F & F: Exercise v Depression
This month’s F & F I am going to do a 1 v 1 style blog post but before I do I want to let you guys in on a little secret.
I have told this to only a few people and all my past clients know this, but if I can get this simple message across and help just one person get out of this then I have fulfilled something amazing in my life.
Back in 2000 I had lost my job, couldn’t afford to continue to go to university, and I moved back home with my parents. I had gotten into a massive fight with all of my friends and lost almost all of them save for two. I couldn’t find a job for an entire year and felt completely and utterly useless, this pressed me into a massive depression one that almost costed me my life so in 2002 (two very bad and very long years – I spent that last year locked in my bedroom) I finally got a job. My self esteem got a little bit of a boost, but I wasn’t out of the woods just yet. It wasn’t until I found something and someone that gave me a reason to live, this someone showed me (in a very painful way mind you) that life was worth living, and that it did have value.
I know what you are thinking right now, it’s probably a woman, right? No. It was martial arts, a very special form of martial arts called Systema. And the owner Emmanuel Manolakakis was the driving force behind that change. He literally beat the negativity out of me to the point that all that was left was me. The true me. The good me. But it was more than just the beatings I would allow myself to take. It was intense exercise the fact that I was covered in so much sweat that it looked like I had gone swimming with my clothes on. Plus, the fact that I was starting to create new and life long friendships with so many good people I stayed with it from 2003 – 2013.
I had a bit of personal “spiritual confusion” between the corporeal aspect of Systema and its “religious” ties. It’s Russian Martial Arts, so it’s spiritual source lies in the Russian Orthodox way of life which almost the same as what I practice (Greek Orthodoxy). Anyhow, this became such a big part of my life that now that I am not doing it, it feels like something is missing, so I just started doing it once again and I almost feel whole again. There is one more thing missing but that’s a different story.
The biggest thing that I wasn’t seeing at that point in my life was that I wasn’t active, I could have been working out and gotten the same feeling, but I found Fight Club (and please no jokes about “What’s the first rule of Fight Club”? It’s an old one).
You see, the number one way to beat depression completely isn’t drugs, it’s exercise. Get the person that is suffering and put them into a sweat to the point where it looks like they took a shower with their clothes on. Do this two to three times a week, and depression doesn’t even stand a chance, not even a slight one. I know this from firsthand experience.
Now, this is a very important point. If any of you know of someone who is suffering from this and you don’t know what to do to help them I am begging you to get them in contact with me. I know what this can do to the person, and their families. And if we can help just one person from doing “something rash” and irreversible then it will be my obligation to help them, especially when it is such an easy fix.
Let’s keep lights in this planet still firing.