All money raised is going to the CALM. A great charity who provide a helpline, an campaign to help prevent male suicide in the UK.
20 years ago I suffered a major negative reaction to taking anti malaria tablets, which lead to a loss of feeling in control, a sense of not knowing my actions and being in a disturbing head space. For months I was worried to go out, struggled to sleep and even short car journeys would fill me with dread. It lead to a period of depression that took some time to work through. Even now the smallest things that I can’t control can become a big problem, but I have learnt to control those demons most of the time.
Exercise and Sport really helped me to overcome some of these issues. I started doing bike rides for charity and some charity runs which then turned into a passion for cycling and triathlon. When I am on my bike or running, it’s a happy place for me. It’s a switch off from the stresses around me and best of all a great time to think and put the realities into perspective. Mental health does affect everyone, in many different ways, for me, it’s about being busy all the time, having a project, a challenge or being with your loved ones. I’ve always want to do John O Groats to Lands End on a bike and now feel we have a great reason to do it.
I have always wanted to ride from end to end of the country and doing it for a mental health charity has really helped me focus and get excited. I had a very close association with a very close relative for many years who suffering with quiet debilitating mental health problems. I also lost a close friend and my brothers stepson by taking their own life's as the only way out which is so so sad and more needs to be done to reduce this type of action. I feel that if I can help towards reducing the affects on mental health by raising the awareness and at the same time achieve something I have always aspired to achieve what a brilliant way to spend my time with friends.
I am fortunate enough to have known my team mates for a number of years having been involved in the same triathlon club and within my professional role as a triathlon coach. On a personal level I have been around the cycling and triathlon world since 1998 and through my sports science background I have been able to make it my career.
Taking on JOGLE has a very personal meaning to me and in particular the opportunity to raise awareness and fundraise for mental health. I have over the last 6-7yrs struggled with periods of depression that have lead to major changes in my personal life. Through finally admitting there was a problem, having counselling and taking the risk of speaking to friends I have been able to find ways to see a better path. One of the best outlets for me has always been when riding my bike, with friends and there is a lot of time to chat so the chance to ride nearly 1000 miles over 8 days is going to give a lot of opportunity for that.
JOGLE is by no means going to be a breeze but working as a team, sharing this experience is going make the miles seem far easier.
I am a serving Essex Police Traffic Sergeant. I have spent the last 8 yrs. managing the traumatic scenes of Fatal road traffic collision. In our job we see horrific injuries and the death and destruction caused on our countries roads. Then have the unpleasant task of delivering the worst news anyone can get to the families.
People have this perception that Police Officers are like robots and things mean nothing to us and we are ‘just doing a job’
That couldn’t be further from the truth. Having attended 10 road deaths in 14 days I have gone home, woken my family up just to cuddle them. I have suffered flashbacks, smells associated with scenes, lack of sleep, anxiety, depression, these are all symptoms of PTSD.
We are only human.
I am taking part in this cycle event to raise awareness of the mental health issues suffered by police officers. To challenge the public’s perception, show our humanity and show my colleagues in the UK that it is ok to cry, that it isn’t weakness and to ask for help rather than try and carry the burden on their own.
I started exercising and to ride a road bike as a means of escapism after going through an extremely challenging point in my life in 2011. Things that I took for granted and had believed to be certain were taken from me and I found myself suffering from extreme pressure and stress, that I just didn’t know how to cope with.
Accidentally the escapism of cycling and exercising turned into being the best choice I could have made as it helped calm the tension and stress I found my self under by virtue of distraction.