I Got a Place in One of the Biggest Marathons — London marathon
At 4 am this morning while visiting the bathroom and beginning to ponder those thoughts as you do with a sleepy ass brain that is somewhere between why the hell am I up, and oh, great, I’ll never get back to sleep now, I suddenly remembered I have a place in the London marathon for 2020. And as that thought sank in, it made me ask myself, why the hell am I doing this?
I mean, can I really run 26.2 miles in one go? I don’t even think I can walk that far, let alone run it. That was the thought that went over and over in my head, and of course, the more it did, the more my stomach churned with nervousness, and my brain got into the frenzy of why am I doing this to myself.
I still don’t know the answer to that.
Do a little of what makes you afraid.
Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, do one thing every day that scares you. Well, I think this is scary enough to count as a few days. I have only ever run one competitive race before, and that was fine. I like to run as a hobby, just to keep myself fit kind of thing, but never pushed myself any great distance. I am sure I could if I wanted to, but mostly I do 5k on the treadmill, and I am done.
A marathon is little over 42km. Ouch.
It’s for A Good Cause.
I am running for a mental health charity in the UK. Mental health and mental illness awareness are very important to me.
I was first introduced to the concept of mental illness when I was a small child, and my mother suffered postnatal depression. It pretty much cost her life and wellbeing in the years to come. Because of her illness, she lost my older brother to the care system. She was only 18 at the time, and what a scary prospect that was.
From there, it set her off into a lifelong battle with mental illness. She became anxious to go outside, and this eventually developed into agoraphobia. If you don’t know what that is, basically a fear of large open spaces, for my mum, this meant she was afraid to leave the house.
Back in the late 70s and early 80s, mental illness wasn’t really recognised, and postnatal depression? Nothing more than a mother feeling sad. These two events eventually led my mother into a deep depression, which she never recovered from.
But it isn’t just her mental health that suffered; as a result, the children she did have at home lost part of their childhood’s. Mental illness is devastating to all it touches, not just the person suffering it, but the family and children it affects as a consequence.
I have my own step-daughter who suffers from depression. It is so terrible to watch someone go through and know there is not really anything you can do to help them.
Mental illness does not discriminate. It doesn’t care if you are black, white, rich, poor, gay., straight. It doesn’t care if you own a big house or a fancy car. It can strike anyone at any time it pleases, and so many times with devastating consequences.
How many people could we save if mental illness had intervention before it got out of hand? How many lives could be helped if there were proper facilities and awareness for them?
The mental health charity I am running for is a non-profit charity, who rely solely on donations to keep going. They have been working for over 70 years to bring good mental health to all, with prevention and interception at the heart of it all.
They seek to give people better access to treatment, to help notice mental illness in the early stages, to fund research as to why mental illness occurs and how we can improve it.
Just think how many lives could be saved or improved with early intervention and the correct support systems.
We all know someone with a mental illness. I am running for them.
I’ll be documenting my journey as I go. You can follow me.
I can’t link directly to my donation page, but if you go to my website, it is one of the top tabs.