Running, Mental Illness, and the Downtown Hospital

I ran twice yesterday.  That’s not a brag, just what happened.  I am filled with gratitude every morning when I wake up because I know the other possibility is right around the corner for someone like me.  If I somehow forget that, Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington songs are always there to remind me.


I brought it up because it leads us to a discussion of mental illness, health, the downtown hospital, and tourism.  The NoHospital crowd, especially Rep. Tenney confidante Mark Wolber, don’t think they go together and quite frankly do not want me to talk about it.


My first run is the generic 5 miler to start the day.  I have this desire not to look 50.  Unfortunately, when I first got diagnosed as Bi-Polar 1, I got put on anti-psychotics which caused me to gain roughly 50 pounds.  For almost 5 years, since my meds changed to PRN, I have been trying to get that weight off.  Most people who stop taking their psych meds do so because of the nasty side effects or because the miss the highs that do not happen any longer.


As I get closer to the shape I used to be in, that brings up a point about tourism.  Tourists like to visit places where people are leading in healthy ways.  We already have all the little Bodegas and Halal shops to complement our other grocery choices leading to healthier diets.


Now, by hiking and running and canoeing and working out and skating and snowshoeing and skiing and hunting, yes I said hunting, we can show off how healthy we want to be to the rest of the planet.  The Downtown Hospital location follows into this line of thinking.  Our current hospitals lead in unnecessary infections and deaths and the inability to use modern techniques.  We put great people in old building and ask them to perform like they are using state of the art equipment when in truth the buildings fail them.


Tourists love all that making the hospital easier to afford and causing a reduction on local tax levies due to higher sales tax income.  To hear people argue that the downtown can sustain the same level of sales tax revenue as we wait for the magic investors to show up, how many new businesses located down there in the 3 years before the hospital announced?, as the bright shiny new hospital will bring in is laughable.


My second run of the day was about my mental health.  I had done a good deal of writing yesterday, including the new video script, and my head was clogged.  Between the creativity abilities, the high IQ, the Bi-Polar disease, the mania that comes with it, and the semi-eidetic memory, it’s noisy in here all the time.


The best way to relieve it is to run.  Running is about my mental health as much as my physical health if not more.  Sometimes when the Bi-Polar disease is really strong, it is a way to let the mania flow out before I do anything stupid.  By the end of yesterday, I could not sort through all the stuff.


I got in another 4 miles.  Big difference between Utica in Newport.  In Utica, people cheer you on and suggest you run the Boilermaker.  In Newport, people ask you what your time looks like so they can go home later and beat it.


Just because I get the question all the time, the Boilermaker is a race.  I do not run in it because my sick twisted mind would treat it like a race.  Before you knew it, I would be back in the timeshare business looking for extra cash so I could fly to Kenya and train.


While the rest of me is a work and progress, my legs and lungs are still at “game level” shape.  I am also grateful since I know most people who have turned 50 don’t get to choose to run 9 miles in a day.  I am sure there are millions of us but we are in the minority.


The Downtown Location, since the St. Luke’s location does not exist, will make it easier for those of us who suffer mental illness or from addiction, to get the access to the beginning of treatment.  That by itself is an improvement over what we have now.


I have a 5 miler scheduled for Wednesday morning.  I doubt there will be a run Wednesday night due to a scheduling conflict.  However, when I am on that run little parts of me improve.  If we build the hospital in the downtown, large parts of all of us will improve.  Do you really want to do what the Trump and Tenney supporters suggest leading us to being trapped in a stagnated past everyone would rather forget??  You can show that they’re wrong by getting in a little exercise today.


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