Episode 314: Sasha Wolff – Founder of Still I Run; Running for Mental Health
Sasha Wolff is the founder of Still I Run. Still I Run is a community where people can share their experience of dealing with depression/anxiety etc. through running or any other type of physical activity. We encourage one another to take time out of our busy lives to run for our mental health. Through various programs we offer, we hope to educate others about running for mental health, raise mental health awareness, provide encouragement to others, and help people experiencing hardship get started in their running journey.
Still I Run was founded by Sasha in 2016, however the idea for the group came to her a few years earlier. In 2011, she was hospitalized for anxiety and depression and one of the coping mechanisms she learned while getting help was the concept of creating healthy routines and habits. One day, shortly after discharge from the hospital, Sasha put on a very neglected pair of running shoes and decided to go for a short walk. That walk felt so great, that she kept doing it on a regular basis and eventually started to go faster and longer. She hasn’t stopped running for her mental health since.
Once she discovered the benefits of running for mental health, Sasha wanted to connect with others who do the same thing. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find a group anywhere.
Sasha is the mother of two, with one on the way, works full time and runs Still I Run in her spare time. She is so passionate about the mission of Still I Run and you’ll sense that in this conversation!
What we talked about:
4:15- What Sasha’s been up to lately
5:05- Sasha’s day job outside of Still I Run
6:20- The Still I Run community and how it got started
9:30- How she started running for her own mental health
15:45- Accepting a change of your own beliefs
18:35- Having postpartum depression with previous pregnancies and preparing for postpartum depression during her current pregnancy
19:50- A message to another mom that is experiencing postpartum depression
22:50- Ways to take irrational thoughts and turn them to rational thoughts
27:30- Getting the courage to check herself into treatment for mental health
29:50- Meeting her husband and how he has become a mental health advocate
30:40- How depression runs in her family and how that played a role in deciding whether to have biological children
35:15- The varying ways that depression and anxiety can present itself in everyone
35:50- What Sasha does when she is feeling depressed
36:50- What she thinks about alcohol and the role that it plays with mental health
40:10- The scholarship program that they put on through Still I Run to help limit barriers of entry to running
43:45- Continuing to provide support for people that have graduated out of the Still I Run scholarship program
44:50- Message to people that feel like they need a small break from running
46:15- The mental health run streak for mental health awareness month in May
47:30- The vision for Still I Run
48:10- Where the name Still I Run came from
52:25- End of podcast questions