As most of you know 2015 was a difficult year. I injured my knee when I jumped off a silly 4’ wall in March, had surgery at the end of May and succumbed to the darkness that covers and suffocates you that you all know as depression.
I was exhausted, sad, unmotivated. I didn’t workout. I went through my days a bit like a robot not really realizing how bad things had gotten in my mind. I was still a good Mom. I was still driving my business forward. I was doing everything I was supposed to do, but…I wasn’t feeling or living and thriving.
I gained 22.5lbs during my darkest months and in August 2015 I decided that enough was enough. I stomped on my fears, I woke up from exhaustion and I created workouts specifically designed to give me the metabolic boost and energy I so desperately needed. I gave myself 28 days to turn things around, and that, my gorgeous readers, was all I needed. IGNITE was born.
When I say “exercise is medicine”, I truly mean it. I lived and breathed this medicine and I am so very thankful that I was able to use my brain and my body to crawl out of that dark, lonely depression hole.
I took my medicine daily. I worked out. I began fueling my body the way it should be fueled. I stopped talking negatively about myself. I was in a dark place, but that sure as Hell didn’t mean I had to stay there. I could work and sweat and swear and cry and claw my way back. And that is exactly what I did.
Don’t get me wrong, some days were still bad. Some days I cocooned and didn’t talk with anyone I didn’t need to. Some days I cried and cried in the shower because…well…there was all the darkness. But slowly, oh-so-slowly, I began to find me again. I started laughing more. Everything in my life wasn’t serious. I played. I took my medicine every day in the form of interval workouts, weight training and running.
Eventually, I succumbed to the fact that I was going to cry during every workout. That I needed to cry and be frustrated and rage. Shortly after I accepted these emotions I found myself smiling and laughing and cheering myself on. I dripped the poison out of my body and many times I found myself gasping for air and crying and laughing at the same time…just celebrating my body. I sound like a crazy person, but this is my journey…judge away.
In early 2016 the chatter among the Hot Mamas turned to Tough Mudder. Last year I went as a spectator and as selfish as this is, I hated every minute of it. I was jealous of their bodies. I raged inside at the unfairness that is an injury. I cried. And I felt so very lonely waiting at the finish line for hours for all the teams to cross.
Of course, I celebrated each and every Mamas’ success on that course, I wasn’t so far gone that I couldn’t acknowledge the awesomeness that those Mamas were. But, it still filled me with the poison I had yet to expunge from my body.
So this year was my year. I couldn’t train as a team as much as I would have liked to (business is booming) but I did get my own workouts in and I did train on my own. I declared by March of 2016, one full year after I initially injured, one full year after I dove into the darkness, that I was back. I was me again. And as super sh***y as that year was, I am grateful. I know how depression feels. I may not know how deep yours is or how different, but I DO know how awful one person can feel. I have been humbled by this experience and I have proven to myself that I do have the power to bring myself back to me.
I cried the entire time I packed for Mudder this year. I couldn’t stop. But these were #dancedammit tears. I messaged my friends pre-apologizing for the emotional trainwreck I was sure to be on the course. And finally, I took a moment to own the pride I had for myself. Have you ever done that? Sat down and accepted the pride you have just for being YOU? Pride for your body? Pride for your mind? Pride for your courage? If you haven’t…you should. It’ll change your life.
So, the Hot Mudder Mamas hit the course on Saturday, June 18, 2016, 466 days from the day I jumped off that damn wall. They say a picture can speak 1000 words, so I thought I might share a few with you…
We did it. Over 19km, 23 obstacles, some tears, a lot of laughter, we did it. With my friends by my side, I celebrated my body and my spirit.
I encourage you if you’re in the depression trenches now, if you’re feeling dark and sad and lonely, please know you’re not alone. Reach out. My medicine was exercise and I know that without it, I could end up back at the bottom. Your medicine may be different…you need to find what works for you. But reach out. There are hands waiting to help pull you up and out. Trust me on this. Just reach out.
To ALL the Hot Mudder Mamas out there…from years past and from our 2016 team, thank you for being so amazing. You rocked that course and I am so proud of every single one of you! Thank you for allowing me to share my journey and my story with you. And for goodness sake, thank you for all the laughter out on the course. You inspire me.