Exercise is always used as a suggested treatment for depression, except no one wakes up and thinks of themselves as worthless and that they’re better off not being in this world and wants to take a jog. Healthy eating is way to feel better about yourself, but when your life is just walking around with a constant gray cloud above your head, that’s splattering sulfuric, acid rain on your head from time to time, you’re not thinking about braising a piece of meat, you’re going to order too much food at a Taco Bell drive thru and follow it up with a case of diarrhea. Thankfully, none of this applies to me at the current moment. I’m able to do exercises within the confine of my apartment and make a healthy soup that tastes far worse than it should.
I bring this up because it all applies to running. How you might ask? The how isn’t important. The journey is important. Not the end game. Not the Avengers End Game. I am butchering a quote or idiom or something that doesn’t apply to what I’m trying to say anyway. The point is, even in my most elated state of being, you’ll be hard pressed to see me running. I am not good at a lot of things, but I am especially bad at running. I think it was something I’ve always known I was bad at, since one of my earliest memories is having to run races in kindergarten and suffice to say I was not very good. And that’s when I was young and spry! Today, I wished my fiancée’s old host dad (if you know, you know) a happy birthday, although I was a day late because being late is cool. He didn’t seem to have any idea I had returned to New York City after my traversing around the globe, mainly the Southern Hemisphere, or he said he would’ve invited me to the celebratory beer run that was celebrating his birth. I was relieved that he didn’t know I was in town because it would’ve been tough to craft an excuse to not show up that didn’t involve me saying I was bad at running. Because then you’d get the typical spiel of “It’s fine. We’re drinking, we’re just having fun. Don’t worry about,” because that is what people say when they’re trying to be nice. That is what people say when they think you might be bad at running, but don’t know how truly terrible you are.
Depression was only brought up earlier, because I only speak about what I know. No, I’m not referring to me having a Master’s Degree in Social Work implying that I’m an expert about mental health disorders. Though, maybe I should go with that. I’m saying, sure, I dealt with depression or Major Depressive Disorder or whatever you want to call it. Again, that’s not entirely relevant but I want everyone to know that I do have my own copy of the DSM-V that I’ve at least opened one or two times. Not when my depression was gone, but once it was in a better place, once I felt I was recovering and making progress, I planned a 7 month adventure abroad to recalibrate myself, to do something to get me going somewhere that wasn’t a plateau. Before I went off on this trip, I joined a half marathon training group that was mainly composed of middle aged women. Some of them were my mother’s friends, so she helped me get involved and I joined because blah blah blah exercise good for mental illness, etc. etc. Another reason I joined is that I figured I would smoke the competition. Yes, I’ve stated, I can not run, but I was in my mid twenties at the time, and I thought surely that I could be just as good, if not better than a group of 45 year old women. Looking back, this take was ageist, sexist, and just full of stupidity and arrogance. I couldn’t run when I was 5 years old (young and spry) so why did I think I’d be able to run multiple miles after dealing with the weight of depression for the previous years? The moral of the story? I sucked.
There’s probably deeper morals embedded in there, but they don’t go with the title of this post. I am not a runner and every time I’ve thought I could be a runner, due to my idiotic hubris, the universe has told me explicitly to sit down and shut up. Or rather to jog very slowly and then bend over out of breath while someone twice your age runs past you as three times the speed. If I drop a friend’s dog’s leash and they start running away, then I am a runner. That is about the extent of it. If the sheer panic of losing someone’s dog could be expanded into a race like setting, well heck, they’d be calling me Usain Bolt. Until that happens, I am still not a runner. I really do feel like I should expound upon more philosophical mumbo jumbo, except that this blog was truly inspired by the sheer relief of knowing I avoided a running situation in the past 24 hours. Look, I have no idea what the future holds, but until then, I’m thankful for cars. And planes. And trains. And automobiles. Maybe my next post will be about how I am not a roller skater, or blader, or boarder. So it goes.