On December 8, I will be running in the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, AL. After serious mental breakdown in the fall of 2010 and many painful months for my family, my friends, and myself while I battled severe depression, marathon training has been essential in recovery. This is a celebration of mental stability regained. I don't believe it's possible to separate psychological and emotional health from physical health. They are not different issues to be treated by different branches of medicine or isolated specialists. Psychological and physical health work best when they work in tandem towards complete, overall well-being. Get your mind working well and your body naturally tries to follow along. Get your body firing healthy and your mind begins to fire with it (that's a chiasmus for my rhetoriquer buddies out there).
So who’s Pheidippides? Besides a guy with a name that’s really fun to
say out loud, he was the accidental inventor of the marathon. In 490 BC,
Greek armies defeated an invading Persian force at the Battle of
Marathon. After the fighting, Pheidippides was dispatched as a messenger
to relay the good news to Athens. He ran all the way there without
stopping and dropped dead on arrival. We modern runners are out to prove
that with proper preparation, both physical and mental, you can run
this distance and survive to celebrate with your community.
Like Pheidippides, I run with good news. The Huntsville chapter of the
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has provided me immeasurably
valuable information and support on my trek back from the mouth of hell.
They’ve done the same for many others in our area. I’m dedicating my
race to them and to my family and friends who little by little reminded
me that life is very much worth living. At NAMI-Huntsville, I learned
you can live well and even thrive after the onset of a mental illness.
And I’m asking for your support so they can continue doing their good
work in our area. If you can, please consider contributing $26, a dollar
for every mile of the marathon, to help ease some of the pain for
people living with a mental illness and their loved ones. If you are
feeling really generous or if you just really love the metric system,
you might consider this equation: 26.2 miles=42.195 kilometers. Any help you
could provide would be greatly appreciated. Simply sharing this link
with others would help us and the people in need of our services. You can donate online through this link.
Pays au dela
"As to the natural parts I have, of which this is the essay, I find them to bow under the burden; my fancy and judgment do but grope in the dark, tripping and stumbling [wobbling] in the way, and when I have gone as far as I can, I am in no degree satisfied; I discover still a new and greater extent of land before me, with a troubled and imperfect sight and wrapped up in clouds, that I am not able to penetrate." Montaigne-"On the Education of Children"
My domain name, "Pais au dela," is the original French translated here as "extent of land before me." My goal for this page will be to explore, in an ambling way at times, the great land before me hoping to find clarity as I advance. I will focus centrally though not exclusively on mental health issues in my stumbling march forward.