Alisha Perkins: Outrunning anxiety

Running HomeLife in the minor leagues isn’t easy for anyone. But, when you compound that lifestyle with an anxiety disorder, it can literally be depressing.

Minnesota Author and Blogger Alisha Perkins, struggled through that life with her husband Glen for two years, always waiting to get moved to the next team, or the next town. “The minor league lifestyle is one that can be excruciating for someone suffering from anxiety,” the Lakeville, Minn. native said. “I am thankful every day that we are done with that chapter in our life.”

“On edge, stressed, spiraling, lost” were the words she used to describe her world at that time. Even as her husband reached the major league level and was given contractual stability, Alisha found herself still searching for an outlet to help ease the worry and fear that comes with anxiety. So she ran.

In February 2011, with her family in Fort Myers, Florida for spring training, she set out for a jog and it was there that she got her first taste of runner’s high. Her standard two mile jaunt became a five mile life-changing experience. It was a state of euphoria that she said made her “calm, happy, relaxed, peaceful.” With each stride, it became easier for Alisha to set goals, achieve them and ultimately enhance her own quality of life. She knew she had to share this with others.

In January of 2012, Alisha started blogging about her runs. “The plan is to write after I run … share how it went, what I am feeling and just share my runners high,” she wrote in her first post.

As Alisha progressed from shorter distances to full marathons—eventually organizing charity races of her own including Fifteen’s 5K—she was able to let go of the nagging sense that she is “competent but not complete,” even as the demands of training compete with those of family and baseball.

As her blog evolved, she began writing for other outlets as well. And she began to write about her experience with anxiety. Women’s Running declared her work their “new favorite running blog.” Before long, it took on a life of its own. “I wrote a blog post about coming clean about my anxiety and after I received such a positive response I realized that my story wasn’t over,” Alisha said. “So I started slowly writing more and more and before I knew it, I had a book on my hands.”

Her book, Running Home, is Alisha’s poignant mediation on the steps that hold us back, and those that push us forward. It’s her story of finding an outlet. Finding her voice. Finding herself.

You can follow her story at alishaperkins.com where you can also pre-order your very own copy of Running Home.

p.s. Don’t miss this RealStoriesMN exclusive Q&A with Alisha.

Alisha Perkins is a mother of two girls and wife to three-time All-Star Minnesota Twins Closer Glen Perkins. Her writing has appeared in Women’s Running, Huffington Post, Ultrarunning, Like the Wind, RedCurrent, Minneapolis Running, Most, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Girls with Sole, Twins magazine and others.

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