One of the biggest questions we get asked as runners is “what are you running from?” While it may get old to hear this, it is not a bad question to ask. After all, we all have fears and for some of us, we have memories, habits, or traumas that we would like to get away from. “What are you running to?” is also a good question. Whether it’s a big goal, a relationship, or a more meaningful life, how to best get there is a worthy challenge to work on with a good therapist. It is not uncommon for people who have gone through a major life transition or for those in recovery from an addiction to turn to endurance sports. Certainly running is a healthy outlet and can provide new and positive experiences, but I have learned that that unless people work through those earlier life challenges, running in itself doesn’t do much to heal the earlier trauma.
“Running is my therapy” is another common phrase we hear a lot in our community. Running is great therapy, however, it is often not enough to facilitate overall growth and change. Unless we do the actual work to look at and change old patterns of living while working on negative self beliefs, we will not experience lasting change. And often, it is not only our running that suffers, but our mental wellness. To run well, we must live well. This is where therapy and mental coaching can not only boost our running and performance, but can help us to live a life that is more full and alive.
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with 15 years of experience working across multiple settings. I have worked with kids to adults and couples who are in crisis and have owned my own counseling practice since 2007. I am also a runner and have a deep understanding of the strong connection between the body and the mind. I am lucky to experience firsthand how running supports my own mental wellness. Additionally, my race experiences and results improved when I made necessary and needed changes in my own life and worked my way towards a healthy place emotionally.
Running is a gift and is so important for those of us who have found it. Living well is even more so.