They call us CRAZY. 

We are.

There must be something going on in the mind’s background of someone who wishes to run so far their toenails fall off. There has to be a screw loose to run a 5k and think, “not enough, maybe 10-20 more of these I’ll scratch the itch.”

They say anybody can run a marathon, but it takes an idiot to run an ultra. I believe it. I’ve been called crazy, special, mental, ill, insane, stupid, and all the other words for people we use for whom we don’t understand.

Ever since my diagnosis bipolar 2 with ADHD, I’ve been pondering on how much of those people knew about me I didn’t realize.

Most ultra runners know that we’re running from something. We realize that it isn’t normal to want to climb so many mountains and run, walk, crawl, and vomit as far as we do. But, we want to.

I start therapy this week.

What if all these pills and couch sessions force me to face the monster that’s been chasing me?

What if I don’t want to run anymore?

This scares me.

And if the cure for this chemical imbalance balances me? What then? Who will I become?

Ultramarathon running is unbalanced living in true form. We decided that turkey trots weren’t worth the battle unless they resembled the migratory path of a flock heading south for the winter. Except, turkeys don’t migrate, but that’s the point. We don’t want to trot like you, Jake. I’ve got a few state lines to cross so we’re not getting our race shirt.

Will therapy threaten who I am?

Hell yeah. Their job is to help me create a healthy narrative about my life.

“Okay, doc. I like the balance living of washing my clothes and shaving my unkept beard, but ‘back yo ass up’ from my 50k registration!”

This is the Fear. The fear of losing me.

Red Rock Canyon 50K

I signed up for the Red Rock Canyon 50K; the money has already left the bank. I hope this reminder keeps me in this race. I want to train. Sweating on the hills reminds me of who I am, that’s what I want through all of this, to be reminded of who I want to be, even if that means I’ll be a crazy old man, one day, running to the mountains sans toenails.

Have you ever gone to a therapist while ultra running or training to be an ultra marathoner? How did your doctor feel about it? Did you keep running?