Let's start with a serious one – they won’t all be.
Do your little bit of good where you are;
it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world
Running has given me an awful lot. All I had to do was try hard and in return I learnt about perseverance, patience and friendship amongst many other things. Most of all though, it has helped me through various mental health challenges. Which is why I want to start by talking about MIND.
I wanted to start this project to help people who are focused on performance. It is where I feel I can make the best contribution. I believe that optimising your performance is a way for some people to get more out of their sport. Running / cycling / swimming an arbitrary distance in an arbitrary time is essentially trivial. But the qualities we can develop and the confidence we can derive from the lessons learned along the way are meaningful. That’s why it is ok to think that your PB matters and that your training is important. I’m not saying that it means or is worth neglecting family or other aspects of life. But equally we don’t need to be apologetic about caring. Achievement in endurance sport does not come without hard work, regardless of any innate ability (whether or not you believe such a thing exists). Earning something through hard work is valuable. The nature of the something is somewhat secondary, it can be whatever inspires or motivates you.
Thinking about all these things as we were getting started made me thankful that I had running when times get tough. It also made me realise how difficult it would be to make a start on running if I was struggling with my mental health. The idea that things can ever improve can seem absurd. I had always wanted, above all else, for this little business to have a positive impact on people’s real experiences. Helping to improve the performance of committed athletes can undoubtedly do that. That needn’t exclude doing other things though and so I looked around for a way to make another small contribution. MIND appreciate the value of exercise in coping with mental health challenges as their involvement in the Heads Together campaign showed. It was that initiative that made me aware of their work and I have since seen all of the other ways in which they offer real support. Let’s face it, if Stephen Fry is your President, you’re likely to be making the world a better place.
That’s why we are giving 5% of all of our income to MIND and as soon as we can develop the business to be self-sustaining we hope to increase this.
Hopefully we can build a community of people who support each other in getting faster, enhancing their experience in sport and doing a bit of good at the same time.