why i run…

by @according2kelly on January 26, 2012

why-i-runpeople often ask “have you always been a runner?”

& the answer is always the same , a resounding “no.”

i didn’t choose to be a runner.

to be perfectly honest, i think very few people actually choose to be runners.

we’re talking pre-dawn runs, ice baths, the constant aroma of bengay, blackened toenails (& a few that were lost all together).  a diet of energy bars, gels and goos. the oddest tan lines you’ve ever seen, thanks to the KT Tape i wear around my knees.

these are the sort of things that happen when you are a runner.

no, running chose ME.

why i run…

looking back, i’ve ran for different reasons, at different points in my life.

i’ve ran to mend a broken heart. to clear my head. to escape and to feel in control.  after my father passed away, i ran to feel connected to him, to remember him… to be with him.

but most recently, i run to combat post-partum depression, i run to survive, i run because it’s cheaper than therapy.

cheaper-than-therapy

i’ve never claimed to be super-mom.  i’m the first to admit that i’m far from perfect. but, once upon a time, i at least felt like i had life figured out.

since then, ppd has thrown a wrench in the well-oiled-machine i once called my life – sending me into an out-of-control, downward spiral.  leaving me trapped in a hole so deep, sometimes i wonder if i’ll ever be able to climb back out.

having babies is supposed to be a joyous occasion and… it was.  it’s just the aftermath, i’m not so sure about.

when i think about it, it’s actually kind of funny. i’m surrounded by the chaos of three young children every single day & yet sometime i’ve never felt so alone.

for the past few years i’ve watched life happen as an observer, instead of an active participant. slowly but surely, i’ve managed to shut everyone out, and burn every bridge along the way.  activities i used to love, hobbies i used to look forward to, now just seem like a burden.

not to mention, i now find myself totally and completely unmotivated, out-of-touch, & overwhelmed… i dread getting out of bed in the morning. i am constantly feeling like life has given up on me, or maybe i’m the one who has given up on life.

i’ve been living life in a deep, dark tunnel, constantly trying to reach that itty bitty light i see peeping through. the drugs have helped a bit (prescribed of course), taking the edge off, and making the light a wee bit more obtainable. but running has helped me more. running is the one thing i look forward to each & every day. it’s helped me reach out & actually grab that pin prick of light at the end of the tunnel.

without even noticing, i’ve managed to build a fortress around myself, an incredible thing that rivals the great wall of china. i can’t expect it to come down overnight can i? but, with a little help from my friends & a whole lot of running, this fortress of mine has slowly started tumbling down.

that is why I run… because it has the ability to break down walls & build bridges.

49 comments
Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor

This post is just what I needed.. realizing I am not alone. I may just give running a try:-)! Love your posts and Ideas!

tara
tara

thank you so much for your post! i battled ppd after my oldest was born 5 yrs ago. i just had my second, and things are so different this time around. i know running is a part of that. your blog is so inspirational. praying you get where you want to be. :)

Liz
Liz

Dear Kelly, Thank you for sharing your story. I'm a mother of two and I totally know what it is that you go through. The depression that ensues post baby is a terrible thing to have to deal with and unfourtunately it's not spoken about enough. After my first child was born I struggled for almost a year before I kinda got back on track. When I became pregnant with my second child I was so stressed because I knew what was waiting for me after she was born (though I desperately hoped that I wouldn't be down again). I love running because it removes me from the everyday and I just like having to be alone for an hour or so without dirty dishes, laundry and nagging children in the background. Your blog is fantastic. I will definitely be dropping by on a regular basis. Liz :)

Sabrina
Sabrina

Wow, that really took a lot of courage to write it down. On another note, is that you wearing those tapes on the knees?

Jen Imus
Jen Imus

Oh my friend, I had no idea.... We have even more common than I thought--I too suffered from severe depression during my mother's battle with Alzheimer's. Your words resonate with me so much... I could have written them myself. You are such an amazing woman... Inspirational to say the least. If you ever need to vent, grab coffee, hike in the canyon I'm here. Don't forget I'm just down the street. :-)

Tasha @ Healthy Diva
Tasha @ Healthy Diva

Love this post! Running is cheaper than therapy AND it makes you feel better about yourself. I get asked why I run all of the time too- I guess I should start asking them why they don't run. :-) I am sure you have been tagged in the 11 questions game, but I tagged you. No worries if you don't answer my questions....

Amanda Cunningham
Amanda Cunningham

From one runner to another, this was a very beautiful blog post. It really hit home with me and I could relate to so much that you said. Running is something that chooses you...I loved that!

Jennifer Caccamo
Jennifer Caccamo

Great blog post! I too run to help with post pardom. You are now on my blogroll...diaperderby.blogspot.com.

