Laziness vs. Depression: An Athlete’s Gray Area

Adair Lyden was a five-time state medalist from Lake Nona High School '16 out of Orlando, FL. She is currently a second-year public relations major at the University of Florida continuing her running career as a member of Team Florida Track Club Elite. Read more of Adair's story on:

Your alarm goes off. Everything in you says, 

"5 more minutes" 

"You can do your run later." 

You know full well you won't run later that day and you chose to listen to that voice instead. You know, in that moment, you gave up the opportunity to reach for your goals for the day. This, this is laziness. This is choosing that voice in your head - it's making a split-second decision to not go after your goals. 

Your alarm goes off. You feel heavy. Everything in you says,

"Stay here all day."

"You won't accomplish anything." 

"It's pointless to get up..."

Every move you make feels like a fifty-pound weight is on your chest. You know you should run, you have goals you want to reach - dreams you want to achieve. But, for some reason you just can't wipe your tears and get on your shoes. 

It's been this way for two weeks, going on three, and each day you wonder if you'll regain that fire - the motivation to run tomorrow, or the next day, or the next. This, this is not laziness. 

This is depression. 

I am not a doctor by any means, but I have been in both seasons of life more than once. 

I've been there. I am there. For absolutely no reason I have cried, laid in bed the whole day, made excuses and thought thoughts I fear to this day. As an athlete, I had always marked these symptoms as "laziness," and " a lack motivation towards my goals."  

I know I am not alone. I know some of you runners out there are in pursuit of your dreams. But in the middle of this pursuit is this seemingly formidable weight on your chest, thoughts in your head and the overwhelming desire to just sleep your day away - for no reason at all. It's frustrating, I know. 

To those who no longer desire to follow your dreams because you struggle to get out of bed every morning, please listen to me and talk to someone; your parents, a counselor, a doctor, because trust me this is not the way to live life. 

As an athlete, it is easy to push these signs to the side and count them off to a lack of motivation, drive, or desire. I want to let you know that lacking these qualities and physically having the inability to push yourself to do every-day tasks are completely different. 

As someone who has been there, and is there, I want to let you know that it's okay to not be okay, but that does not mean to be complacent with how you are feeling. Talk to someone. There is more to life and it is meant to be lived. 

If this is you, I challenge you to seek guidance from someone who will help and walk this journey with you. Hear me when I say that this is not a weakness to be ashamed of, but a mere detail in your story. Be vulnerable with yourself so you can feel that fire for life again. Talk to someone. 

If this is you, but lately you feel helpless to the thoughts in your head and you think nobody is there to listen, please call this number: 1-800-273-8255. I encourage you to be upfront with yourself and walk through this with someone licensed to help. 

You are capable of so much, your life and your dreams are there, waiting for you to knock on the door - run to them. 

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