” I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse” -Philip Yancey-
The funny thing about life is that it has weird ways to teach you things…after 12 years of no signs depression, and after 2 years of no anxiety attacks, it begun….. that feeling….you are not god enough….at ANYTHING… you are not a good employee, a good wife, a good runner, your life is a dead end… and then I stopped sleeping… the horror of staring at the ceiling while you see your life go down the drain, that you don’t even know what to do with yourself, you don’t recognized yourself in the mirror, you cannot think straight, I started to get blisters all over my body, I was sick inside and out, my hole being was screaming for help; and this all went on and on for 3 weeks, until I ended up in the hospital… I was sent home and woke up 4 days later…and then it hit me: I told myself: you cannot live this life anymore… I went back on treatment, I started to see a psychiatrist and a psychologist, I quit my job and began the journey to find my true self, to for care not only for my sake, but for my husband’s, my family and my friends. At first I isolated myself, I couldn’t go anywhere, I felt so “naked” so vulnerable, because then everybody knew, and once they know, even if they love you very much, you feel they won’t look at you the same way ever again, they were afraid to leave me by myself, I could see the pain in their eyes, and I could feel the shame… again…….
A month after I was able to get out of the house… I went for a run…. and then it happened. The breaking point.
Some times you get that feeling of certainty… you know what I am talking about, those waves of optimism, joy, confidence; where you tell yourself: Hell yes!!! I can do this thing, I don’t need to have a certain body, I don’t have to have certain clothes, or train a certain way to make things happen!!! It is possible to make things happen for me…
I knew in my bones that there was only ONE way to go: I wanted to run a Half Marathon! Why? well many reasons came to mind at the moment… First, I wanted to celebrate life, I was about to turn 30, and when I was thinking what I wanted to do to celebrate it, I thought of parties, a trip to the beach, and then I said: I want to run!!!. So, I started to look for races abroad that would fall on my birthday, and somehow I stumbled upon…The New York Half Marathon…. and I said THIS IS IT!!! I am doing it!!! It wasn’t even close to my birthday, since it’s on February and the race is on March, but somehow something in my heart told me this is the ONE!!! I was super excited, we immediately booked everything, and I said: I can’t wait! I knew I had to work hard, I had 5 months to prepare, and I had to be careful with my body, specially my back, but I so wanted to give it a try, I knew with every fiber of my being, that it was my time, and I had to go for it!
And I have newsflash for you: training while you are taking treatment for depression and anxiety is no walk in the park… you feel like crap and numbed most of the times… but the day I realized that I ran 13km, I said to myself: Sofia… quitting is NOT an option, and that gave me a purpose to get up every morning and train.
Am I fast? NO, Am I super fit(meaning thin, because nowadays, it seems one is strictly related to the other)? NO! But after struggling with depression and anxiety, I has sure of one thing: I had the will, I had the drive, so I took a leap of faith and I went after the dream!
The support of husband, my family, my true friends and my coach Fidel was vital for my process of recovery, and before I knew it I was on a flight from Costa Rica to New York to run my first Half Marathon. There is are so many adjectives that I could use to describe New York but the one the pops to me is: ALIVE, New York is such an alive city is contagious, is full of energy, and beauty, everywhere you turn there is something cool to look at, the vibe is so powerful, Johnny and I fell in love with it. We had never seen the snow, and I felt like a child, bottom line it was magic!!!
The race itself can only be put in one word: AWESOME!!!! My coach told me: You are going to last what you are meant to last, not more. not less, you are going to cross that finish line, I will always be grateful for those words. The vibe of the race is so cool, people cheering, live bands, signs, music, Central Park, the snow, the energy, the outstanding organization, wow… I just chocked a little remembering, what I felt, from the start line to the finish line!!! to see my husband at the finish line…. Wow!! and you might think after I crossed the finish line I was tired; but not at all, instead I got this rush of adrenaline, I was laughing and jumping, making a fool out of myself taking pictures with the race photographer. This is something that I will never ever forget.
To this date I am still struggling with feeling well all the time, but want I want you to know is this: you don’t have to have everything figured out, DON’T EVER take a NO for an answer, don’t let anybody build your destiny, never feel ashamed if you are having mental issues, ask for help, dare to Dream, Do what makes you happy, you are valuable, your are a badass, you are fierce, whether you are a runner or not, whether you are a guy or a girl, if you just run one mile or 21.195 miles, if you are a business person or an artist, rich or poor, thin or not so much, live your life with purpose, make a difference, speak up! Be Happu
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