October 10th may be the official "World Mental Health Day", but Coaches Christine and Shelby are determined to bring this to the forefront every day we can. We were especially honored to welcome to our brunch table Sasha Wolff, the founder of the non-profit Still I Run. They are about to have their 2022 World Mental Health Day 5k this weekend and continue to provide resources and events year-round.
This organization exemplifies the belief that the stigma can be lifted around mental health and mental illnesses, one person and one runner at a time.
Both of us coaches have been open about our mental health journey and how we do not have all the answers, I mean really, who does? We both credit multiple facets into putting us in the headspace we are in today and want to make sure that we say it loudly to all those who need to hear it "We see you, we are here, and we do not judge."
Mental health is HARD to manage and even harder to talk about but with groups and communities normalizing that it's ok to not be ok sometimes, THAT is where progress is made. Coach Christine has been joining Still I Run at their Orlando chapter run club and said she immediately noticed a difference in how she was welcomed vs other run clubs. It's a caring group that also runs. They run for fun, growth, mental well-being, and so much more. Mental health is often one of those invisible struggles that some people just don't get. Sometimes you can't just "Be happy", you don't feel like you can "just push through", and it doesn't "just go away" because you want it to. Surrounding yourself with the people that get that removes the haze that can accompany the ebbs and flows.
Shelby likes to equate mental health to running a marathon. You know that the journey ahead is long, hard, and full of little walls you'll have to climb. Even if you study the course map there will always be another change, an aid station that doesn't have any fuel left, and more than likely you will cry at least a few times because that's all that feels right.
By no means is this an over-simplification or generalization but from her journey, that's exactly what it's felt like. You don't feel like you are fully prepared, your anxious feelings keep popping up, and you look around and ask yourself "Can I do this?". While the answer is, YES you can, sometimes you need that external reminder. We spend hours Googling what to bring, what to eat, and how to train for a race but doing the same when your mental state is less than stellar can be extra overwhelming.
While we are not mental health professionals and aren't trained to treat/advise on mental health, we each have useful tips and tools that help us navigate the mental health marathon.
Looking for something top help you along as you work on your own mental health?