Staying Sane With Exercise After Prison

When I was incarcerated I had moments when I was overwhelmed with anxiety, and despair. I went to prison when I was 19 years old. I was released 18 years later. Growing up in prison I had moments when I use to think my turmoil would never end.

Although I adapted to my situation and developed patterns and routines, I never, ever got comfortable with confinement. At times I was hopeless and depressed. I thought I would never get out.

I prayed a lot, participated in fasting, and I exercised a lot. I pushed my body to the max. Exercise served to be a healthy distraction from my mental distress. Exercise allowed me to release my negative energy and free myself momentarily.

I did extensive strength training and I ran constantly. I ran at least five miles, four times per week. I conditioned my body to take whatever punishment I dished out. I became driven and determined to build my strength and endurance.

My physical exercise regimen helped to improve my mental stamina. In prison I pushed myself daily to face life and keep growing and trying to become better.

Now that I am home I have yet to stop running. At times when I face challenges I will myself to remember that over time I can and will build my endurance. I can and will dig deeper. I can and will achieve all that I set out to accomplish.

At times I feel overwhelmed. I want to give up at moments, but I am determined. In the meantime, I plan to keep running. It’s cheaper than therapy.

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About Lashonia Etheridge-Bey

Lashonia Etheridge-Bey is a Public Speaker who can candidly and articulately speak to the consequences of youth violence, the effects of incarceration and the challenges of reentry into society. Read Lashonia's Full BIO Here 


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