Long Walks & Lots of Laughs
In January Meg and I started training for our 24-hour Walk Out of the Darkness.Although training is not a new concept for either of us, training for a walk is. Last year we did two walks, each less than two hours before tackling the big walk in July. This year we decided to change that. We started with a four hour walk and have built up to this weekend’s 10-hour walk.
Every week we find ourselves discounting our efforts. “Oh, it’s just a walk. We don’t need Glide. It’s just a walk, we don’t need to bring Gatorade.” But each week we are reminded just how hard distances are, whether you are running a 5-minute mile or walking a 20-minute mile. Every week we have to remind ourselves to take these walks seriously.
Part of that is that we look forward to each week’s long walk. We look forward to them because they never fail to be fun. We laugh more than complain. We joke about everything from being crazy to do this in the first place (afterall wasn’t this plan hatched on a psyche ward?) to skunk farts. Yes, you read that right, skunk farts. We seldom go quiet, even in our 10-hour walk this weekend we laughed and talked from beginning to end. Sleep deprived, blistered feet and wind burned and still we found ourselves loving every step of this crazy long walk.
But still, it is work. It takes effort and it takes a mental toughness that we get not just from within but from each other. And we are learning that that is the key. That is the secret not just
in these walks but in our quest for mental health as well. We have to lean on each other to get through.
And that extends beyond our walk. It extends beyond Meg and me. It extends to the community as a whole. We have to lean on each other if we are going to make it through the rigors of depression. We have to open up and talk about the pain and sometimes laugh at the situation just to make it easier to bear. We can make it through. We can make it through these crazy long walks, and we can all make it through the darkness of depression, if we depend on each other.