Welcome to Strong Body, Stronger Mind! My goal for this project is to produce a human-interest podcast that interviews everyday people about their development of a fitness or health practice as a means to cope with emotional and mental health challenges. The crux of the show will be a focus on the ways in which pursuits of a range of physical activities have helped my guests build mental strength and resilience to better cope with the mental health challenges they face. It’s been my experience that through developing a fit body, one is able to develop a fitter mind, capable of handling emotional and mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, trauma, bipolar disorder, autism, grief or loss, and so on. This concept is personally meaningful to me and one that I’ve relied upon heavily over the years to help mitigate and, in some cases, overcome my own mental demons, including generalized anxiety disorder, chronic clinical depression, trauma, PTSD, and autism.
I also want to address the psychological impact of chronic physical illness and pain, as I suffer from a myriad of health conditions, whose chronic, relentless and widespread pain and life- and activity-limiting symptoms have a nearly inevitable tendency to impact my mood, emotional wellbeing, and happiness. While I plan to share some of my own personal struggles and use of fitness as a coping mechanism in these conversations, my own story will mostly remain confined to my blog, processingproblems.com. Instead, here, I will highlight the stories of others in the world around me, mostly through interviews. In doing so, as a highly introverted person on the autism spectrum, I’ll be addressing one of my own fears and discomforts: conversing with people through spoken voice, rather than through writing. I look forward to engaging with other people and learning what drives them and enables them to withstand their mental battles. I want to learn and honor the stories of everyday people in their struggles and hopefully create a community and resource for individuals with similar and different challenges to come together or learn from one another and find support, inspiration, and strength to keep fighting the good fight.
I welcome questions, comments, ideas, and suggestions for content to address and people to interview. I want this to be as much my venture as your community. Let’s build a supportive, informative, and welcoming place. Life can be hard and some problems can feel overwhelmingly defeating, yet humans are inspiringly resilient when we harness our strengths and remain determined to succeed. It’s easy to feel alone in your troubles and separated by great distances from what you “should” be feeling or doing. While it’s admirable to put on a brave face and pretend that everything is fine, there is tremendous healing and growth that can come from living authentically and admitting and addressing your struggles. In doing so, you may become a beacon of support, camaraderie, and inspiration for someone silently fighting the same fight. With that idea in mind, I hope that over time, Strong Body, Stronger Mind grows into the helpful and positive outlet I envision it to be.