Mind over mountain
Posted Friday 31 August 2012
I was very aware that as I took my first steps on Ben Nevis, the next 24 hours were going to be hard work. But at the same time I knew it would be an unforgettable experience and I was proud to be representing the Mind fundraising team. My group of fellow Mind fundraisers had begun to form a great bond with each other and I was excited about the guaranteed fresh air and stunning views.
Spirits were soaring on Ben Nevis. The weather was fine and we were treated to spectacular panoramic views of Fort William nestling among the lochs quietly below. Then, to our delight, when we reached the summit it was snow capped. After a celebratory photo at the top, we raced down in an impressive time.
It was a different experience several hours later when we were faced with some furious elements on Scafell Pike. The rain sliced through as, the wind worked against us and at the summit, night fell. That was when we remembered why we were doing this challenge; our discomfort was nothing compared to that of a mental health problem. In the toughest moments, all I had to do was think about everything that Mind does to help everyone living with a mental health problem. I found that this gave me the strength to grit my teeth and get through it all.
Arriving in Wales, with tired legs and little sleep, Snowdon stood dauntingly in front. This was the last mountain and we knew that to complete it, we had to muster up all the mental strength we could to put one leg in front of the other. Again we had to remember those important reasons for doing the challenge.
That last mountain is one of the hardest things that I have ever done. My dodgy knee decided it had had enough, and I found myself struggling at the back of the group with two other injured comrades. Yet we were able to find some strength somewhere to encourage each other and keep moving onwards and upwards.
I was elated to finish. Although I trained hard for the event, I know it ultimately it was my mind, and Mind that got me up those mountains, and that’s pretty empowering.
Maria Healy, Community Fundraising Coordinator
Inspired by this post? The Three Peaks Challenge is one of the UK's ultimate challenges and we still have places in our September group.
There are lots of other events to get involved in - help us make sure that no one has to face a mental health problem alone. Do good and feel great.
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