As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts I have a great love for the mountains, but having always lived in Norfolk I have no idea where this love came from. One of my earliest memories is of a family holiday to Switzerland, I remember being amazed by the twisty roads winding through the snowy mountains so perhaps those mountains left a lasting impression on me. My Mum also has a love for the mountains especially Wales so maybe it comes from her?
I’ve also always had a love for being outdoors but I know where that passion came from, as a child I was a member of the Cubs and later the Scouts, I have great memories of being in my element when out camping, kayaking, climbing and taking part in a national scouting competition that involved hiking around the Peak District. When I left the Scouts I lost my way a little bit and spent less time outdoors although I was still getting my fix through my job which involves working outside all day.
After having lost my love for the outdoors for a while it came back with vengeance about 8 years ago and I have spent recent years hiking, running, and camping all over the UK, and I start to get a bit twitchy if I spend too much time indoors. Wales has quickly become mine and Hannah’s happy place and we are currently working on plans to move there once we can find some land to build a hobbit house on.
When I started this blog almost exactly 3 years ago to the day my main aim was to document my story about running my first races and then training for and running my first ultra marathon, hopefully inspiring some of you to take up running or anything else that makes you push yourself to a healthier and happier life along the way. This always has and always will be my main goal, but as I started writing more posts I found more doors opening up for me and soon found out that I can make a small living from Poweredbytheveg as a brand, I make a small amount from the affiliate links on this website that help to keep the website going and have support from other brands that fit with my ethics and I use personally such as Patagonia, but I keep thinking back to that original aim and thinking what if I could use my brand as a platform to both support myself and help others?
I wrote in my last blog post about my struggles with anxiety and depression and how the thing that helps me the most is being outside in nature, are you seeing a recurring theme here? A couple of years ago I passed my Leadership in running fitness qualification with UK athletics, which means I am qualified to lead groups of others running whilst being covered by UKA insurance etc, and in the future I will be leading Poweredbytheveg trail running groups, but what about those that are struggling with their own mental health and want the opportunity to experience the feeling we get as trail runners but don’t want to run?
I want to include as many people as possible in this plan to get people outdoors so I have decided to do something incredibly hard for someone that suffers from anxiety and I know it’s going to be my biggest challenge yet, but I have started on the road to becoming a qualified Mountain Leader. Being in the mountains is one of the few places where my head is quiet, and that I feel at peace with the World, where my mental health has less of a grip on me, and I want to give others the opportunity to feel this way. Like I say this is going to be the toughest challenge of my life so far but also the biggest adventure of my life so far, but the messages that I received from so many of you after my last post have shown me that we have a real problem with mental health in the UK and if I can help even just a few people escape to the mountains and their problems for a little while than it will be worth it. This isn’t going to be a quick process and I need to log several days in the mountains before I can even think about taking the exam but when are the best things in life ever easy or quick?
The main theme for this blog will still be running but it might just have a little more adventure thrown in. Once again I want to thank all of you that sent me messages or emails after my last post it really does mean the world to me.