Saturday, October 17, 2015

Breaking Point

Never for a million years did I ever think I would feel the way I did a few days ago. 

For the past few months, I've become increasingly more reclusive, rarely venturing out into the world. Outside of going to work, I would sit in my room, consumed by my depression, staring at a blank white wall. The time spent hyper focusing on the negative aspects in my life grew and grew and grew. My appetite and desire to be around anyone fled my body. For a few days straight, I consumed little outside of coffee and or water. Not only did this add to my feelings of being stuck, it also made sleep near impossible. All I wanted was for everything to end, to stop feeling for just one single second. 

After 2 days straight of no eating and no sleeping at around 2am, I started getting extremely scared. I had been in tears for the good portion of the day for what felt like no reason at all. Maybe it was a panic attack or maybe it was the culmination of working odd hours and missing my kids. Truthfully, I don't know what set me off, but I finally had enough and I finally realized I had a problem. I was depressed. And I'm not talking "my team didn't win, I'm depressed," I knew then and there I was battling depression and I didn't know how to get out of it. I felt stuck, scared and vulnerable. This is when I decided to reach out and ask for help. 

The scary thing for me is actually allowing people to help me. That involves letting down my guard and letting people in, trusting them with everything. People caring about me isn't something in normally used to, but it's something that's real. I want to trust people, and I want people to care about me, it's just s so alien to me. 

I took a long hiatus from social media, I still try to limit myself from Facebook or anything in that realm. But I took to the social media and asked for help. And the amount of love and support I received was tremendous. It humbled me and brought me to my knees. I never thought I'd have to beg for my life, but I felt like I needed to because I was scared for how consuming the depression was. 

I've been given a ton of numbers from people and names of doctors. I've made a call, which is a huge step for me if you know me. I plan on making more calls and seeing doctors and counselors, talking to people who can help give me the tools to overcome this sickness. I don't want to few this way anymore. I don't want to live in a room, stuck in a bed, staring at the wall. I want to live, smile, appreciate life. And though this has lasted for for relatively a short period of time, it feels like forever. But I know that it won't rain forever. Holding onto faith is crucial here. So please, send me help, words of advice, tips and share your stories with me. Force me out of bed, I don't think I can do this alone. I need help. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

No Status

Running isn't a status, it's not about fame, sponsors or who's the fastest most durable athlete. At least not to me. It's about spiritual awakening, becoming one with myself, God and nature. Life is precious and running gives me the strength to push through all the shit thrown at me. When life kicks me down, I have running to help lift me up, to empower me to brush all the garbage off like it was nothing. The further I run, the stronger I feel as a person, father, friend and lover. Running humbles me, reminds me that life is short. I love to run and I love to live. 

Failure

Ultra running, in its simplest form, is a grueling test of staying sane while attempting an insane test of endurance and overcoming one's mental barriers. Throughout the run, expect the unexpected and be ready for facing your demons, which in my case is fear of failure and disappointment.

I can sit here and make excuses as to why I didn't finish the 50 mile test against the horses, but I have no one to blame aside from my own ignorance. One rule that I preach to people looking to get into ultra running is to stay on top of your nutrition. For some reason, I let my brain win this time around as my stomach felt queasy therefore I didn't want to eat anything whatsoever. My actions caused me to faint on the trail after climbing one of the most painful climbs I've ever done. Being low on electrolytes and calories, I collapsed, catching myself before I hit the ground. Made it to mile 40 and couldn't stand up once I sat down. They called a truck to take me off of the course and that was that.

The race wasn't a total waste. Though I did not finish, I can still learn from this. See, failure is scary, and yet it can help us grow in so many ways. Will I make the same mistake again? No. I'll learn from this.

I was able to break past my normal "boredom" zone. Normally, around 4 hours or so, I'm ready to get off of the trail and back home, but Man Against Horse, I was able to run for 10 hours without ever thinking about being anywhere other than on the trail. It was such a wonderful run, the trails were so nice to be on and the views were fantastic. Running next to horses was also something to cherish. Seriously, amazing experience all around. I'm not afraid of the JJ100 coming up in a few weeks, I just need to remember how important nutrition is no matter what. I believe salt tabs will have to accompany me during the 100, as well as being consistent with my caloric intake. Tim has always said, "it won't last forever," meaning the pain is temporary. I need to remember those words. Truthfully, if my nutrition is the only thing holding me back, I believe I'm doing rather good. It's a science and I'll figure out what works for me.

My biggest fear, I thought was heights. Yeah I know, running trails on top of mountains with cliffs on either side seems rather contradictory, to being afraid of heights, but for some reason I feel more alive on the trails, facing death so to speak. My biggest fears are failing those I love and disappointing them. I remember having to face my mom when I was around 7-9 years old after stealing from a toy store. She looked so disappointed in my actions. See, we didn't have much money to speak of, in fact, we were teased my whole life for being dirt poor. And yet my mom has always taught us to be honest, to never cheat lie or steal. But there I went and stole a silly toy. She was sad, and that image has stuck with me ever since. I don't want to ever disappoint my loved ones because I would never intentionally want to cause them pain or make them sad.

I don't know where I was going with that, but there you have it. My ADHD is in full effect and I'm having a hard time focusing. Time to hop on a plane and go somewhere.