5K Run For Women

It’s been a week and a half since the Bear and I ran 5km in the Legacy Run to End Family Violence. Bolstered by our success, albeit we were sore for days afterwards, I’ve decided to sign us up for another run. This one also has a special place in my heart. We’re participating in the LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women.

This event raises money in support of local women’s mental health programs in Canada. Having Bipolar Disorder, this cause really hits home. I know what it’s like to live with a mental illness and anxiety and anything that I can do to raise awareness and garner support and donations for a worthy cause means a lot to me.

On their site, they mention that 71% of women in 2020 reported feeling anxious, depressed, isolated, overworked or ill, due largely in part to the pandemic. Even with the pandemic winding down, I believe that those stats still apply.

And while there are several resources available, there are barriers to accessing mental health supports for women (men as well) with cost being a factor. Other barriers include excessive wait times for services and not knowing how or where to access help. Hopefully the funds raised by this run will increase the ability of the Women’s Mental Health Clinic at the Foothills Medical Centre to provide help for women experiencing mental health issues. In particular, this clinic services women who are considering pregnancy, are pregnant or are within a year or postpartum. Nearly one in five women will experience difficulties with their mental health during this reproductive stage of life. I have to admit that I myself, struggled after the Bear was born.

On top of supporting women, this run is another opportunity for the Bear and I to connect. It’s no secret that it’s hard to find ways to spend quality time with brooding and hormonal teenagers. The Bear is no exception. She lives in her room, lights dim, face in her device, horrified whenever I enter her domain. So, it’ll be nice to get her out into the sunshine for some much needed exercise and time together. I have yet to tell her that I’ve signed us up for this run but I’m hoping that she’ll recognize the value of the cause and embrace the opportunity to spend time together. Although the first run was arduous, we did have a lot of fun and giggles along the way and that’s what I’m hoping motivates her.

For me, it’s a chance to do some good and get my body in motion. Hopefully I can carve out some time between now and then to get a couple of jogs in. I haven’t been proactive in exercising. I’m hoping that remembering how absolutely wrecked my body was after the first run will motivate me to get out there. In any event, it feels good to enter events again. It lets me know that my own mental health is in a good space and that I’m starting to thrive again.

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