I feel like anyone who gets into fitness a bit “later in life” has a bit of a story to tell as to what pushed them to it. For me, I was 27 years old and slogging into my fifth year of graduate school after a series of unfortunate events that was going to push me even further from finishing. I was working 60-80 hours a week in windowless rooms, depressed, and gaining weight rapidly.
After a short hospital stay, I was finally diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and my vitamin D levels were almost undetectable. My doctor prescribed me antidepressants, and to my surprise, exercise and sunshine. I got a fitness tracker and started a couch to 5k program.
After putzing around unseriously for a year or so, I signed up for my first 5k on July 4th 2014, and I was hooked. I dropped 30 pounds, was able to get off the antidepressants, and started running practically every day. I’ve ran five marathons, and I don’t even know how many shorter races. While I use running to manage my anxiety and elevate my mood, it also started to become a passion for me.