I started running because I suffer from anxiety and depression. I was having a terrible day back in October of 2016 and decided I needed to do something. I put my sneakers on and ran just over a mile in 15 minutes. It was nothing to write home about, but it felt great.
In June of 2017, I co-founded Running from Anxiety—a nonprofit organization established to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and provide support and outlets for people suffering from anxiety and depression through fitness and running. Through various fundraising efforts, it is the goal of Running from Anxiety to provide deserving students with college scholarships to support them in their fight against mental illness and acquire an invaluable, post-secondary education.
It is important to show others suffering from mental illness, that you CAN accomplish amazing things. The rush of endorphins you get from physical exercise is the best medicine for anxiety and depression and I want others to experience that rush. It is my ultimate goal to run the Boston Marathon in 2019 and this is another stepping stone towards that goal. Each run I do is to promote Running from Anxiety in hopes of helping one of the millions of Americans suffering from mental illness.
Mental illness is no different than physical illness. It’s a daily struggle like diabetes. It’s okay to talk about your struggles. I have had some very, very dark days when nothing seemed possible, and now I am running and finishing 10K road races and running a non-profit to help others. I never thought I would have been here.
Click here to see Running from Anxiety co-founder Allison’s story