For some people, running is more than just exercise.
Sure, there is the social aspect, too.
But, for 24-year-old Sara Goguen, running has become part of her therapy.
"I have been living with depression since I was nine years old. I had always been incredibly ashamed so I never sought help. I would just put on a smile and pretend everything was okay," she said.
To prevent any toxic thoughts, Goguen decided to throw herself into work.
But that plan back fired.
"This is obviously an unhealthy habit and lead to my breakdown in March," said Goguen who works as a promotions director at a radio station in Moncton. "I was placed on short tern disability leave and I knew I had to do something to keep me busy."
Knowing the physical exercise is good for improving mental health, Goguen joined a learn to run program.
"I was scared because I was worried about being the worst runner ever, but I decided to just go with it and see what would happen."
What happened is that she fell in love with running and the way she felt during the run and afterwards.
Goguen went from hating running to challenging herself.
"The biggest challenge I seem to face is myself. Often my thoughts are what I call Negative Nancy and when I run, I will sometimes think, I'm so tired, I need to stop, but deep down, I know the Positive Paula in me can do it."
Goguen says she did a lot of reading and researching not only about running but about depression, too.
"A 2002 Stats Canada Community Health Survey says women are 1.5 times more likely to suffer from an anxiety disorder than men. Of course in many cases, women who don't want to participate in a run don't necessarily have a full-fledged anxiety disorder, but it's interesting."
She ran her first race at the Sole Sisters 5K and is now back to work full time.
In the past couple of months she has started to keep an old pair of sneakers in her car.
And when someone asks Goguen why she would want to keep those smelly things in her car, she has the right answer for her health.
"If work becomes a little too stressful, or I feel like I need a minute alone to regroup or refocus, I will put those badboys on and go for a quick
speed-walk or jog.Like learning to be happy, running isn't about how fast it takes you to reach the destination, it's about the journey getting
Sara Goguen, who is originally from Halifax, will be participating in the Tartan Twosome at Maritime Race Weekend in September. To read more about Sara's journey through depression to running go to www.saratonin.co To register for Tartan Twosome, go to www.maritimeraceweekend.com . The Weekly News is a proud sponsor of Maritime Race Weekend.