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Reflection: Five Years with Still I Run

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

As Still I Run (SIR) approaches its five-year anniversary which will be October 10, 2021 (World Mental Health Day,) we will feature a series of articles about the group’s history. We hope you enjoy these glimpses into the past.

How did you become involved in Still I Run?

I suffer from health anxiety and panic disorder. It is an issue that had built up over the years since I was little. My father survived a heart attack when I was 6 and it cemented the fear of having one myself deep within me. Any time my body does something out of the ordinary, I immediately fear that I am going to have a heart attack and die.

In 2016 this fear was worse than it had ever been. I was having daily panic attacks. It is around that time that I found Still I Run. Sasha Wolfe had just created the organization. It immediately became my battle cry in fighting my mental health issues.

I started to post about the group on social media and talking about my mental health journey. Through this process I started to get to know Sasha. When she came up with the idea of the ambassador program and started to share about it, I was so excited to apply and even more happy that I was chosen. That is how I first become involved with the group on a higher level.

What attracted you to the organization?

When I first started being open and talking about my mental health issues with friends and on social media, I found I was not alone. So many people I knew also suffer from similar issues. The more I spoke about it, the more normal it became.

When I saw that Still I Run was founded on breaking the stigma around mental health, I knew I needed to be involved. Also, the whole mantra of “Still I Run” made so much sense to me. No matter what I face in life, Still I Run!

Can you share a memory from “the early days?”

One of my favorite early memories is when a fellow Still I Run Warrior posted in the Facebook Group in the Fall of 2017 that they would be doing a run streak from Thanksgiving to December 31st and asked if anyone wanted to join them. My wife and I decided to take on the challenge.

This is part of where the idea for the May Still I Run Streak came from. Many members joined in and discussed their runs each day in the group. At the end of the period my wife and I both decided to keep going. My streak went on for over 3 years until I tore my Achilles earlier this year. My wife is continuing her streak to this day! The streak is one of the accomplishments I am most proud of in my life.

What impact do you feel SIR has had on mental health awareness?

Still I run has had a huge impact on mental health awareness. So many people across the world have joined the community and have taken up the call to break the stigma surrounding discussing mental health. As the Starting Line Scholarship Chair I have seen first hand how many people have been affected by the organization’s mission.

How has your involvement in SIR impacted your mental health?

This group has 100% affected my mental health in a positive way. My involvement has helped me see that no matter what I face in my daily life, Still I Run! It is such a great motto and fits into everything I do. Even when I am down, it reminds me that I have to keep going.

What hopes or dreams do you have for the future for SIR?

I hope that Still I Run becomes a global movement and is recognized on the level that other running organizations are such as Team World Vision.

What’s your favorite piece of SIR gear?

My favorite piece of Still I Run Gear is permanently on my body! I have a tattoo of the arrow logo on my calf. I modified the logo to have a lightning bolt and an arrow instead of two arrows as I have always loved imagery of lightning. I used to wrestle on local cable TV when I was a teenager and my ring name was White Lightning. The tattoo is a constant reminder that no matter what obstacles I face in my life, Still I Run!!!

Reflecting on SIR - Still I Run tattoo on man's leg

Thank you so much for sharing your history with SIR! Can’t love this tattoo enough!


By Nita Sweeney

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