Our Head of Operations, John Anderton, will be running 25 miles on Thursday 19 September to mark our 25th anniversary. He’s been training for months, leaving the comfort of his couch behind and slowly building up his strength. With D-day just around the corner, John reflects on what this challenge has taught him and what he’s hoping to achieve:
“So my 25-mile run is coming up. This whole experience has really built up my confidence and reminded what I, or anyone else, can achieve.
I started with a mile run/walk a couple of times a week and added to it as the months went on. I guess the journey to improving your wellbeing – and for some of us, the journey to recovery – is a little like my run: a journey of small steps.
I have lost a bit of weight and my mood has certainly improved, maybe not at the 20-mile mark but in general if nothing else!
I started to worry about how long it will take me to complete the run and what people might think if I was very slow, but actually it’s not a road marathon. I’m going to try and run over the South Downs link, so it isn’t so much about the time, but it is perhaps more about the numbers.
One thing that did strike me while running, was that from starting this challenge to when I am completing it, approximately 3857 human beings will have lost their lives to suicide in the UK, so around 19 people a day since I started.
How many of them would not speak about their mental health and wellbeing due to stigma, and how they thought people, their employers, and the wider society might view them.
I went on Surrey Hills Community Radio last week with my CEO Patrick Wolter and colleague John O’Malley and spoke about Mary Frances Trust, mental health, emotional wellbeing and my fundraising challenge, so if this process has got people talking about what they’re going through, then it will have been worth it for that alone.
I hoped to bring into light the importance of opening up and how physical activity can improve your emotional wellbeing. I know that many years ago without opening up to someone and getting myself healthier, another person might be writing this.
So my message to the world is: get out of the house, exercise a little, take small steps and most of all, speak to someone if you need to.
I hope someone listens.
Oh and please help me smash my fundraising target!”
You can sponsor John on his fundraising page. All the money raised will go towards offering more wellbeing activities to more adults in Surrey. Many thanks for your support!
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