How Depression Affected My Love of Sports and Fitness

This time two years ago, if you couldn’t find me in the gym, you’d find me on a sporting field — any sporting field for that matter. My whole life revolved around sports and fitness. My weekends were filled with sports. I travelled far and wide just to play one game and I took any opportunity when offered a representative spot.

And slowly… it was taken away from me. The thought of joining a sport again terrified me, let alone having to leave the house to go to training two days a week and then actually play a game one day a week. The thought of going to the gym was more of a chore and a nuisance than it was a joy.

Three years after dropping sports and three years after moving away from home, I put on my “big girl pants” and I joined two sport teams. (Yep, you read that right, two!) I joined a league tag team and I also found a women’s soccer team.

I was excited, nervous, scared, anxious and ridiculously overwhelmed.

How did I used to enjoy this? was my main thought during preseason training.

Season started, and my first games were exhilarating, I felt like I was finally back again.

However, from then on, my heart was not in the games. I did not love the games the way I used to. I didn’t put the effort in I used to and the thoughts of training made me more anxious than ever. I took everything to heart. Everything said to me on the field I knew was just normal “sports talk” I stewed on until the next game. I went home and cried most weekends because I felt I was never going to be good enough, or the person I once was. Unfortunately, I probably never will be that person again, but I will find something I love so much again one day though!

The good things to come out of this were the friendships that I made. Being in a group of girls that make you laugh, understand when you just aren’t quite right and always feeling welcome is something I am thankful for.

Depression took away the one thing I never thought would be taken from me — my love of sport and fitness. Depression is not a choice, but it is part of who I am and I have accepted that.

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Thinkstock photo via Katerina_Andronchik.

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