Tami Kamin Meyer from Pencilstorm- a local music blog- comments on the music video that features (author of Depression Hates a Moving Target) Nita Sweeney.
Any regular at Colin’s Coffeeshop has probably met Nita Sweeney. Before the pandemic, the Upper Arlington resident frequently held down the table furthest from the espresso machine, pounding away at her laptop keyboard writing a book or a blog post. In fact, her two books are prominently displayed at Colin’s.
If you haven’t seen Nita at Colin’s, perhaps you’ve caught a glimpse of her and her yellow Labrador retriever running through her UA neighborhood as she trained for one of the three marathons in which she has participated. She is currently training for a 50k ultramarathon she plans to complete this summer.
In her award-winning running and mental health memoir, Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running with My Dog Brought Me Back from the Brink, Nita candidly shares her mental health struggles. Running with her dog helps her manage her bipolar disorder and anxiety symptoms.
And now, not to be outdone by those flashy music videos on MTV, Nita has become a music video co-star!
As part of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, the self-proclaimed mental health advocate and her dog Scarlet were included – along with other mental health runners – in the recently-released music video of Montclair, New Jersey singer-songwriter Jason Didner’s original song, “Run with My Troubles.”
Music for mental health:
Running and music, two of Jason Didner’s passions, inspired “Run with My Troubles,” his latest musical endeavor. He hopes the song and video inspire people to take that hardest step – out the front door – for better mental and physical health.
Didner didn’t do it alone:
To demonstrate how running can make a positive impact on an athlete’s life, Jason solicited videos from people like Nita, who have interesting running/exercise stories. He received contributions that exceeded his wildest imagination.
For example, Barefoot Ted, a runner prominently featured in Christopher McDougall’s best-selling memoir, Born to Run, provided a stunning slow-motion video. Jason was so intrigued by Ted’s unique running style that he invited Ted to participate in the music video.
Nita submitted a genuinely endearing clip of herself running with Scarlet. Her clip demonstrates the powerful connection that can be created between an athlete and a canine when they participate in outdoor activities, such as exercise, together.
The video also serves as an excellent reminder that not all humans move on two legs. Wheelchair ultramarathoner Julia Beckley submitted a breathtaking scene of her training on a Montana highway with her mom riding horseback behind her.
Additionally, friends of Jason’s submitted running clips, showcasing diversity in race, gender, age and geography.
Didner’s own crisis prompted the song and mental health video:
“Two years ago I was at a crossroads,” Jason says. “My physical and mental health were under profound stress. Years of insomnia culminated in a likely anxiety attack that landed me in the emergency room in the middle of the night. I considered seeing a psychiatrist to explore the possibility of a prescription. But first, I was willing to see if exercise could bring the balance I was lacking. That experiment worked.”
“This song is a celebration of what I’ve learned.”
The music reflects Jason’s passion for rock, and, in particular, the indelible impressions made on him by the late & great guitarist, Eddie Van Halen. “I really wanted to honor Eddie’s memory with the guitar solo and worked hard for precision in the fast passages,” Jason says. Still, he also allowed himself to draw inspiration from the next generation of Van Halen’s. “Hearing Eddie’s son Wolfgang record every instrument plus vocals inspired me to learn drums so I could record every instrument on this latest round of songs,” he adds.
Jason’s wife Amy, a mental health blogger, co-wrote the lyrics and co-directed the video. Amy and Jason often exercise together, along with their 10-year-old daughter. Their shared routine includes walks, strength training cardio boxing and the use of a treadmill and exercise bikes side by side.
Jason will feature the song “Run With My Troubles” on his album, set for release this year. The album focuses on coping with mental health issues, including exercise, gratitude, recognizing hard-earned progress and self-compassion.
Jason released the single “Run with My Troubles” on Bandcamp. Listeners can stream the track for free or download it for $1. The song and video premiered on Sweeney’s website, as well. Click here for her website and social media links.
Tami Kamin Meyer is a Columbus-based attorney and freelance writer. She is the editor of Write Now Columbus and serves on the Board of Editors of the Columbus Bar Association. Her byline has appeared in Forbes, MarketWatch, Tech Today and LegalZoom. She tweets as @girlwithapen.
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.