Watching Daisy Ridley

By Christian Stalley
Christian Stalley

Sitting in the dark cinema with my child, I watched Daisy Ridley hop lightly through the abandoned and derelict spaceship.  Her lithe grace thrilled and saddened me. I was envious of her strength and speed. As a young woman I had been active, fit, and strong.  I cycled and swam, worked as a cycle courier, and did yoga every day.  

A string of injudiciously chosen men (always stopping short of physical abuse) and, within three years; the death of my only grandparent, birth of my child, giving up my career, moving continents, and the death of both my parents, meant a decade of desperate and untreated depression.  By the time I was in that cinema I had managed to divest myself of the last of the abusive men, but I hadn’t really managed to do much rebuilding of the self. I had been too busy raising my child alone to concentrate much on me. However, my child was just becoming old enough for a little independence, which meant a little independence for me too.

I realized, sitting there envying Daisy Ridley, that I could have that physical ability again. Perhaps not skipping through a spaceship, but fitter and happier.

So starting in January of 2016, I ran.  Not a resolution, just starting to run. I used Zombies, Run!, as I had in the two previous years, but this time it took.  I don’t know what made me stick with the running this time, but I have.  

While I still need antidepressants sometimes, I try to manage my mental health with exercise and diet as much as I can.  I run regularly, and have recently completed my first half marathon. Slowly, but steadily, and with success. Which also holds true for the rebuilding of myself.

I’m now considering a full marathon.  Do I need an intervention?