Brandi reached out to me several months ago after hearing about Still I Run on a Runified podcast, a podcast ABOUT runners, curated BY a runner. In her note, Brandi shared with me her journey of mental health and running and while I was reading what she shared, I could just FEEL the passion in her words. When she closed out her note, asking how she could help Still I Run in some way, I knew JUST the thing. I asked her to share her story with you. I hope you’re as inspired by her words as I am.
This is me and my husband after our first marathon in May 2012. I was so happy and so proud!
After seeking help, I was diagnosed with acute depression. It was explained to me that the constant anxiety had depleted my serotonin levels and that’s why I was feeling the way I was. I asked for coping strategies, but was told there was no point in coping strategies until my serotonin levels were back to normal. That could be achieved through antidepressants.
I had always run casually. I knew running was good for me and my brain, so I started running in a more structured manner. That structure was found in the form of training plans. The structure was in place to encourage me to run even on the days when I least felt like it. Achieving runs on those bad days was powerful – I was “sticking it to the darkness”. Every time I defied my brain, which was telling me that I didn’t feel like running (or doing anything), I felt empowered. I then started to run more and achieve distances and paces that I never imagined. That gave me confidence and made me feel even more empowered.