I have battled anxiety and panic attacks for many years. I got to the point where I literally did not want to leave the house, as it was the closest I felt to "safe", especially after a tumbler full of vodka. My wife used to run 5k's and always tried to talk me into joining her, but it was too far from "home base" and just too scary for me. I had started getting a bit chubby from doing nothing, and started to run. Just making it around the block was challenging. I always had a moment of panic at the far corner, as it was the furthest point from home. In 2013, I got up the nerve to join her on a 5k for my son's middle school. I remember being terrified at the start and not leaving her side for most of the race. This theme continued for many races. I would stay with her for the entire race, as she made me feel safe, no matter the pace. After many miserable years, I found some medication that works, and eventually, I got comfortable enough to take off and run on my own, and finally to be able to race without her. I know, sounds silly, but anxiety is not rational...
I just finished my first marathon, as well as back to back 50k's at Across The Years, making me an ultramarathoner. I still get anxious at times, and even a little panicky once in a while, but overall, life is good. I love running, love the way it makes me feel. I even love the misery, once it's over. There is no better feeling than thinking that there is no way you can go on, yet you do- and eventually cross the finish line.
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