There’s an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. As part of my blog I believe it’s important to share common and shared experiences, by highlighting the link between physical health and mental health.
I’d like to introduce you to my friend Blake Reardon (BR) who inspired me with his upcoming challenge.
MM: Can you discuss your running challenge and the reason behind it?
BR: In September 2016, I will be running 21.1km (half marathon distance) everyday for the entire month to raise awareness for mental illness. I lost a good mate in November last year. I don’t want anyone else to have go through the pain mental illness can bring to a group, community of family.
MM: Who has inspires you?
BR: My late friend, Rhys McNaughton who tragically lost his life to mental illness in November last year is my main inspiration behind this, but I am truly inspired also by others who dedicate their time to charities and those who have beaten mental illness. It really warms my heart.
MM: How has running/exercise benefited you?
BR: Running and exercise to me, is just like meditation for the whole body. It gives me freedom and allows me to get in touch with myself. At the same time, it keeps me physically fit and healthy, taking it on with a holistic approach.
MM: In your experience, how important is the link between physical health and mental health?
BR: Very important! A healthy mind and a healthy body must exist for total health and well-being. Running and exercise definitely effects my mind and body in a positive way. My mental and physical health is evidently greater when I exercise.
MM: Having a mental health illness could be seen as a weakness, but in your experience how is it actually a strength?
BR: Living with a mental illness is incredibly hard, and seeking the right help requires great strength and courage. Through my friends struggle it has given me the strength and determination to promote the awareness of mental health, and to take the steps to break the stigma. No body should have to feel alone and no body should have to feel like they do not have a place in this world. That is what I want to change. People are pretty good at hiding their emotions, their fears and their battles. It all starts with speaking up.