Hi, my name is Kenzie and I have pretty severe anxiety, I also like to run long distances.
I am also injured.
In the past few weeks I have had some pretty bad luck. A car break in for the second time in a month, a lot of my gear stollen, school stressors, my car breaking down entirely… and an unresolved knee injury that is keeping me from being active.
Through all of this, it has made me realize how much a part of my anxiety management running has become.
I suffer from high functioning anxiety. I can look very calm and collected on the outside, but for a few select people they know how bad I can get. These people are pretty much just my parents. I don’t really let a lot of people into this part of my world. Growing up even the smallest of things could trigger these attacks, but as I have grown older I am slowly learning how to manage them myself. Over the past few years (notably since I started running) I have noticed my stress and anxiety levels decreasing, to a point where almost nothing sets me off, aside from awkward social situations and the occasional scary car maneuver if I am a passenger. I don’t use medications to manage my symptoms or attacks, I have managed to decrease them almost fully through long beautiful hours spent on the trails.
These past few weeks with everything noted above have been an incredible learning experience and eye opener for me. I have been forced to rest, and deal with these problems head on instead of getting to run my worries away. It has made me appreciate running and everything it has given me so much more and I will always cherish all of my days where I am able to be active and outside to the fullest. The worst days out there will become the best days because even though I might be having a hard time, I will be able bodied and enjoying nature.
I have to say, though, even with my inability to melt the stress away in the forrest, I have handled these set backs fairly well. No tears, no hiding away, no total melt downs. I have accepted that things happen, there is nothing that I can do to change them and that there is always tomorrow, and tomorrow is a new day.
If anyone is struggling with anxiety, or depression please feel free to reach out to me. I am here to lend an ear, a shoulder, distract you or give you as many hugs as you could ever need.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw