Running is a case of mind over matter. That’s not so easy for someone who has to deal with the relentless thoughts and worries that come from being depressed. Not only are you trying to make it through physically when you’re exerting yourself, but you’re waging a war with the demons in your head who want you to lie down and quit.
I have a lot of thoughts when I run. Its a challenge when you want to just get away from everything, but you can’t stop whats in your head. My runs have been angry sometimes, they have been sad, they have been full of joy and happiness.
Yet some of my best runs are when I feel lost and just need that therapy. Its hard when the last thing you want is to go out and run, because staying in your room hiding from the world sounds so much better. However going running is maybe just what you need at that time.
Runners World did an article that shows there are some studies where aerobic exercise actually can be as effective as anti-depressants. Running is not going to automatically take away your depression. Sometimes you need to get extra help that you need such as seeing a therapist.
Last summer when things weren’t going well in my life I went to see a counselor to deal with some of my issues. She listened to me about all my anxiety, depression and feelings of hopelessness and when I mentioned that I tried different things to no avail she asked me about running. I remember telling her running is to hard and to much work. She said to just start small.
The next day I had my daughter ride her bike as I worked hard to just do a mile maybe two. I kept going out and doing more. I was getting more consistent and it felt great. I was able to lose weight, feeling healthy, and run longer. My life was a mess at the time, but my running was what saved me during that time.
Now a year later I run all the time. My life again is taking hold and it sucks, but I know that every time I run.
I adore how my body has changed, becoming firmer and more powerful. When I look in the mirror now, instead of hating my reflection, I see strength, determination and beautiful muscles. I like who I am and, every time I run, I like myself even more. I am impressed by my body’s new abilities and, when I improve my speed or distance, or just have a good run I feel as if I have won a prize. The reward, however, is not a medal, but the achievement of being able to do something for myself.
Running is again mind over matter.