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.”

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 3.06.54 PM

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.



Player FM


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)

1 Comment

  1. by Daudi Msimbe on July 22, 2015  1:50 am Reply

    Greetings in the Powerful name of Jesus Christ ,

    It is my hope your well and you continue better with God's work.
    Also we are together spiritually and freshly. We continue better with God's

    I 'm pastor Daudi Thomas Msimbe and my wife Georgina we are
    Founders & Directors of a church of Great Vision Pentecostal and
    Ministry of People Shipping Centre (by leadership of the holly
    spirit) since 2003 we started this work of God and now we have
    Twelve years in the ministry , but now is already registered by
    country laws.
    Our registration number is so. 14120. Also we have no permanent place
    for worshiping God. We have some place we pay for every month.

    The purpose of this letter to you servant of God is to need
    friendship (please read the book of Malachi 2:7) So that to be
    have benefit together in the body of Christ and God's work continue
    forward means all we are unity in body of Christ(1 Corinthians
    12:7,12-27) I and My church and I we need Contacts So that we need
    saving God with you together. Thank you for your cooperation between
    you and our ministry.

    We expect you to give us your program and ways how to to do the
    work of God, And if possible to send kinds of spiritually books and
    tracts for evangelism.So that the work of God can continue well and
    growth because I know our country is peacefully.

    Greet all believers in the name of the Lord (1 Thess 5:26)

    first of all we need your prayers.

    You are most welcome to Arusha Tanzania in East Africa

    Have a blessed day

    Senior Pastor Daudi Thomas Msimbe

    Founder & Director


    P.O Box 13437

    East Africa

    Tel:+255 754 22 84 77
    +255 755 56 54 73
    +255 787 14 78 33

    Attached herewith please find the following;

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.