Yesterday, I completed a 5km colour run. It might not seem like much to some of you, but for me it is an achievement. Running is not my thing. Give me boxing, weights, body exercises, rowing machine, pretty much anything else over running.
When Dave and I went to meet our mortgage broker, there was an advertisement for the colour run. I decided I wanted to do it there and then. I spread the word about it and in the end, 4 of us did it together.
Leading up to the run, my friend pushed me in the gym. I did interval running on a treadmill; increasing how fast I was running and shorting my resting period. It was hard and at times I wanted to give up. But I didn’t.
The week before the run I got a cold. It became progressively worse; my head was constantly banging, my throat was red raw and my entire face felt like it had been kicked. I rested for the 3 days leading up to the run. I knew there was a possibility I would end up being more ill as a result of doing the run. But I took the chance. I didn’t want to quit.
I surprised myself when doing the run. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. As a result, I am seriously considering doing a 10km with two of my friends from the gym. I am quite ill now. I feel like I have a chest infection; my chest hurts all the time, I have a painful cough and I am bringing up a lot of phlegm. But I am still so proud that I ran 5km.
For all of us living with mental illness, we have to constantly push ourselves if we want to recover or continue to stay well. It isn’t always easy, especially when life decides to throw a curveball. But hard work and perseverance pays off.
A year ago I was under the crisis team; I was suicidal, constantly anxious and saw no possible way that things could improve. At times, it would have been easier for me to not get help or gain an understanding of how anxiety and depression affect me. Like running, I had to push myself out of my comfort zone to get out of the negative spiral I was in. This was extremely difficult at times.
My life is better now and I am a happier person. Dave and I are in the process of buying our first house, I have an amazing family and fantastic friends, a lovely dog and a wonderful job. All of this can only help when life throws a curveball my way.