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Coach Ed

I was always a kid that played sports. You name it; I played it (or at least tried to!) I was never the worst on a team, but I was also never the best. I played for fun, and to be with friends, until Ed became my only teammate/coach, and not one that would win the sportsmanship award by a long shot!

I went from playing sports that involved a team of people, and the ability to work together, to taking on one of the most individual sports…cross country. I ditched the team and the social aspects of sports to spend hours a day running with the only voice in my head…Ed (my eating disorder).

I thought Ed was a good coach in the beginning, he got my times down, made sure I trained, pushed me, but at the same time I started relying on my “coach” even more than ever. My mind would unconsciously seek his approval/guidance on:

– What do I eat?
– How many miles was that run?
– Did I burn off lunch yet at practice or should I do more?
– How much do I weigh now that I did that workout?
– Should I get up and run in the morning too?

Ed’s answers were not that of a coach but that of a destructive “ friend ” leading me into misery and depression. Ed wanted me to spend all my time with him either running or focusing on weight and food. And just because Ed couldn’t find another friend I too had lost interest in social interaction and decided not to leave him either (subconsciously).

Running became my only hobby, the way people knew me, my “ passion ”, my talent and my life. It took over to the point where some days I hated it more than ever, but Ed convinced me that running was the only thing I had to do in a day to consider myself productive.

I hated racing and the anxiety it brought me. I hated the pressure and having to perform. I was doing enough for Ed already, why did I have to run faster and harder? He had already gotten me down to my lowest weight, and as he likes to boast, also my fastest time, but my fastest time meant nothing when at most races I would collapse and faint and my legs would go numb.

Great job Ed, you got me my fastest time, but you know what else you did, made me sick, made me tired and made me feel helpless. You finally made me HATE you!

Luckily I got to the point where I couldn’t deal with Ed anymore. I didn’t like being forced to run everyday and dreading it so much I would cry. I didn’t like how he had taken over and made me a different person. I thought of all the things I used to be, fun, lively, outgoing, and Ed stripped me of those.

Perry Ryan

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