Tall Mom
Tall Mom

I never would have guessed and I saw you for a FULL day.. You are spunky and full of life, so smart and ready for anything.. Hang in there, this too shall pass.. HUGS!! Mel

Lisa G.
Lisa G.

HUGE HUGS to you, Kelly! Totally with you on this--so many people cannot understand the unique pain that is PPD. Keep reaching for that light!

jolyn mullin
jolyn mullin

kelly, that is a courageous post...to let your feelings out to everyone to see...i'm so proud to be your mom...you are a fantastic, beautiful, talented, smart, loving....i can go on and on...but, you get the point....it was fun to see you in your element...you did fantstic...fun to have 3 of my girls in the race...love you...mom

Jessica F
Jessica F

I love how honest and soul bearing this entry is. I have never experienced a pregnancy to full term but I have experienced a miscarriage and now issues with conceiving. I have been working out for a couple of weeks now and focus on running/walking at the gym often. I run/walk and so many thoughts run thru my mind. It's a good escape.

kristen howerton
kristen howerton

I can so relate to this. I started training for my first half when my youngest was 4 months old, and it pulled me out of a serious depression. I haven't been running since then and I can feel the difference. This is a good inspiration to start back up again.

Michelle
Michelle

I love this. I have never have kids but I run to keep myself happier and saner so I understand a little!

lorraine
lorraine

Hi Kelly, Ive been reading your blog for a while now, as a silent observer, but felt compelled to say "thanks" for a beautiful and honest blog. I found you through snow mamas and I liked what you had to say there, so i earmarked your blog. I feel that skiing is my release as well. Its hard being a mum and a wife and a friend and a well-rounded person and you certainly look like you do it so well :) Lorraine (Sydney)

lorraine
lorraine

Hi Kelly, Ive been reading your blog for a while now, as a soilent observer, but felt compelled to say "thanks" for a beautiful and honest blog. I found you through snow mamas and I liked what you had to say there, so i earmarked your blog. I feel that skiing is my release as well. Its hard being a mum and a wife and a friend and a well-rounded person and you certainly look like you do it so well :) Lorraine (Sydney)

jessica (pace of me)
jessica (pace of me)

hi kelly, this is beautiful. so honest. thank you for sharing. i can relate on many levels but i'm sure i could not have put it in words quite so perfectly. xxoo jessica

Kristie
Kristie

Great Post, I love the way you write. I agree running helps me a lot mentally and if I don't get to run I tend to get a little more focused on the negative instead of the positive things in life.

Ericka @ The Sweet Life
Ericka @ The Sweet Life

Great post Kelly. I totally agree with so much of what you said! Glad you posted in FF Running group :)

Jamie
Jamie

Thank you for sharing. I also struggle with PPD and running is one of my biggest coping mechanisms. Some day I hope I'll run right out of it.... but that's not today. Instead, I'll keep running to feel what I can feel and to remember, even just for a small part of the day, that the person I was before PPD is still in there.

Caryn B
Caryn B

Kelly....wow...I had no idea....you are so brave for writing this...it's so honest and raw....I always knew and had heard that exercise does wonders for the body and the mind....Hugs to you....

Jessica
Jessica

This is beautiful. We all go through hard times and it is so important to find your relief. In the last few years, running has become more and more important for my well being. That being said, I can certainly relate to your words. Thank you for sharing!

TriGirl
TriGirl

There is something so empowering and freeing about running . It's no wonder we do what we can to hang on to it. Lovely post.

Heather (Where's the Beach)
Heather (Where's the Beach)

Love this post - thank you so much for sharing. I feel very new to running - well, running and loving it. I love to hear the reasons why people even start.

STUFT Mama
STUFT Mama

Beautifully written and so brave to write. I have said that many times- Running is Cheaper Than Therapy. Sending you hugs. Hope things get better each day!

Marie
Marie

For sure running is more than just running. I run for the time alone with the air and my tunes! So I can feel ya! And I love you. I'm happy to call you friend. You motivate me more than you know!!! :)

Steph @fitmomtraining
Steph @fitmomtraining

Kelly, reading this story was like reading into my own life. As a fellow PPD sufferer/survivor, I can completely related to everything you said. With my second baby due any day, the reality of the fog rolling in is on my mind a lot and knowing that running is a few weeks away for me....well, you get it. Thank you for sharing this. As much as I hate seeing anyone else dealing with this horrible stuff, it gives a small level of comfort knowing I'm not alone in the struggle.

Lauren
Lauren

This post is one reason why I hope to meet you one day! Thanks so much for having the courage to share what is on your heart. I am so glad running found you, so you can heal and watch that wall come crashing down =) I had been flirting with running since middle school, but never really felt like a legit runner. I am very glad I finally found that feeling because it has helped me cope with some of my own issues. Keep running and SMILING!

