Running: the all-natural antidepressant

I haven’t written a post in awhile. I guess it’s because I haven’t felt I had much to say. Usually, I write a post when I’m feeling particularly low or passionate about something. Lately, I haven’t been feeling very much; I’ve just been doing a lot.

I decided over Christmas this year that I wanted to run a marathon. I do not particularly like running. The only reason I have run in the past is because I wanted to stay in shape. But, I decided to run a marathon because it’s one of the most significant physical challenges I can think of, and I want to conquer it. Plus, I’m not sure if I’ll ever have the time or energy to do it later in life, so if I ever want to do it, it should be now.

So I announced this decision to my track-star twin sister, and we chose a date and a race and the training began. I was imagining mornings of sheer torture, endless miles of boring monotony, and basically 7 months of training – for lack of a better word – hell. But I’ve found it quite different. I’ve found that running in the morning helps me sleep through the night (a wonderful luxury I haven’t experienced in over a year), I’ve found it hasn’t been painful but has instead been a gentle process of building muscle and endurance, and I’ve found that the running has acted like my own personal antidepressant.

I’ve never been on an antidepressant before, but I’ve talked to many people who have. They generally say the same thing: “It doesn’t make me happy, it just makes me less sad. It’s like I’m sort of numb.”

Now, I wouldn’t say I’ve been depressed lately, but I have felt sad or depressed off and on for quite some time. The running has done what people have said antidpressants do. I don’t necessarily feel happier, but I don’t feel the lows very intensely either. I just feel sort of…numb.

I have not decided whether this is a good thing or not yet. On the one hand- of course I do not want to feel sad. On the other hand, sometimes are feelings lead us to issues in our lives that we need to deal with. If I’m not feeling, I’m not sure I can be growing.

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