Yoga was one of my best therapies. It reconnected mind and body, taught me to soften to the pain and gave my breath permission to move beyond the tension binding my breast. Yoga became both my greatest teacher and my favorite sanctuary. The mat was the only place where I felt like I didn’t have to pretend to be strong."
The Photo
Lisa Arends
"My mom sent me this surreal picture of tiny men painting the inside of a giant daylily weeks after my marriage died. It occupied a prime spot right above my computer where I could look at it and remind myself that I could create beauty in my future life. That picture is still in my office/yoga/meditation room, reminding me of how far I have come."

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