Fitness Mental Health

Doing A Mud Run When You Are Depressed

This post was originally posted on my Tumblr in June 2016.

I ran/walked/crawled a 10K mud run and obstacle course today.

When my friend asked me to come along, I was in a really bad place. Like, suicidal bad. Barely got out of the house. Had lots of trouble going to the climbing gym. But this was something that I really wanted to do.

Many of the therapists I’d spoken to since buying the tickets advised against it, but the tickets were paid for and my friends were counting on me.

When I woke up on the day of the run, my body and mind — but mostly my mind, as usual — protested. I’d taken anxiety/sleep medication the night before to be completely sure that I wouldn’t be up until 2 AM thinking about everything that could go wrong. I slept well, and I’m not sure I could have done this if it hadn’t been for those meds. As much as I hate them and want to quit, my antidepressants probably helped me get out of the house as well. And, of course, the fact that I wasn’t going alone, transport was taken care of, my friends were doing all the organizational stuff, and it was comforting to know that these people know about my issues and are always happy to lend a hand (or a back) when I need it.

The months between buying the tickets and the day itself, my friend had asked me a few times if I was excited about the run, and I had to explain to her that when you’re really depressed, you can’t really get excited about anything anymore. That was sad to have to say out loud. I never really did get excited, but I did complete it — the whole thing, the whole 10K (even if it was sometimes on the backs of friends, or crawling when I should’ve been running, or doing everything while crying, the mud masking my tears).

I even did the things I was really scared of, like the really tall slide, and the obstacle named ‘Claustrophobia’, which really wasn’t as bad as they made it sound. I crawled through a pretty tight muddy tunnel, even with actual claustrophobia. I did the monkey bars and all the climbing incredibly well. Most important of all, I fought against the urge to give up and stay in bed, and I think that this whole experience has been very good for my recovery.

I’m proud. And I feel lucky that even though I am this sick and have been for over half my life, I’m still occasionally able to do things like this, even if I can’t really do it as well as mentally functioning people. I may be depressed, but I still dream of travelling the world. And knowing that I survived this, makes me feel like someday I may feel well enough to do that, too.

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