Welcome to Running Heartless!
It is a wonderful and strange place where I talk about my life, my hobby, and my health. I also end up talking a lot about puking…you have been warned
While the name seems odd for a motivational type blog, it has a lot of meaning behind it. The heartless are the baddies in the Kingdom Hearts video game series. As Wikipedia explains: “They are named “Heartless” for their total lack of emotional capacity.” I decided this was a fitting representation of myself, I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my adult life.
I won’t go into all the details; but for the majority of 2012, 2013, and a good chunk of 2014; my mental health issues were the worst they had ever been. After moving back to the town surrounding my Alma Mater, I decided this was my chance to start fresh and do what I can to stay out of that dark place I had been in.
The move was stressful and exhausting, which of course didn’t help me at all. To help me get away from it all, one of my best friends whisked me & my son, EJ, away for a week at Disney World, which is literally my favorite place on the entire planet. I can’t say it was a care-free weekend, but it was certainly low stress and I started to feel a little bit better, less overwhelmed and less empty.
When we returned home I started taking EJ for a walk in the afternoon, as he had gotten so used to falling asleep in the stroller at Disney, that he refused to take a nap any other way. After a week of this I noticed something: I had energy, was actually feeling motivated to do things (and actually did those things), and I felt GOOD. I didn’t necessarily feel like I could take on the world, or even go and be social, but I didn’t feel nothingness and I didn’t feel like the world was crashing down on me.
I remembered reading an article somewhere about how regular exercise, specifically running, can help manage depression symptoms. So I decided that I would give it a try.
I decided to set for myself a goal: I would run and complete a RunDisney half marathon by the end of 2015
But in order to reach that goal, I had to set for myself attainable milestones:
Be able to run a 10k by the end of Spring 2015 using the 10k bridge program (a continuation of C25k)
Be able to run a Half Marathon by fall 2015 (using the appropriate RunDisney training guide for the event I will be attending)
…But then I decided to throw those goals out the window and go for something really ambitious: #RunAllTheRaces2016. I’m going to attempt to run every event at every RunDisney race weekend in 2016 to raise awareness for Anxiety and Depression, and some money for the ADAA.
This blog will chronicle my journey to attain my goals and to keep the darkness from closing in on me.
For a little more in-depth discussion of my depression and the science behind how running helps, take a look at this post