Today, I post this video of Carmen Santa Maria - the foxy nerd chick from the Huffington Post - on the one year anniversary from when it was first posted on YouTube. This video, at the time when it aired, was a personal message... something I needed to hear at that specific time.
I also post it as a 1 year anniversary from when my life changed for the positive.
What annoys me about these so-called "health and fitness gurus" is that they rarely - if ever - cover a vital aspect of health and well-being: mental health.
If mental health is such a scourge across this great land of our's, why is it that it is rarely talked about? Everyday I am inundated with Facebook shares about diet, nutrition, fitness, etc. and endless debates over raw/caveman/vegan/low carb/high carb/whatever diets - but what about the wellness of the mind? The stigma of mental illness is big: the CDC found in a 2007 study that only 1/4 of those adults suffering from mental illness believed others are caring or sympathetic towards those with mental illness. This is alarming, as it shows that many of those who suffer from mental illness bury it.
Why October is such an important month for me is because it was the turning point for my own personal battle with severe depression. Mental illness runs in my family, having had a young brother who was severely mentally ill with paranoia schizophrenia commit suicide in 2002. It is something that concerns me, as my own battle with depression runs deep; and I, too, have had thoughts of suicide - and for no good reason.
The "logical" part of my brain keeps me grounded, while the emotional part of my brain runs wild with thoughts. This is an illness: one that I've battled for the better part of the last two years.
What changed for me was the treatment of my sleep disorder. Within months of treatment and getting deep sleep throughout the night, my depression subsided immensely - although I still battle with it. It is manageable without medications, but I have to be ever present about my personal well-being.
What does this have to do with bikes? Nothing more than being an aspect of health those "experts" rarely discuss. Yes, you can find info about mental well-being on those yoga/hippy/chick sites, but for ultra competitive, hammer-fest loving, weight-pushing, testosterone pissing alpha male... they aren't reading those sites. "What are you, A PUSSY?!" one may feel. However, this is something that should be brought into light more often. It would help dispel the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and encourage others to seek help if needed.
I battle with depression. I am not ashamed or afraid to admit it. It is an aspect of my overall health that I pay extra close attention too. After all, without my brain being right, what good is the healthiest of diets and exercise plans going to do in the overall scheme of life?