One of the things that you will come across that's related to depression is that exercise can help.
The adrenaline and endorphins kick in and help to give you a bit of a high.
I've found that dong training sessions does help with my mood, especially if it turns out to be a good one, I run faster, or manage to produce more power when I'm cycling, or swim just that more lengths or the same number but in a slightly quicker time.The satisfaction of achieving something bolsters that high feeling.
Recently I had a 30 minute run session planned. Once I was out the door and running I felt good and strong, so good and strong that when I hit the last mile of my run I didn't realise it but I was almost flying. At least compared to my pace in the last few years. When I got home and uploaded my run data and looked at it online I found that I'd managed to run the last mile in under 10 minutes. Something I've not done for a long time.
Every achievement like that reinforces the knowledge that I'm improving because of the training, because it's consistent and because I have a coach who is setting me sessions that push me just enough to get me where I'm aiming for.
Still there are days when the loss of Rhys hits me hard and I find it so difficult to get out the door. My old, pre-coach, habits start to come back and I put off a session, making up an excuse or using the flimsiest of reasons why I've not done it.
I always know the real reason why I don't do these sessions though. It's because I don't have the mental energy I need to get out the door. I don't have the mental strength to put on my running or cycling kit, to pack a bag with my swimming gear.
These are the bad days.
These are the days I really should be saying to myself "No, get that bag packed, put that kit on, get yourself out the door and do the session". I know that even if the session doesn't lift my mood, physically I will be doing something to strengthen my body, to increase my fitness and to move me another step along the path to achieving the goals I've set myself.
I'm not one to go for the easy option so this year I have four middle distance triathlons scheduled. Next year I plan on racing two middle distance (possibly 3 and maybe 4, depending on whether the race organisers put on the new race their doing this year, and launch the one that they were planning for last year), and then there's the long distance or Ironman distance race I'm planning on finally completing.
I'm not going to be the fastest person racing, I'm more likely to be at the tail end of the competitors crossing the line, but that doesn't matter. It's getting over that start line, and one way or another getting across the finish line that matters to me. I'm not challenging anyone but myself. I'm not aiming to go down the finish shoot and cross the finish line but for myself and Rhys. I know that Rhys will be there with me, whether I'm carrying his ashes in the pendant I have across the finish line or whether it's in spirit in the same way as he physically ran down the finish shoot at Outlaw Half: Nottingham many years ago.