Several times over the past month, I have listened to a podcast or read a blog post about how running has saved someone or drastically changed their lived. Every time, I question myself. Why would someone care about what I have to say about running and how it changed me? I’m not very fast. I don’t run very far (yet). I’m not the strongest woman around, but I have found that running has changed my life. I don’t have some awesome weight loss story about how I took control of my health and running became part of it, but sometimes I wish I did. Then everyone could see the changes in my life from running, and the women who are healthy and strong inspire me to be healthier. People see me and they see a young woman with a career who is happily married and has a cute dog. I may be a little biased about the cute dog part.
No one sees the anxiety and depression. I didn’t even realize I dealt with anxiety until after my mom died. During my first few years of college, I was very active. Okay, maybe a little too active and maybe I didn’t weigh quite enough, but I thought this would make me happy. Then my dad died. Slowly, the will to exercise gave way to stress eating and being busy working two jobs and going to school full time while dealing with my mother’s health. Over that next year, my mother deteriorated from the cancer and passed. After a few months the initial grief ended and anxiety filled it’s place. My senior year of college, I remember sitting on my bed working on school work when I began to panic. I knew I was physically fine, but I couldn’t calm down. That’s when I realized I have a problem. I’ve known I have issued with depression since I was thirteen. I hit my lowest point in middle school. Somehow I made it out.
Fast forward ten years from middle school to the 23 year old me. I was married to my wonderful husband, started my career, and made it through a year of graduate school. I was also constantly anxious. It was common for me to be wide awake on a computer working or doing homework from 3am to 5am then sleeping for an hour before needing to get up and get ready to drive an hour to my office where I would work for eight hours then come home to start all over again. This vicious cycle ended when I decided to do two things, change jobs and start exercising again. The latter came first. I started by walking with a little running and no weight lifting.
After about five months, a friend asked if I would run the Disney Princess Half Marathon with her. I energetically agreed. I mean come on. It’s Disney World! My training didn’t go as planned, but I still noticed that I began sleeping better and feeling better. Once I had a job closer to home, I wasn’t as anxious all the time. The one factor I had severely dealt with for a few year began to drop off.
So here I am.
Writing down things that I don’t like to talk to anyone about. How did I get here? And what’s up with the name of this thing? When I started running, I started listening to podcast and reading blogs. Almost a year ago I went through a slow patch, I broke down and started this site. I only wrote a few things, which I didn’t like and would be embarrassed for anyone to read. So I quit writing all together. Life got busier. I figured this would die off completely. Then, while running the other day and listening to another inspiring story, I found myself thinking about how far I’ve come since my parents died. This prompted me to delete basically everything I had previously written and start over. Instead of making toast about things I hope people would want to read, I’m going to write about what makes me a strong woman that I hope would make the two people this is named for proud.
Thanks mom and dad. I wouldn’t have made it to this point without you.