Rhett Smith Podcast 15: Exploring the Interplay of Depression, Hope and Trail Running — with Missions Pastor, Mental Health Advocate, and Trail Runner, Benji Zimmerman

RSP15About 5 weeks ago I was perusing through Instagram and I came across the feed of lvtrailrunner. I have been following lvtrailrunner (aka Benji Zimmerman) online for quite a while, and I have really been inspired by what he posts, especially his amazing trail running photos. But something different caught my eye this day…it was what he had to say on that post that really captured me.

 

 

Benji wrote:

“Some days life isn’t in color. For many of us anxiety, depression and many other mental health issues loom in the shadows of our lives, but some days those shadows overtake our colorful world. Today was one of those days for me. Days like today are hard to explain to those who don’t share the same struggle. If you are someone who struggles like I do with depression; stay the course, talk to your counselor, eat right, workout, take your medications if necessary but above all cling to hope. The color will return. The storm will pass.
Breathe in. Breathe out.”

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Such beautiful, and powerful, and vulnerable, and inspiring words. And though I had already planned on contacting him for my podcast, that was the catalyst to reach out to him immediately.

Benji has an inspiring story (and we only get a glimpse of it in the podcast) of both dark and light, intermingling to bring forth hope, faith and redemption out of his pain. His story is full of examples of this: survivor of suicide, recovering addict, father, husband, missions pastor and social media director, trailrunner, Christ follower..and those are just a few of the labels that I use to describe someone in which labels don’t fit or do he or his story justice.

In this episode we cover a lot of territory, but really focus on the intersection of running, mental health and faith. Those are three topics that I’m passionate about and I could have talked to Benji about them all day.

In this podcast I talk with Benji about:

  • his attempted suicide as a teenager.
  • his finding hope in missions/service.
  • his struggle with depression.
  • his journey into a runner (and from road to trail).
  • his faith formation in the “desert”.
  • what running on the trails, and without headphones has taught him about being present.
  • what he does to achieve balance.
  • how he takes care of himself.
  • inner noticing.
  • his struggle with addiction and depression and how diet, running/exercise and his faith helped transform that.
  • Etc.

Please listen and subscribe to my podcast in the following places, and then leave a comment letting me know what you liked about the show, or what guest you would like to hear from. Thank you so much for your support.

iTunes

Stitcher

Player FM

Libsyn

Resources/Links Discussed in the Show

Benji’s Instagram

Benji’s Twitter

Benji’s Website

Running and Being: The Total Experience by George Sheehan

Carlos Whitaker: What Does Your Depression Feel Like? Mine Feels Like This…

Sarah Stanley

The Crossing Church

People of the Second Chance (POTSC)

Freeway Curriculum (POTSC)

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