Although I was only able to run for 60 seconds before having to walk, little did I know how far those first plodding, gasping steps would take me.
After a physical and a mild scolding from my doctor, I looked up a Couch to 5K program and started running.
It wasn't easy. In fact, for the first several weeks I was miserable. I'd also adjusted my diet, cutting way back on junk food and journaling every single morsel I ate.
Slowly I started seeing results, both physically and mentally.
The weight started to fall off and I had more energy.
I began looking forward to my runs as a way to reduce the stress I was feeling being on disability. I liked it so much, I ran hundreds of kilometres straight through the winter, in snowstorms and temperatures as low as -30. I think that's one of the things I'm most proud of.
Over the last 12 months I've also:
- Lost 30 pounds (and kept it off)
- Run more than 1,500K
- Run a half-marathon
- Run a distance of 15+K 32 times
- Run a distance of 21.1K+ 15 times
- Run a distance of 30K+ 3 times
Plus I've completed close to 1,000K of mostly trail cycling, including three 100K rides.
Losing my mom last December was earth-shattering but I have no doubt I've been able to manage it due to my family's support, my medication and therapy, my new-found love of endurance training and the support of many of you.
I also have no doubt it was my new-found appreciation of fitness that helped me crawl out of the mental pit I had been stuck in for more than two years.
Did it cure me? No. There is no cure for recurrent major depressive disorder. But it did -- in part -- push the darkness back enough for me to turn my face to the sun again.
I'll be running my second official race this Saturday in the Barrie half-marathon. Claire will join me by running in the kids fun run.
It's nice to feel the sun again.