FIERCE MIND – a double LEJOG to set a World Record in support of all those fighting their own mind battles and basically another way of saying “in yer face, stigma!”

IMG_20160527_162526_edit_1_1Between April 2nd and July 5th I succeeded in completing a run covering the length of Britain, twice. With 17 days enforced ‘rest’ at varied times in between, mileage ranged from 7 to 45, some days climbing more than Ben Nevis, over half of Everest, other days gambolling the winding flats of the canal routes, sprinting through thunder storms or outrunning midgies. This run was, in one sense, a pilgrimage. I have lost my way over the past few years culminating in a lot of despair and a diagnosis I could have done without, and I was at risk of retreating into the shell of a crushed soul. Some part of me is clinging to life with so much gusto and courage, that I have to give it a chance to see what it can do. This is that chance. Doing something that has never been done before, something that is beyond my imagination, and something that can benefit others dramatically, while hopefully helping me to find my sense of self once more.

IMG_20160629_182815_editAlongside my personal reasons, I decided to raise funds for Bipolar UK, Mind, SAMH, Young Minds and Place2Be during the process. This is fundamentally because peer support has been the greatest benefit for me and my family; whilst my doctors talk medicine, medicine does not cure anguish, only empathy, understanding, discussion, psychotherapy and self-belief can help with that. This is where Bipolar UK and other mental health charities come in. I feel connected to a tribe, and I am ready to fight for that tribe. Fight stigma. Fight government bias. Fight the secrecy. I am doing this challenge for all those who cannot fight for themselves. Running with a fierce mind.

The run is now complete, and it’s now the final stage of evidence gathering for the Guinness World Record submission, and aside from that I am still fundraising for the five charities. Every person who came out to support me on the route have been affected personally or by proxy with mental illnesses and had a story to tell. In my opinion, there is no ‘one in four’, there is only ‘four in four’.

Lands End_1Every Single Person is affected, because we all have a mental health that needs support – from emotional wellbeing and stress to diagnoses that require hospitalisation. Without a mind, there is no body. We don’t need to leave it to celebrities, politicians and Royals to charter our mental health direction, it is down to the people. And in supporting our mental health charities, who take the brunt of an NHS which is underfunded, we are more able to steer our own course for research, support, and smothering stigma. Making waves. Not just little hello waves, but big Mexican Waves.

I went for a run to do my bit because I couldn’t really think of what else I could do.

Please take a look at the website

If you would like to read more with links to the donation site and to see a few snaps.

Yvie was our June Community Member of the Month which you can read about HERE

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