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Andreas Erhardt

Andreas' Marathon Page

I am training to run the London Marathon in 2017 for Mind - The Mental Health Charity because it is estimated 1 in 4 suffer ill mental health

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  • Event: Virgin London Marathon 2017, 23 Apr 2017

Mind - The Mental Health Charity

We’re Mind, the mental health charity. We believe no one should have to face a mental health problem alone. We’re here for you. Today. Now. Whether you’re stressed, depressed or in crisis. We’ll listen, give support and advice, and fight your corner.

Story

Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page: I appreciate it, knowing full well how many good causes are vying for your generosity and money. This will be a tale of: "Me too"!

I am 56 and work as a GP in the County Borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, in South Wales. One in four people in the UK suffer a mental health problem at some point in their lives that will affect their daily life, relationships or physical health. Mental health problems are the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK. 

As a GP I see patients with ill mental health every day, young and old. In my own family too,  people have suffered ill mental health and required specialist help and support. Mental Health Services are not given the resources needed, despite the fact that mental illness has a significant bearing on physical health (and vice versa, of course). Mental health services are suffering due to budget constraints and cuts, across Wales and the UK. This is especially problematic and short sighted in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. As a result those working in mental health care, including allied and support staff, are all feeling the strain too ... But you don't need me to tell you all this; one 1 in 4 of you already know. 

Back in the spring I came across this statement (abridged by me) issued by The Dutchess and Duke of Cambridge and Prince Henry:"Through our work with young people, emergency response, homeless charities, and with veterans, we have seen time and time again that unresolved mental health problems lie at the heart of some of our greatest social challenges ... fear of prejudice and judgement stops people from getting help and can destroy families and end lives ... Being the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year is the perfect springboard for the "Heads Together" campaign. We cannot wait to see hundreds of runners hitting the streets of London next April to end the stigma and change the conversation on mental health once and for all".

The statement did strike a chord and reminded me of my "bucket list" of things to do, which includes running a marathon, among many more items, I hasten to add! The idea of "one day" running a marathon, goes actually back many years, when I was a taxi driver in my then hometown in Germany and in between fares, lapped up (pun intended) James F. Fixx's: " The complete book of running".  I cannot remember now if I had had a particular "trigger" day at the surgery, but I contacted  "Heads together" and found that "Mind" was one of the partners in their campaign and as "Mind Cymru" are active and campaigning to improve the mental health of everyone in Wales. Their aim is that "everyone with a mental health problem should be able to access excellent care and services"... and "should be treated fairly, positively and with respect". They..." campaign on a range of issues that could affect anybody with a mental health problem. This includes health services; legislation; protection of legal rights, and employment"... A look at their website will give a good idea of the scope and scale of their work. So there we are... almost!

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men, who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given, than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” This is one of my favourite quotes; its attributed to the great sporting hero Muhammad Ali. 

I am going to make it my "mantra" for the next 136 days. It is fair to say that  over the past couple of weeks, I followed closely the "Marathon Training Manual for Beginners" which states : “… the most important component of any training program is rest; so that the body is able to adapt to training. Inadequate rest can result in excessive fatigue, loss of motivation, and at worst, injury”. I also practised  "visualisation", a technique supposedly similar to physical practice. "Through visualisation or mental training, the athlete can become skilled to actually perform the task imagined". I have practiced, and become sufficiently "skilled" in, these techniques; but now its time to "hit the road, Jack". 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, says Lao Tzu: Well, I will only have to manage 26.2 miles or just over 50000 steps... but still. 

So, please help me to raise funds for MIND. Each and every penny raised will go via JustGiving to MIND, not one single penny will be used to enable or sustain my training effort as far as nutrition, equipment, travel or accommodation goes. I will cover those costs in exchange for the privilege to be at the start line on April 23, 2017.

you can also now follow my progress and updates on this webpage or on Facebook.

Diolch Yn Fawr, Thank you very much, Vielen Dank, Muchas gracias!

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

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