I started running about 18 months ago, I was encouraged by my partner at the time, he was a keen runner, we started off slowly going about 3km and I got the ‘running’ bug. To start with it was mainly for fitness but over time it became my headspace.
After a few months I was getting faster, I was going further and on an all-time high. People say ‘There is no such thing as a happy runner’ which I can half agree with but there is no feeling like it when you finish and get a personal best.
I started competing in 5km runs around Sussex, collecting medals was the ultimate buzz for me, around November 2017 I went down with a knee injury that really struck my mental health hard. I saw various physiotherapists but nothing was quite getting to the root cause, I was able to manage small distances but nothing over 2 or 3km.
Depression took me down last year, it was a dark and isolating period of my life, I couldn’t manage more than 1km without my knee bringing me to an agonising stop. I had struggled with PTSD in 2016 after a bad car accident and this just completely pushed me over the edge. I didn’t piece 2 and 2 together for some time, I stopped running altogether, I had no energy, and no desire to do anything other than lay in bed. I had lost my spark and all hope that my life could be anything more than this miserable dark hole that I was trapped in.
With support from family, friends I got my life back on track, I spent a few months seeing a chiropractor who has got me back up and running and currently training for the Lancing 10km. Mental Health is becoming more openly spoken about and I think it is so important for anyone experiencing something similar to speak up, only by sharing stories and being more open we can bring the negative stigma of mental health to an end.
Running is a complete ME time, I try and get out 2 or 3 times a week, being out in the open and pushing myself to exercise is the best antidote to my mental health. Running brings along all kinds of new personal challenges, it can be a team sport and bring people together or it can be something to give you that much needed self-care.
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