Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
"Fresh air & exercise". The kids & I roll our eyes & laugh. " Fresh air & exercise" has long been my husband's answer to all life's problem; Tired? Get some fresh air & blow away those cobwebs. Stressed? Get out in the fresh air & walk those worries away. Spots? Bags under your eyes? You need some fresh air & exercise! You get the idea... For a long time I resisted this advice but in 2015 following a diagnosis of anxiety & depression, following six weeks of scarcely leaving my bed let alone leaving the house, a recognition that life needed to change led to those first slow, tentative step into the Mayfield Valley. It's been two years of friends dragging me, taking me & now accompanying me on walks of varying lengths usually with a coffee at some point along the way.
An absolute highlight on any walk soon became a stop off at the Hidden Gem Café, the staff always warm & welcoming , often a hug from Helen or Glynis & a little catch up, fabulous food & a safe place, a haven when the rest of life was scary.
Two years down the line, I'm feeling much better, the café is still a favourite "safe place" where I know I'm amongst friends who will welcome me & care for me ...and cook the most amazing food.
Reluctantly, I have to admit fresh air & exercise really does help, studies indicate it's as good as low dose antidepressants... who knew, my husband, a doctor, was right all along??!
So at the beginning of 2017, in order to really embed this change of lifestyle I decided to do something a little bit bonkers, I entered "Race to the Stones" a 100km, ultra marathon, I enlisted the help of friends who would come on training walks with me & 3 were even daft enough to volunteer to do it with me.
"And are you doing it for charity?" Many people asked that question. No, I thought, I'm doing it for my mental health but then the more I thought about it, I realised I loved everything about Work Ltd - the staff, the students, the volunteers, the ethos... "Yes", I decided, " I'm going to raise money for Work Ltd" & I guess that's where you join the story...