Nick Snead wrote -
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/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=43 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.