I’m not sure where to start with this one to be honest, but it’s something that has been weighing on me as of late and I thought it might be a good time to share and maybe it will help someone out there who is going through a similar situation, so here it goes.
I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety from about the time I went to college. I don’t know what triggered it and I don’t know why it continues to plague my life, but I’ve learned to live with it the best I can and it comes and goes at a moment’s notice, so yea, good times. I have been to therapy and I’ve had my fair share of pharmaceutical cocktails and while it sucks to have to be on meds to just maintain a level of normalcy, it’s better than the alternative, trust me.
This is where running comes in. I was never an athlete in school, but I did join the track team for some reason and actually really enjoyed it. I wish I had stuck with it after high school, but college just had too many other things that were way more important and fun, so it fell by the wayside. Fast forward several years, job changes, life moments, and a friend who suckered me into running an obstacle race and suddenly, running was back in my life in a big way. I started learning about all these different races and obstacle runs and it all sounded so exciting and I realized I was actually still pretty good at running and it gave me an outlet and a way to calm my mind that nothing else seemed to be able to do.
I like the control I have over it. I can pick when to run, how far to run, how fast, all of it. That control is great because my life tends to feel out of control a lot. I need order and I need a way to feel like I’m living my own life. I like the distraction that running provides. Running is all mine. Running races makes me feel like I’m actually accomplishing something worthwhile I will never be the fastest, but I’ll also never be the slowest and it’s not even a matter of that; it’s just being able to run my own race and competing against myself that gives me the most thrill. I totally get the runner’s high after a long run or race. It’s like a drug and it makes me yearn for that feeling more and more. They say running is a cheap form of therapy and I guess it can be (that is until you buy all the cool gear and sign up for a million races), but it’s fun and I like fun.
Although, lately, I’m at a point where running doesn’t even feel like it’s enough and it’s hard to figure out where to go from here. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it and I will keep going as long as my body will allow me too, but I’ve gained some weight in the last few years and I pulled a muscle earlier this year and I have had a lot of skin issues and I’m pushing 40 and still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. It’s all becoming a bit too much, so I got another tattoo, because I think I needed a way to remind myself that I am enough and it’s enough. This is what my life is and it’s not what I envisioned and I’m not sure where it’s going, but I need to not be so hard on myself and just enjoy what I can when I can. I’m not sure that makes a lot of sense, but neither do the majority of the thoughts in my head. I need to take control of my life and stop expecting anyone else to fix my issues. I need to stop making excuses. I’ve set some new goals for myself and I’ve decided to not beat myself up so much about all the things I haven’t done and to try to remember and be proud of what I have done. I’m a work in progress. We all are.