Watching Sports Always Helped In My Darkest Moments

I’m 51, newly separated father of 2 (8 & 5) and have struggled with depression my entire adult life. 

For the most part I’ve always been gainfully employed and functional. I’m that “quiet one” you wouldn’t suspect was depressed until you got to talk to me and get to know me. 

My childhood was standard I guess. Grew up in suburban Canada (Montreal) the youngest of 5 to good Roman Catholic traditional parents. Nothing out of the ordinary. 

I’ve often felt left out, maybe because I’m the youngest in the family, maybe due to my mother’s well meaning but very controlling manner, perhaps I’m just shy. 

When it came to sports I wasn’t all that athletic. Sure I skated, played hockey, baseball in the summer, put a stick or racket in my hands or a ball at my feet I could play, but recreationally, I wasn’t competitive in talent or in behaviour. 

Well except when it came to watching, remembering who did what and when. Even how that could impact future performances. 

I know where I was when Mario Lemieux scored that goal in 1987. Ok, everyone in Canada knows that. I know where I was when Zidane headbutted Materazzi and I’m not a soccer guy. 

Anyway, watching sports always helped in my darkest moments. It was also great when I was feeling good too by the way. 

Fast forward to 2005, I’m living in Vancouver BC, took up running for fitness initially, but boy did I get into it. 

2006 I complete the Vancouver International marathon (in 4Hours 28min). 

Quite the accomplishment, right? Of course. But now what? I reached my goal, where do I go from here? Ultra races (50Km, 100Miles, even longer) existed and I was aware of them, but even I, an avid runner, thought those were simply ridiculous. When one thinks of distance running, we think of a marathon with its origins dating back to Ancient Greece. And I’d done one. Now what? 

Fast forward (again), to 2020. I now reside Sydney Australia, am married, father of 2 and haven’t been active in 10+ years. COVID hits and everyone’s life is thrown for a loop. 

I’ll add that COVID didn’t affect my family as much as others, but it did affect us. 

Separation had been a likely outcome for some time (pre-COVID), when it happened though, guess what I ran (pun intended) back to. 

That’s right running, I joined a gym and am on the treadmill daily. 

Looking to avoid the “what now” mistake I made 15 years ago, my goal now is a daily run. 

This August I’ll be running 300Km (10Km every day) and raising funds for Dementia research. 

Sports, both as a participant (running) and fan (hockey mostly) make me feel better. I may still be the odd guy out (I’m not winning any races, while  watching a game and knowing stats may be impressive, it’s limited in what it gets you), but now I’m the happier odd guy out.  

By: Greg  Savoie