For 20 years I was a professional footballer, so pushing my body to its limit was a daily part of life. Now a recreational runner, I run marathons and ultramarathons.
I love it, hate it, in equal measures, but I know I need it.
Not many understand, thankfully my wife does, just.
Because 14 years ago, I sat in a dressing room of a football club for the last time, and like every professional player before me and after me, leaving the bubble of professional sport is tough.
In the time since that day, I have been a football manager, leading a team out at Wembley in 2010, lost it all, including a property portfolio of 21 properties, become a personal trainer and opened up my own Gym and Wellness centre, become a Goal Setting and Life coach and now run a coaching business.
It's taken me 14 years to find my purpose, to find my place, like every player, it is a tough transition when you come to the end of our playing career. Even with financial security, family, children, even if you walk into a job straight from the end of your career, it is still difficult. The graph isn’t a straight line, as we see depicted on social media.
I'm blessed to be able to still move, I can run, I can cycle, I can swim, I can lift weights in the gym, and as long as I can move, then I will move, every single day, every day I will go out and exercise, I count myself as being extremely lucky being able to still move at 50 years old.Exercise along with other coping mechanisms has enabled me to keep the wolves of mental health from my door. Others are not so lucky.
Life is tough for everyone, not all day every day, but in varying amounts and degrees, no one lives a life of eternal happiness, a life of perfection, it simply doesn’t exist.
The statistics bear that out:
* 35% of people will experience mental health issues over their lifetime.
* Over the course of someone’s lifetime, 1 in 15 people attempt suicide.
*Statistics form the Mental Health Foundation.
I’m not seeking sympathy, for ex-sportsmen and women, I’m highlighting that no one is exempt, we all have a mental health, just like we all have a physical health. Most of us want two things in life happiness and longevity, both of them don't exist eternally, we don't live forever, our time is finite, and we can never be happy all of the time, this is not an eternal state.So why am I reaching out here today?
So rather than struggle in and struggle on, I run, and run, and run some more. Raising money in the process seems a worthy cause.
It is always difficult asking for money, but I've tried raising money by asking for it, and I’ve tried raising money without asking for it, I always seem to raise more when I ask for it.
516 miles of coastal roads
15 ultramarathons in 15 days
Averaging 35 miles a day
Starting on Friday 30th June – Inverness Castle
Finishing on Friday 14th July – Inverness Castle
This is my vision.
For the Love of Pain, Suffering and the Mental Health of me, and the support of others.
If you are interested in sponsorship
I need you.