Those who follow me on Instagram will have seen a series of black and white images over the past couple of months.
Mental Health is a subject close to my heart and at the forefront of my mind. As the series of posts explains, my childhood wasn’t the happiest of places and in my late teenage years I came to question all that had happened. More over, I used my experiences to learn about myself and the area which gave me the greatest feedback was sport.
I’ve suffered and continue to live with depression, anxiety and have gone through a period of PTSD.
I’ve always played sports, but endurance disciplines allow me to switch off from the chaos and be myself. Life lessons taught me that you can push further and deeper then appears possible at face value, that the mind can overcome and adapt any challenge put before it, that there is a community of like minded folk willing to aid you at every corner.
It is often said those drawn to the trails and particularly ultras have something in their past and psyche, that may be from pain, torment, a dark place or an area that they struggle to some degree to explain.
For those that do, they aren’t running away from the issue, moreover, they are tackling it head on, finding a community to support them and a way of giving their minds the time it needs to unconsciously repair and discover.
Thankfully, mental health is an area of people’s lives which is loosing it’s associated taboo, however gradual, allowing many to engage in conversation for the first time and to realise they aren’t alone.
Outside of receiving counselling, I’ve sat on Home Office Advisory Boards, spoken to MPs, given anonymous news interviews on national television and radio and volunteered for a charity. I’m not alone in my actions and have met incredible people doing similar things.
If you’d like to find out more about my story and the lessons I learnt through endurance sports, particularly trail running, keep an eye out for the black and white posts on my Instagram page (you’ll have to scroll through pst posts) and if you’d like to talk, DM me, comment on the posts or email firstname.lastname@example.org.