Being The First Woman To Run 100 Miles Over A Frozen Lake Taught Me About My Own Mental Strength

Running

 

By Allie Bailey in The Huffington Post.

 

If I didn’t have running, I’d probably be dead right now. I realise that sounds dark, but it’s true. It’s the most unexpected thing that’s ever come into my life, but also one of the most important.

Earlier this year I even became the first woman to run across a 100-mile-long frozen lake in deepest, coldest Mongolia. Myself, and other members of the team, braved temperatures down to minus 50ºC, unnerving cracks in the metre-thick ice, and even the local population of wolves and bears in the process.

I faced a blue wasteland. I questioned myself during and before it, but I am only now feeling what it meant to complete it. I am proud of what I achieved yet it’s not the only abyss I’ve had to stare into before attempting to emerge the other side, still intact and in one piece. I’ve grappled with depression for 10 years. It’s an ongoing fight and there are no easy answers but, for me, running is my therapy – a lifeline I discovered seven years ago, after it was recommended to me by a doctor after I’d attempted to take my own life.

Running lifts my mood, eases tension, and give me the headspace to sort out life’s priorities. Every step I take is a step forward. And that is as important to running as it is to mental health.

Simply put, when I run, I feel the darkness dropping out of the bottom of my shoes.

 

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