Savage Race Chicago


Colossus at Savage Race Chicago and My Mental Health Journey

1 August, 2017

Savage Race ChicagoThe hardest thing I’ve ever done was admitting I wasn’t okay and the emotional pain I was feeling wasn’t normal. It was calling a psychiatrist and asking for help. It was showing up to my first appointment, taking my medications and continuing to take my medications when the side effects felt like too much to bear.

It was being strong when I was tired at hell.

It was reaching out to people I trusted and being honest with them about how I felt on any given day. It was crying my eyes out, opening myself up and letting them see the rawest, most stripped down version of me.

It was fighting for my treatment when I didn’t feel like I had anything left to give. It was calling my psychiatrist when I was feeling suicidal after my medication dose was increased – even though I didn’t care what happened to me at that point.

It was fighting through the absolute darkest moments without a view of the light. It was never ever giving up.


On Saturday, July 29, 2017, I completed my fourth Savage Race in two years, and I earned my 2017 syndicate medal. Despite this being my fourth race, I’ve always avoided attempting one obstacle in particular: Colossus.

But that day, I decided to give it a try. As I was running up to the obstacle, I couldn’t help but think, “What the hell am I doing right now?”

I ran, grabbed the rope and started walking up the halfpipe-shaped wall. And then that dreaded moment came: The point in the obstacle where you have to go straight up. The point where most people fail.

As I was up there struggling to pull up my body, I wanted to give up. I kept saying, “I can’t do this. I can’t.” I mean, I tried the obstacle. Who cared if I actually completed it?

But there were people in front of me pulling me up the wall and someone behind me pushing me forward. They supported me. Encouraged me. They told me the only place I could go was up, and they wouldn’t let me fall.

So even though I thought I had nothing left to give, do you know what happened?

I made it to the top.

IMG_9750 2Standing at the top of Colossus was one of the most surreal moments of my life – and also one of my proudest. As I looked down, I almost started to cry because it felt like a pretty good representation of what I’ve gone through during the last seven weeks.

When I realized I was experiencing another depression relapse, I had the best intentions. I was going to get help. But my journey hasn’t been linear, and it certainly hasn’t been easy. I’ve struggled a lot, and I’ve wanted to give up – a lot.

But despite these obstacles, I keep going. And thanks to the support of so many people, I’m making it through, and I will come out stronger. I’m continuing to fight this battle – even when I don’t think I can.

I can’t say every day will be easy for me moving forward. With my new diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder, I have many challenges ahead. There will be days when I struggle. Days when I fail. Days when I’m ready to give up.

But I need to remember the day I conquered Colossus at Savage Race Chicago. Because it’s a reminder that no matter how hard the climb may seem, it’s not impossible. And there will always be people there ready to help you get through it.


Brooklyn Bockisch

When others are silent, I am loud. I'm a passionate advocate for mental health, and I believe sharing my story is the best way to break the stigma surrounding mental illness so people can get the help they deserve. My strengths are my dogs – Hendrix, Khaleesi and Benny – and my hope is tomorrow can be different.


Like what you see? Subscribe to our blog!

Leave a comment