for better mental health

I met the 27 27 challenge

Friday, 03 July 2020 Lewis

Lewis blogs about how he ran to raise money for Money despite his asthma and mental health problems.

Shoes laced up, sunglasses on. It’s all a go go. When I first saw about the Mind 27 27 challenge, I instantly signed up to help raise money for the charity, as mental health is something I hold close to my heart. It’s a real thing. Being a University of Portsmouth student myself studying MA Media and Communication, I fall into the category of the 27% of students reporting a mental health problem.

I’ve said those brave words “I need help” and have been sticking to my recovery schedule for a year now

In 2016 my depression and anxiety first started getting the better of me before it got progressively worse and uncontrollable. I started to become very distant with myself. It was tricky for me to hear myself think a lot of the time and my fears grew stronger. This was the first time I had ever felt this way, and at that early stage, I didn’t really know what was going on, panicked, and it gradually got out of control. Good days turned into bad days, bad days turned into worse days, and worse days turned into horrific days. And I do not want to forget those horrific days. Why? Because I use them as a building strategy. I build upon what issues I had and plan a routine to help beat them should I face those problems again. Since then, I’ve said those brave words “I need help” and have been sticking to my recovery schedule for a year now. Something I’m incredibly proud of.

I couldn’t go out to the gym or outside to continue my challenge. Fear not, I had a backup plan

My Mind 27 27 challenge got off to a flying start and I started tallying up the miles, raising as much money as possible. Sadly, I had to cut my challenge short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Being asthmatic, I followed government advice and self-isolated for two weeks, meaning In the last two weeks of March I couldn’t go out to the gym or outside to continue my challenge. Fear not, I had a backup plan.

When the government enforced the social distancing rules, The Body Coach, Joe Wicks, started live PE With Joe sessions on his YouTube channel. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to start making up lost time for my challenge. Every day I’ve been joining in with Joe’s lively, energetic and heart-pounding PE lessons, and every day I feel more and more happy, my wellbeing lifts massively and I feel a lot better about myself.

With social distancing still in place, keeping that two-metre distance between everyone, I’m delighted to be able to go back outside and continue tallying up miles for Mind as part of the Mind 27 27 challenge, even if I’ve exceeded the 27-mile target. University is stressful, but that’s OK. At the end of the degree comes the golden light that leads you to your future career. You will look back at what you encountered, how you took on the challenge, and how you overcame your problems.

It’s been a pleasure to come together with so many people to raise more than £100,000 for Mind

It’s been a pleasure to come together with so many people across the nation to raise more than £100,000 for Mind. This is something I will never forget. My message to everyone is to not let fear get the better of you. Don’t forgot everything and run away from your challenges; face everything, run towards them and rise.

Read about Information and support

27 27 raised an incredible £114,838 for Mind. We are so grateful for the student community who took part and ran 27 miles in 27 days in solidarity with the 27% of students who report a mental health problem whilst at University.

27 27 will be back in March 2021 with registrations opening in January. If you would like to support Mind before then you can register as a student fundraiser here.

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