Health Through Movement: How Nia Changed My Life

By Jennifer Hicks

After 34 years living in my body, I became an expert. That is, an expert in myself. And I discovered, after all that time, that I am not ordinary.

I have Bipolar Disorder. But that’s not what makes me different. I am unique because of how I have learned to manage my Bipolar Disorder. Yes, I need medication and psychotherapy, but there’s more to my wellness plan. I use Nia – a fitness practice which not only offers me physical fitness, but also a lifestyle, and now a profession.

Looking at me, you’d never know I have a mental health issue. Spend a little bit of time with me and you still likely wouldn’t guess. Ask my family or friends about its impact on my life, and they probably wouldn’t be able to pinpoint anything “abnormal”. In fact, people would actually describe me as engaged, ambitious and driven. Looking at me from the outside, this mental illness thing appears to be rather invisible in my life.

Still, appearances, as they say, are deceiving. I do swing between abnormally elevated and depressed moods.

It’s difficult for folks to appreciate the considerable amount of energy I use every single day to level out my moods. [...] continue the story