David Jackson

Nasal Breathing Ring O Fire -135 miles around Anglesey in 3 days

Fundraising for Petals
raised of £1,000 target
by 74 supporters
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Petals Ring of Fire Challenge
Campaign by Petals (RCN 1150375)
Take on the Ring of Fire Challenge for Petals - The Baby Loss Counselling Charity


Watch trailer here - https://youtu.be/m7QNJBTfxXg

Back in 2013 I sustained a brain injury, suffered a seizure on rugby training pitch and the resulting bleed on the brain forced my retirement from professional rugby.

It was a difficult time, a time of change and a time I felt disconnected from life, myself and those around me. I couldn't run for nearly a year without triggering my symptoms.

One of the things that happens during brain injuries is that your breathing gets affected due to the respiratory centre being damaged at the bottom of the brain stem. Through the process of re-training and learning how to restore healthy breathing patterns I fell in love with running again.

Running became an experience, not exercise, and a chance to hear and 'play with my breathing. Helping my re-connect with myself.

In training for the 135 mile ultra marathon on 2nd to 4th September 2022, around the beautiful Island of Anglesey in north Wales (where my father is from) on the breath-taking costal path I've connected deeper with myself. Sadly my father took his last breath on 10th April this year, which has made me personally ask deeper questions of myself and highlighted the importance of our breath and how delicate our precious lives are.

In training for the Ring O Fire, I've connected more deeply through each running experience as I prepare for the challenge (which scares me as I only ran my first marathon in October 2021). Focusing purely on the efficiency of nasal breathing, as per my teaching with the Oxygen Advantage, with each step I've been asking more questions, things like;

  • What happens between breaths
  • What do I want to experience before my last breath
  • Normal is no longer natural

The 'normal' comment is related to all aspects of life but specifically for this run highlighting that mouth breathing is not 'normal' but most do it when running. In a recent study in Journal of Strength and Conditioning 91% of the athletic population were identified as dysfunctional breathers. Breathing poorly is now normal.

The footwear people run in is not normal for our feet. For the lifespan of human's it's far from normal to be wearing shoes, that is obvious. But the shape of the 'normal' trainer doesn't match the natural shape of your foot. Rather than being completely barefoot which is often unpractical because of the terrain we are running on I'll be using Vivobarefoot shoes, which give your feet the space to behave naturally and connection to the ground beneath you with a minimum sole (but still protecting you from the terrain).

Running is circular and never ending, even though the experience of the Ring O Fire ends on day 3 after 135 miles around the beautiful Anglesey costal path, life will still be ‘running’ and the invitation to connect with ourselves more deeply will still be there but hopefully with a stronger pull or less friction from ourselves to take that next step deeper.

I hope it sparks a conversion with you and your friends, loved ones and most importantly a conversion with yourself. When do you feel deeply connected with yourself and the Earth, this life. My hope is that my challenge will act as an invitation to find your own connection experience.

Where will your next step and breath take you? ‘What's between your breaths?

Your life, are you experiencing or existing?

Understand more about the charity Petals, the baby loss counselling charity, which I am taking on the Ring O Fire for.

My family has personal experience of miscarriages like many people out there, far more than any of us would imagine because for obvious reasons it's not something that's openly spoken about. I'm raising money and also help to raise awareness of the importance of the work that Petals charity provide.

They offer specialist counselling service that is life-changing for parents who have suffered the devastating loss of a pregnancy or death of a baby.It is a sad reality that in the UK, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, 1 in 200 babies will be stillborn every year, over 5000 pregnancies will be terminated for medical reasons each year and 24 babies die shortly after birth every single week. Since Petals began its incredible work ten years ago, thousands of couples have been supported by our counsellors and in the last 12 months alone they have delivered over 4,400 counselling sessions. By supporting this challenge you will be helping Petals to deliver more vital counselling sessions to bereaved parents when they need it the most.

About the campaign

Take on the Ring of Fire Challenge for Petals - The Baby Loss Counselling Charity

About the charity


Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1150375
Petals specialist counselling service can be accessed by any parent affected by pregnancy or baby loss. We provide this service at no cost to parents and it is our aim to offer this vital service to all bereaved parents no matter where they live or the type of loss they have experienced.

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