So perhaps I'm just scratching an itch, or perhaps I'm having a full on mid-life crisis? Either way, whether I like it or not, I'm going to be 40 this year. A milestone I'm clearly not ready for. Riding my bike from Land's End to John O'Groats has been on my bucket list for ages and the time is ripe for me to get. it. done.
The past 12 months have personally been a challenging time. This isn't a sob story at all. I've had some dark moments and found myself digging incredibly deep to stay positive at times. But compared to what others are going through it's a drop in the ocean. It came as a huge shock to me that I was struggling. Me? The most laid back and stupidly optimistic man on the planet!
So if I can feel like that then frankly anyone can. At any time. For any reason.
What I've realised is that our own mental health is absolutely paramount. We all struggle in different ways and different times, we all find different ways of coping. Mental health at work is a challenge for more and more people in this ever more connected, ever more demanding modern world.
I've always been passionate about physical activity. The links between physical health and mental health are absolutely incontrovertible. They are inextricably linked and the human race has recognised this for millennia. In my case, getting out on the bike, going for a run or frankly any physical activity was the ideal outlet.
We will all face mental health problems in our lives and charities like MIND and The Mental Health Foundation are at the forefront of making sure more people have the support network they need to get through the tough times. I'm massively fortunate to have a hugely supportive family, a friendship group and colleagues who couldn't be more important to me. Not everyone has this. I'm one of the lucky ones.
I'm doing this ride as the ultimate get-away. I'll be off the beaten track, B roads and cycle tracks all the way. 10 days. 57,000 feet of 'up', 1100 miles of just me, my thoughts and my bike with a few cheap bed and breakfasts along the way (and hopefully no punctures)
It ain't going to be easy. But then, life isn't easy is it? So bring it on Britain!
A big chunk of my ride will coincide nicely with Mental Health Awareness Week and I'd love to raise a bit of cash for charity if I can.
If you can throw a few quid my way then I'd be eternally grateful and it will mean people other than me benefit from me ticking this crazy ride off my bucket list.
Thanks guys. x
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The Mental Health Foundation is the UK’s charity for everyone’s mental health.With prevention at the heart of what they do, the Mental Health Foundation aim to find and address the sources of mental health problems so that people and communities can thrive.