Greg Cann – Ambassador Blog 3‘We never lose our demons…we only learn to live above them’
8th October …6 months later
The start of April was a tough month for us as a family – it marked six months since my wife’s younger brother took his own life. This was a MASSIVE shock to us all, and while the wider family knew things to be tough, no-one ever thought he would take this ultimate step and end things in the way he did. While I had been aware of the impact of mental wellbeing for a while (due to the nature of my job), it was this event in October really made me think about what mental fitness meant to me, and how I needed to review how I maintained mine.
For years, I was one of the majority that only ever viewed ‘mental health’ as ‘mental illness’…a negative thing…a negative. I have since become far more aware that mental health is aligned with ourselves in the same way that physical health is – everyone has it, and it can go up and down as a matter of course.
When we feel ‘down’ this is a dip in our mental health and we should look to try and improve, in the same way as if we felt tired and our physical health was poor we would take something for it. Loads of things can impact on mental fitness, and it can be different for everyone, but more importantly should NEVER be ignored. There are also loads of ways that we can help ourselves and our mates – simply talking is a good start! For me, as already outlined, running, exercise & music are ways I look to help myself. Unfortunately, things were too much for Chris and maybe he didn’t or wasn’t able to see the support that he needed, which is why he did what he did…
The quote at the start of the blog takes on a new meaning with this in mind….did you recognise it? It’s from Marvel, and the words that The Ancient One says to a colleague in the movie Dr Strange (my life
can be a trail of strange and obscure references , quotes and music lyrics!).
The demons I relate to are our worries, our scares, our negative thoughts…we always carry them, and must learn to rise above them and function and cope. Sometimes, and in the case of my brother-in-law,
the demons (or monsters) take over, and this doesn’t or can’t happen 🙁
He is constantly in our thoughts and is another driver in my running ‘career’ – RIP Chris
Good for you, you fooled everybody
Good for you, you fooled everyone…
Don’t get angry, don’t discourage
Take a shot of liquid courage
’Cause my monsters are real, and they’re trained how to kill
And there’s no comin’ back and they just laughed at how I feel
And these monsters can fight, and they’ll never say die
And there’s no goin’ back, if I get trapped I’ll never heal
Yeah, my monsters are real
April – 1 month til the Glasgow Mens 10k – Found out at the start of the month that I also had a space on the race to the Tower event. A double trail marathon, 52 miles run over 2 days in the Cotswolds…a MAJOR reason to up the training! Fantastic event and venue, but BRUTAL hills…makes Glentress relatively easy in comparison!
SO, after getting over March Man-Flu (a particularly vicious strain!), I was back on it from 1st of the month. First test up was the Kilomathon, a 13.1km run in Edinburgh on 7th April – my goal was to finish under 1hour 5mins and ‘better’ time from two years before!
Despite a MAJOR faff getting to start line (who knew Scotrail didn’t run trains into capital that early on a Sunday?!), a nice morning saw me enter Murrayfield stadium in 1 hour 04…NICE ONE!
The usual training followed: some Parkrun activity, couple of longer training runs, some touch ruggers, gym-work, HIIT/WOD’s, hill shuttles with littlest Cann and even some golf to mark the arrival of warmer weather (for one weekend anyway!). Training almost back on track for the month – good to get some miles under belt and on whole, physical and mental fitness has been good. Lighter nights and nicer weather always helps as well.
So moving into May – the training plan ramps up…more activity and some longer distances. Will be adding some trails into the plan – getting up into Beescraig & possibly the Pentlands. Checking out what nature can offer and help support my mental & physical fitness!
Be aware that May is Mental Health Awareness Month so check out some details and review YOUR mental fitness…why not get in touch with a mate and ask them how they are? Remember, we all have monsters and #itsoknottobeok. A simple ‘How are you?’ can make a world of difference…
Take care – have great month and see you at the start line…!
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