Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gratitude on the Run

I had an interesting speed workout today. I had 8 x 1 mile intervals scheduled. I knew it would be a tough day, especially after ending last week with four straight running days and a 20+ mile weekend.

My legs were a bit heavy, and my heart wasn't totally into it early in the run. As I often do, I decided to try repeating a mantra to keep my mind focused and positive. I started with the serenity prayer. That's always a good one for me, and it had worked for miles as recently as my 16-miler on Saturday. As I began my repeats, between 7:40-8:00 minutes per mile, it soon became apparent I needed a shorter mantra. Heavy breathing shortened it to "God, grant me... God, grant me..."

Late in the first interval it suddenly occurred to me, "What the hell am I asking for? And what gives me the right to be asking for anything right now? I'm running. I'm doing something I love, and I'm able to do it!" Without another thought I found myself repeating, "God, thank you. God, thank you."

For each interval after that, I repeated the same mantra, thanking the higher power I choose to call God, and I felt freedom. I was struggling physically, but something strange was happening spiritually. I can't explain it any better than that...sorry. I guess it was just about time that I focused on thanking God for what I've been given, the ability and freedom to train and perform in a sport I love, rather than asking for more. It's so easy for me to ask. Sometimes I need to remember to appreciate what I've already got.

God, thank you.

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