I am from Bosnia and was still living there during the war (1992 - 1996). I lost my mother and got injured by the shrapnel. My uncle, who was a runner, lost one of his legs by stepping on the mine which crushed his spirit forever because he wasn't able to run anymore. After the war ended, I started running regularly. It helped me so much mentally. When I moved to the US I started running short distance races, then half marathons, then marathons.
After my daughter was born in 2017, I was diagnosed with post partum depressions which turned into Panic Disorder, Major Depression and PTSD. I was in a very dark place and there was no end in sight. Yet - I continued running at least 4 days/week. I remember my anxiety being so high that I was shaking and vomiting but would still make myself go for a 3-4 mile run because I knew it would help me. Eventually, after numerous treatments ,I got better, still not 100% myself, but much better. For 3 years there was nothing in my life that I was really looking forward to. Until one day I woke up and decided to sign up for a 50K trail race. Out of the blue! It was the Sky to Summit last year's race. That motivated me like nothing before and I started looking forward to my long runs on trails and was very excited about the race itself. After finishing the Sky to Summit, I signed up for the Shadows of the South 50 mile race. I was hooked! 2 more races in the books for the end of the year and then GDR next year! I am terrified about that one but very excited as well!
So the point of this long (sorry) story is that ultra running is a huge part of my life now. I love the community and the whole experience of running the race - suffering and all! I would love for more people to get into trail running and ultras and enjoy the experience because there is nothing like it. I am trying to convince some of my friends and family members to give this sport a try and I believe I am making some progress, slowly but surely :)
Continue to run ultras and hopefully one day run a 100 miler. :)