I haven’t been able to run at all so far this week, in fact I haven’t been able to do anything much apart from work, work, work! As well as being out of the office on Wednesday and most of Thursday to attend my Grandad’s funeral, my freelance clients are keeping me very busy, so any spare time I’ve had around my day job has been spent beavering away at the computer. I even missed netball and running club! 😦
But it was such a glorious day today that I just *had* to get out of the house, so I went for a quick 5km at lunchtime. I guess I must’ve been conscious of the fact that I needed to get back to work, as I broke my 5km PB by over 20 seconds! Either that, or the new running vest, which I received in the post yesterday, is a lucky charm!
As I alluded to back in January, my Grandad recently died. But, what I didn’t mention publicly back then is that, rather than it being a case of old age, for reasons known only to him, Grandad actually decided to take his own life. It was heartbreaking, shocking, and very, very confusing.
So, the running vest that I got in the post yesterday was from a charity called CALM, which stands for Campaign Against Living Miserably. It’s a charity that helps to support men experiencing stress and mental health issues. I first became aware of them one day last year, just after the actor Robin Williams had committed suicide. Geoff Lloyd, the Absolute Radio DJ I was listening to at the time, made a compelling and emotional speech about CALM’s work and the problem of male suicide – which, I was stunned to learn, is the single biggest cause of death for young men under the age of 45 in the UK. Not only that, but of all suicides in the UK, 78% of the victims are men.
In this day and age, no one should feel that they have no one to talk to when it all gets a bit too much, and the idea that men, in particular, still feel that they can’t express their emotions or admit to needing help, is really baffling to me. The support needed for people bereaved or affected by suicide also seems to be very inadequate. So, in memory of my Grandad, I hereby dedicate the rest of my 1000 mile challenge to him and to raising awareness of the important work that charities like CALM do. I’m also running in the Warwick Half Marathon on March 22nd, and the Shakespeare Half Marathon on April 26th.
If you’d like to send a few pennies in the direction of this very worthy cause, I have a JustGiving site set up at https://www.justgiving.com/LisarunningforCALM/. Thanks!