Every Time I Wanted to Cry, I Took One Step at a Time

Nita Sweeney’s book, Depression Hates a Moving Target, has a Korean edition that contains just as much wisdom as the American version.


Book introduction

This is an essay that depicts the process of the author, who was unable to get off the couch due to depression and bipolar disorder, and grew up as a marathon runner from deep helplessness. The 26 chapters were quickly drawn across seriousness, honesty, and self-help humor, and ranked No.

It is a story that can be sympathized with not only runners whose hobby is running and readers struggling to overcome depression, but also those who seek personal growth and find a breakthrough in their lives. Runners with marathon experience can soothe the nostalgia for marathons that have been canceled one after another since Corona 19, and even those who are not familiar with marathons can read it as if they were running along the road with the author.

In the book

  • I imagined loading a black Labrador Maxine and an American Eskimo Dog Astro into the car, starting it up without opening the garage door, and reversing. To ‘sleep’ forever felt like a reasonable solution. Despite Ed’s love, I believed he would be better off without us.
    Before executing the suicide plan, the phone rang. With a psychologist… read more
  • I don’t know what the future holds, but I know what running is good for me now. In the future, I decided to seek advice only from doctors who knew the value of running. And I vowed to believe in myself. Morgan, with his tail raised, followed me well with little increase in speed. It felt like my heart would explode as its tail tapped my leg tenderly. We… read more
  • Even though my ankle was still sore, I felt satisfied. Running didn’t cure depression or food addiction. It didn’t even help me finish the book. It didn’t make me stop taking the drug or break up with the psychiatrist, but I felt a little more at peace. I slept until the sun rose mid-heaven every day, but only slept until noon on days when I wasn’t running. Neglecting to take a bath… read more
  • Running quickly became a tool to protect my mental health. With each run, anxiety, depression, and mania were relieved to some extent. Running helped me focus and calm, and gave me a sense of accomplishment and joy. It also made me feel rewarding to achieve small goals. Once I decided to run a few kilometers, I did it. Stop the fear and go outside. Some days it’s a running partner… read more
  • I heard this from people for a few days after the game. “You have had a life-changing experience!” In retrospect, crossing the finish line of a full marathon was more than the best experience. I have had similar experiences several times already. The day I passed the bar exam. The day that Ed proposed. our wedding day. The day I finished my first 5 km. They were all enchanting days. But in fact, such a… read more


  • Nita Sweeney’s vivid experiences capture the hearts of runners. It shows how training and community in running, writing, and meditation can change lives. Nita wrote a lively, fresh and heartbreakingly honest record of the ups and downs of her journey. Anyone looking for a breakthrough from the dark will be enchanted by her story.- Natalie Goldberg (Author of Go Down to the Bone) 
  • asked a runner. “Have you ever cried while running?” It reminded me of my past when I woke up from bed when darkness came and hid myself in bed when dawn came. The author’s marathon challenge is actually not a training method to lift the leg muscles, but a training method to lift the heart muscles. Running was also what comforted me whenever I wanted to cry. No matter how messed up the day was, when tears fell while running, I slept very well that day. Agree with the saying, “A competition is like a party that you enjoy while running,” and let’s enjoy the party by opening the invitation sent to you.- Ahn Jung-eun 
  • When you feel depressed and unable to stand up, I believe this book and a pair of running shoes will be a pretty cool prescription. 『I took one step every time I wanted to cry』 is a faithful record of one step at a time from a beginner runner to a marathon runner, and it is also a story of growth that lifts a person who was drowning in despair. Through her story, I hope that you will remember the shining moments of each of us who reached the solid power of consistency, the arduous pleasure of the process, and the heart that we can do it. Like I did the whole time I was reading this book.- Kim Sang-min 
  • Running is not about how far you go, it’s about how far you come. Nita had to overcome a lot of adversity before she got to the starting line. The finish line was a huge achievement for her. Running gave her insight into herself and the world around her and the strength to endure life.- Bart Yasso (Former Running Director of Runners World, who invented the ‘Yaso 800’ training method) 
  • Although the audience may be different (because finishing a marathon isn’t our goal for all), Nita’s story encourages us to recognize small achievements on the way to big goals. Nita ran nonstop when she grieved over the loss of loved ones. He continued to run despite his fears and daily annoyances. Overcoming health problems and memories of the past, he did not stop running. Her continuing journey gives us new lessons every day as we move toward our goals. I won’t stop either.- Susannah Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Magnolia Review 

About the author

Nita Sweeney (Author)

 She received a degree in journalism from Ohio University’s EW Scripps School of Journalism, a law degree from Ohio State University, and a master’s degree in creative writing from Goddard University. After 10 years of studying at the workshop of Natalie Goldberg, a writer who created a writing boom around the world, she eventually conducted ‘writing practice’ and meditation classes as an assistant teacher. He publishes articles, essays and poems in various periodicals and media.
Nita has been binge drinking since adolescence under the neglect of her parents. In his 20s, he suffered from eating disorders due to extreme dieting, and in his 30s, he worked as a lawyer and retired due to burnout, suffering depression, manic depression, panic disorder, and suicidal thoughts. At the age of 49, suffering from severe bipolar disorder, she takes her dog out on the road after seeing a running post on a friend’s social media. 『I took one step every time I wanted to cry』 is an essay that describes the process of growing up as a marathon runner from deep helplessness.
I run when I’m not writing or teaching. Participated in 3 full-course marathons, 28 half marathons, and more than 60 shorter races. Husband and avid fan Ed and his running partner, Yellow Labrador, live in central Ohio.

Depression Hates a Moving Target by Nita Sweeney

Depression Hates a Moving Target

How Running With My Dog Brought Me Back From the Brink (Running Depression and Anxiety Therapy, Bipolar)

It’s never too late to chase your dreams. Before she discovered running, Nita Sweeney was 49-years-old, chronically depressed, occasionally manic, and unable to jog for more than 60 seconds at a time. Using exercise, Nita discovered an inner strength she didn’t know she possessed, and with the help of her canine companion, she found herself on the way to completing her first marathon. In her memoir, Sweeney shares how she overcame emotional and physical challenges to finish the race and come back from the brink.

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