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How running helped me regain my power and fight dementia

Let me tell you a story. It won’t be the traditional story about running you hear a lot. Because it won’t be about weight loss. 

This story is about much more.

Everything started when I heard my diagnosis – dementia.

Doctors said I didn’t have much time left until I needed to rely on others fully.

Until I wouldn’t be able to take care of myself. Not to mention taking care of my two beautiful daughters and husband. 

Until I would lose my power. As little as I had.

Until I would forget everything, including my wonderful family. 

Until I would die. 

I was only 35 years old.

We’re all gonna die. You know that; I know that. But we don’t know when. 

And this unknowingly gives us so much freedom! 

Believe me, when your doctor says how much time you have left – it crushes you.

You don’t want to accept it, and you definitely don’t want to do anything to help yourself. Because what’s the point? 

I’m still gonna die soon. So why do I have to do something about it?

When we are stung by life’s traumas, especially the big ones like losing our health, we become frozen in place. 

The hardest part is to accept that you need help and that you have the power to change your life.

Because you do. 

And you must take that power into your hands and embrace it.

One step at a time, I embraced this power and healed myself. 

Literally. 

Both physically and mentally.

My parents were runners, and I never understood the appeal growing up.

My folks would make my brother and I get up and run before school as we struggled with mental health. 

I HATED running growing up. 

But after hearing my condition, I knew I needed to find a healthy outlet for my anxiety and bouts of depression.

Doctors, pills, and therapy did nothing to remove the darkness I was feeling. 

Medical professionals had suggested that I try to exercise, but their advice had fallen on deaf ears. 

When you lack the energy even to get out of bed in the morning, the last thing you need to hear is that you should pull yourself together and go to the gym.

But something in me began to shift. 

It was subtle and quiet but present: it was a vague desire to move. To get out of bed and leave the bad stuff behind.

So, I started walking. 

When my mind got preoccupied and anxiety started kicking so hard I could barely breathe, I went for a walk.

At first, very slowly and short distances. 

It helped a bit.

I knew I needed something more, so I decided to search for some professional help. 

I went to a gym and took a personal trainer. 

I hated every moment I spent there!

My trainer didn’t understand my needs and wouldn’t seem to care about my mental issues. And the gym environment made me feel more insecure than ever. 

I knew I needed something different. A platform where I could get personal training without necessarily going to the gym and paying tons of money for personal trainers.

I remembered my parents and how they made us and my brother run when we had mental problems. 

I thought I’d give running a second chance. 

I found an app called Joggo. It offered a plan personalized according to people’s needs.

I wasn’t sure if I should give it a try. I knew how to run. My parents taught me well.

But what we tend to forget is that knowing how to run is not enough. 

Because most of the time we have basic knowledge of running. We don’t know what OUR BODY wants and needs.

Joggo offered that personalized look into my body and condition. 

And what we also tend to forget is that we sometimes need a push to do and be more. 

Joggo offered that push. It promoted an alternate, healthy way to switch off from daily stress and anxiety. 

And that was exactly what I needed. 

So, I took a short 60-second quiz. This gave the creators a little insight into my current condition, exercise regime, and what I was hoping to achieve.

After that, I was presented with my personalized running plan.

The running routine was clear, concise, and managed around my lifestyle. Exactly what I was looking for.

The routine pushed me to start jogging. 

So I did. Slowly at first, just to bring my heartbeat up a bit.

It helped more than I thought it would.

Later I had a personalized consultation with a Joggo trainer. He pushed me to start running. Not for my physical health, although he was sure running would help me heal physically. 

He pushed me to start running faster and longer distances for my mental health. To regain my power.

So I started to run. Consciously, taking into account every tip the app trainers and nutritionists have been giving to me.

First, I ran from my anxious thoughts. 

I wanted to run away from the fact I had dementia. 

It helped a lot.

I started to enjoy running. Because when I ran, I felt powerful; I felt in charge of myself and my life; I felt in charge of how much time I’d left.

It felt life-changing. 

You know those movie scenes where the main character runs and looks super powerful? 

You see, that’s the point.

Running is not only about physical health and looking good.

It’s about power. 

