Published: 11 May 2019, before the XIII. NN ULRABALATON running race
Dear fellow runners and companions in distress!
So far, I only spoke about my ongoing panic disorder in the last year in my inner circle, now – before the start of the XIII. NN ULTRABALATON race – I found the courage to share my thoughts about my relation to running, and about panic attacks, which surprisingly affect many people, but in most cases they’re ashamed of this disorder that comes with anxiety. For this reason, I now call the dear reader to be a mind-reader, the reader of my deepest thoughts, to speak in the name of those who feared to share their disorder with their surroundings so far. On the edge of going mad, gasping for air, sweating, shaking between hot and cold flushes, we think: this is the end. The symptoms of a panic attack remind us mostly of a heart attack, which symptoms can come upon us anywhere, at any time, even waking up from our sleep. Most men barely dare to talk about this in public, because the typical macho and show-off image in the subculture of sport is not likely to provide a safe environment for the sensitive ones. But someone with panic attacks bears the blessing, but also the curse of sensitiveness. Over time I was honored with the following labels: ‘weak, ice cream punch, fag, girlie’.
I calm down. I begin to relax.
The previously mentioned symptoms may seem scary for those, who never experienced something like this before. I would warn these lucky fellow humans, that I’m not exaggerating. At the tipping point of the symptoms of panic attacks – which occurs at least one time in almost everyone’s life – the state of mind of feeling unwanted is extremely strong, and the sick mistakes the madness and fear of death for exceptionally real. The other day I was talking to a close friend, who as an artist also came to this world with sensitive senses. He told me, that he spends his days with similar anxiety attacks, that’s why he takes Xanax.
All external noises and inner troubles back away.
Instead of taking medicine, I’ve cast my vote for autogenic training and running. Few hours before the race I was thinking, how did I fell in love with running over the years, which type of movement was so far away from me before. It started exactly one year ago, when my dad’s company running team had an open spot, which was offered to me in the first round. Thanks to my background in sports, I could get ready to the ULTRABALATON in 2018, which we achieved with a ten-person team. The event and the team spirit made me commit to running, and it is a part of my life ever since then. I was lucky, for that I’m forever thankful to the team.
After a few months the first attacks started. Since then, running is more, than just a hobby for me. The kilometers I run are meditative exercises for me, where I can clear my thoughts and localize my feelings. It happens sometimes, that I get in my shoes, when I feel a panic attack coming or find myself in the midst of one. I don’t even use a sport watch anymore. I see this choice as a spiritual breakthrough in my relation to running, because through this I freed myself of all the burdens from the perfectionism in elite sport. I am free.
I give my mind to peace. I give my mind to the desire, to be able to create physical, psychical and spiritual harmony.
The commitments of long-distance runners move me, who run for a good cause (for the children affected by a tragic, early parental death, for the peace on Earth) for days, even weeks. This phenomenon may seem sentimental or little mushy, but I dare to dedicate the distances, I ran on this year’s race, for my fellow humans suffering from panic disorder. I’d like to encourage all the sportsmen, who participated, to let themselves enjoy meditative running and to offer all their energy invested into the XIII. NN ULTRABALATON for a good cause!
I am completely calm. I relax.