I heard someone say that to be an ultra runner you must have a demon. Recovering addicts, people with mental illness, and people with some sort of tragedy in their past seem to flock to the sport. It becomes part of their recovery. In some cases, it becomes the new addiction. Pain replaces pain. Crazy replaces crazy.
I definitely have my fair share of demons. I’ve never been an addict. I haven’t experienced a lot of tragedy in my life. I fit into the crazy category.
Mental illness is my demon. It has touched every part of my life for many years.
Are we running away from our demons? Are we replacing one addiction with another? Or, are we running towards something?
I think it was a natural progression for me to turn to running at this stage of my life. Some of my happiest times were spent running cross country in Highschool. I was good at it. I felt accomplished.
I find myself needing that feeling again. For the past few years, I have risen out of the fog of my mental illness and I’m finally able to look at my life through new lenses. The only problem with this is I feel lost. I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m 47 and I don’t want to feel like I’ve missed my window of opportunity for making something of myself. Can I really accomplish something great at this stage of my life?
I have made running “my thing”. It’s something I have that no one else in my family has. It is something that makes me feel accomplished and strong. It is something that is just mine. If I don’t accomplish anything else in life, at least I can say I ran.
Taking the trail is a journey from my difficult past to a bright future. I have new goals and dreams. I’m allowing myself to enjoy this new time in my life. And I’m happy to take you along with me.