Jamie
Jamie

Love this post! I agree! Exercise is a natural endorphin booster! Running though...that is where we separate. It is painful...LOL I want to be a runner,but it defies my genetics. I walk...lol...

Fancy Nancy
Fancy Nancy

Thank you for your honesty and strength. I have been writing a post just like this in my head for months! Running is a way to get back to where I once was! HUGS your way!

MCM Mama
MCM Mama

Yep, BTDT. I literally ran my way out of PPD with my first son. I never would have made it without it. 6 years after my second son was born, I still run to help handle my life, but I no longer HAVE to run to survive. {{{HUGS}}}

Shelby Barone
Shelby Barone

You are such an amazing person. I loved reading your article today.

Christine @ Love, Life, Surf
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

Your post totally resonated with me and completely captures a lot of what I've been thinking and writing about lately. I've felt similarly since having my two boys and I am slowly starting to pull myself out of my rut. Running and working out helps and reminds me that I too deserve time and to be taken care of. Thank YOU for sharing this.

Vanessa
Vanessa

I so need to start running again! Thanks so much for sharing. you inspired me!

shannon kingston
shannon kingston

I don't know how I even ran into your blog, but I love it and check it often. Running chose me about 9 years ago when we had been trying to get pregnant for four years and nothing was working. The day my son ( who is adopted) was born I ran ten miles!! Needless to say 3 kids later I was overweight and missing running. Your blog along with good friends helped spark the love of running again and I have dropped 40lbs and will be running a 10K in March. Thank you for sharing, your post is beautiful and I wish you all the luck I can in breaking down those walls!!

Marsha
Marsha

Wow, Kelly. I'm glad you can run. I have a friend who sounds just like you, except her last child started kindergarden this. It's been going on for several years. Good Days. Bad Days. My husband is a runner. A get up at 3:00 a.m. to run the dark streets person. The get up on Saturday to run at 6:00 a.m. to run 12 miles because that's on the schedule. Oh yes, he has some funky black tape on his legs a lot of the time. Achilles. No ben gay smell....but ice bath, yes. I admire both of you!!!

Debbie Goldberg
Debbie Goldberg

Run, Kelly, Run! I'm all for any activity that is healthy and gets you outside - moving, and happy. Good luck!

melody
melody

I love this post - thanks so much for sharing this part of you. You rock my world!!

Malinda
Malinda

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful post - it is very inspiring to me! After completing the 2010 Goofy Challenge, my gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying) became unbearable. I was hospitalized several times and couldn't run. Being a single, working mother, every day was a struggle, physically and emotionally. Fortunately, I had a gastric pacemaker placed in March 2011 and that has eased my physical symptoms tremendously. I still struggle at times, but now I can run again and I feel like I am truly living - not just "existing". Thanks again for your inspiration! :-)

Chara
Chara

Kelly, you're such a rock star. You'd be surprised how often I say, "Well if Kelly has three little kids and runs marathons, I can run around the block during lunch." Great post!

Zoot
Zoot

I'm the same as you - not a born runner and I run for therapy as well. Mine is not so much dealing with PPD as it is dealing with my Anxiety. Without running, I was coping with binging and stress eating. I still do that quite often, but the running helps balance it out :) And gives me those moments/hours away from all that is stressing me.

Wendys Hat
Wendys Hat

Good for you Kelly! You are AWESOME! I have a relative who went through this and I understand. I hate running too and do it to help motivate my children.

Kimberly
Kimberly

I love your post. I love your raw honesty about your experiences with depression. I have been there and can relate. You put the experiences into words so beautifully. I hate to think that you are in pain but I believe that you will only become a stronger, more compassionate person as a result. By sharing this message you are helping countless others feel less alone.

Megan, Undomestic Diva
Megan, Undomestic Diva

excellent. I am not a runner, but sometimes I get out there. usually to run from something. it helps. often mentally more than physically.

Adrienne
Adrienne

My sister started running recently and has said it has done wonders for her mentally more than physically.

XLMIC
XLMIC

Word. Throwing a glop of perimenopause on top of the PPD :( (((hugs))) for you, Kelly. You can never have enough of those.

kristen
kristen

kelly, i so love that you shared your heart...thank you! i feel such a connection to what you said and i appreciate your words so very much. hugs to you today! (p.s. when the time is right, would you share how you fit running into your day? is it treadmill? as a SAHM who homeschools i *do* find it hard to carve out the time for my run, which i so desperately need, and i love to hear where other mamas find it.)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] school drop-offs, business meetings and baseball practice, & at least for me, running is more therapy than exercise), but we didn’t [...]

  2. [...] by @according2kelly on September 7, 2012 the disneyland half marathon will always hold a special place in my heart. in many ways, it’s the race that literally saved my life. [...]

  3. [...] Three years ago, the Disneyland Half Marathon was my first race, ever. [...]

Previous post:

Next post: