Why I kicked 30 fags a day and alcohol to run the London Marathon in 2015


I am a third year English Literature student and for anyone who knows me, commitment to anything, even to a favourite pair of shoes is difficult. I love to drink, I love to eat lots of chips and beans, and most of all I love to smoke. I’m the kind of girl who goes for the footlong not the six inches at subway. I’m the girl who will eat two family size packets of salt and vinegar kettle chips after breakfast, and complain about the fact its not lunch time yet. The gym is not my friend. Why am I running the London Marathon in probably the most stressful time at university I hear you ask? Do I have a penchant for failure? Do I not want to enjoy my last year of getting ‘mortal’ with no responsibilities? Am I mental?

Well the answer would be yes, I am mental. Or at least I was mental. ‘Mental’ informally means someone who is ‘out of one’s mind’, and from the age of about thirteen I have had episodes of being out of my own mind. We usually call this experience being ‘mentally ill’. I am not ‘ill’ in the conventional sense. You can’t see my illness, but I live with it everyday and it’s a part of everything I do. I am not weak because I am ‘mentally ill’. I am not weak because I need more support than others. I am not weak because I can’t control my mind and my mind controls me. It’s just my mind puts me in places I can’t always get myself out of, to the point where it affects my day-to-day functioning, and sometimes I don’t function at all. My mind put me in a place where I didn’t think I’d make it to my 21st birthday, and it has subjected me to great physical and mental trauma. Instead of hiding away from being mental, instead of being ashamed of myself, I am going to help the people who help us with our ‘mentalness’. I am running the London Marathon for Mind Mental health charity.

Mind aim to end the stigma of mental health and bring respect to those who have mental illnesses. They aim to see that everyone who needs mental health support gets it, and have the confidence to get the support they need. No one should suffer in silence. Just because you can’t see a mental illness doesn’t mean it’s not there. Mind are always there for those who need help, and are a charity close to my heart.

One thought on “Why I kicked 30 fags a day and alcohol to run the London Marathon in 2015

  1. I made myself a promise 5 years ago to quit smoking two packs (40 cigarettes) a day and my motivation was signing up for the Denver Rock N Roll inaugural marathon. I’ve done 20+ half marathons, 20+ full marathons, and I’ve branched into ironman triathlons (3) as well as ultra marathons. I was diagnosed a year ago with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The key to all of this is doing it for yourself, not for someone else. Mind over Matter. If you want it, you will get it, but you have to earn it.

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