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, May 3, 2016

A Return

In what I hope will be the first step in a long, strong, fast, and injury-free return to competitive running, I got on a treadmill today. It was an Alter-G Treadmill, and I ran at 10 minute pace for 20 minutes. An Alter-G allows for running without the full, punishing effects of gravity. With each footfall today, I hit the treadmill with only 40% of my total body weight. It was pretty neat to essentially weigh 60% less than I actually do. I felt like I was floating at mid-stride. And my Achilles did not hurt!

Reducing the impact on my Achilles 60% will hopefully allow me to return to running without re-injury. I'm encouraged. It's several hours later, and I do not have any increased soreness. I'm hoping to run 2-3 times per week, slowly building time at 40% weight bearing before advancing to 50%, and then 60%, and so on. It may be a long process, but I'm so, so ready to get back to my running life, I'm willing to be patient.

Even though it felt strange to be so light on my feet, I was happy and relieved to be back running today. I reveled in every moment and every movement. From my heels hitting the treadmill, to my arms swinging at my sides, to my lungs rhythmically expanding and contracting, the familiar movements felt wonderful. I almost couldn't believe it.

It's been one year and eight days since I originally tore my right Achilles. I've missed being a runner. I've missed the challenge, the satisfaction, the socialization, and the competition. I've missed quality time spent with my dog, Jet. I've missed part of me. A chunk of my identity has been absent for more than a year. I'm anxious to get it back. Today, hopefully, was the initial step in the process of reclaiming the complete me.


Julie Gathman said...

Yay!!! Just yay! Best thing I've heard all day. From reading this blog I have begun to understand why people love running. Good descriptions of WHY. I love dance and only like running somewhat, so I am interested to learn some people actually LOVE it, and how, and why.

HBF said...

Yes, yay!!! This brought a little sheen of tears to my eyes, I'm so happy to hear you embracing the challenge again, it is wonderful and beautiful and lovely. So much yay!