Later I decided to push even more and start running for my health. 

Mile after mile, I made myself believe that I could live longer than doctors had predicted. 

That I will be able to see my daughter’s wedding and the birth of my grandchildren.

I will be able to tell my husband “I love you” an infinite number of times.

And I will live. As long as I can.

I wanted to believe that so badly.

I wanted to live.

I remember the day when I went to see my doctor for the first time after I started running as clearly as if it happened yesterday.

I remember he said, “Kate, you’ll live. Longer than we thought and longer than we could ever imagine with your condition.”

I wanted to hear that sentence for so long I couldn’t believe he really said that. 

I thought I was imagining it. 

But I wasn’t.

I didn’t know that before I started, but people who run have a lower risk of dying from dementia.

It has something to do with the positive correlation between running and our mental health.

The day I finally accepted the truth, my power, was the day I changed my life. 

And how long I was left to live.

Let me help you believe that you can also change your life. 

Because you still have time.

And you still have yourself. 

You. Only you can make that first step to a more fulfilling life. 

But just let me help you find a direction from where you should start. 

Because when you find that direction, everything becomes so much easier.

I call this a 3-step plan to live:

  • First, accept that you have been lying to yourself
  • Second, accept that you have the power to change your life
  • Third, ask for help with a personalized fitness plan

I remember when I shared this plan with my friends.

They are ordinary women. They don’t work at fancy jobs, although they could. 

But they don’t feel powerful.

They tell themselves that they’re happy and don’t need anything more. 

But deep down, they know they’re lying to themselves.

I wanted to help them. I wanted to show them that life could be more than just good enough.

So I’ve told them my story. The one I just told you.

And I gave them my plan. The one I just gave you.

At first, they laughed. Maybe they felt a bit confused. But mostly, they felt uncomfortable. 

Deep down, they understood that if I could help myself being in this condition, they sure as well could help themselves.

But they were afraid to try because it’s scary to feel more and be more. We are not used to that.

But I begged them to try.

If not for themselves, then for me.

So, they did.

First, they asked me to share a realistic action plan. Not a philosophical one. 

I laughed and said, “take a quick 60-second Joggo app quiz (link to the quiz) and download an app.” It will tell you what to do. 

I knew that the most important thing in this journey was to start. But most of the time, you don’t know where to start. 

Joggo was and still is a wonderful push for me to do more. To run more. And to be more.

So, I told them to start with Joggo. 

They did. 

One call after another, I started hearing the voices of my excited friends. 

They sounded more happy, brave, and more powerful. 

They told me they were feeling more powerful because of the personalized running plan they were following and the feeling after they accomplished their scheduled run.

One friend, after working 20 years at the same company, finally asked for the salary she was supposed to be given years ago.

Another friend was finally brave enough to tell her husband that she didn’t feel loved and seen by him. 

This eventually helped them fix their relationship!

I listened to their stories and couldn’t feel more proud and happy.

You know, the craziest thing about mental health is that you don’t know how bad it was until it improves, and with hindsight, you truly realize how awful it was. 

Running gave them the power they thought they never had before.

And with that power, they finally felt strong.

I know I started this story with my horrible diagnosis. And how running helped me heel. Both mentally and physically.

But I know that all of us are and can be more.

And deep down, you know that too, don’t you?

Don’t be afraid to accept that. 

Because, believe me – once you stop being afraid and stop lying to yourself, you won’t want to go back to the dark place you’ve been before ever again.

And you won’t.

As long as you take time for yourself. 

As long as you believe in yourself.

And as long as you run.

I understand that sometimes it is easier to take a pill than to go outside for a run.

But running can be life-changing. 

All you need to do is to start.

I wanted to share this story, not to brag. I wanted to inspire you to take action. 

To take action toward your dream life. 

And I hope you already know the first step you need to take.

Start running.

But run wisely. 

Because running can be life-changing if you run correctly and according to your personal needs, health, and physical activity level.

Take a quick Joggo quiz, get your personalized running plan, and download the app.

And regain that power you always had. 

There’s a path waiting for you to run it.

Listen to its call.

And start your journey. 

Take a short 60-second quiz to get your personalized running plan

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