My name is Hazel and I am a 40 year old runner. I live in Ruthin, North Wales with my husband and my 4 amazing children.
Running is what keeps me sane. At the time I started running I was going through some extremely challenging times with my youngest son who has Autism, the daily battles we were facing with him were having a very negative impact on me. Most days I didn’t want to get out of bed because I knew what was ahead, I did though and I fought each and every daily battle resulting in me breaking down most days more than once.
My mental health started to deteriorate rapidly, and although my husband is amazing and has supported me all the way through my battle I felt so alone. People I had known for years who I thought were friends cut me out of their lives. I have seen this saying many times and it couldn’t be more true “Hard times will always reveal true friends”
So encouraged by my husband (who had been running for 2 years) on the 10th July 2016 I went for my first run and ran 1.9 miles. I haven’t looked back since, the impact that running has had on my life is amazing! Running is my therapy and running has completely changed my life! If someone had said to me a year ago how my life would be now I would have laughed at them. I am a strong, happy, positive, confident person who is now able to deal with the daily struggles that are thrown at me not just from my son but life in general. I have a job I love and people in my life who are genuine. Don’t get me wrong I still have my bad days but they are few and far between and I just put on my running gear and go and run it off.
So far I have completed 4 Half Marathons…I will be running the London Marathon this year raising money for Mind, a charity obviously very close to my heart. I have also signed up for Race to The Stones, 2 Ultra Marathons in 2 days! I cannot begin to describe how excited I am to take part in both of these!
My friends and family say I inspire them with my running and what I have been able to achieve so far which makes me so happy.
Thanks to Hazel for sharing this story. As part of #MilesForMind we want to raise money for Mind and also awareness of mental health issues.
It's OK to have a mental health issue, it's OK to talk about mental health, and it's OK to ask for help.
We firmly believe that running can contribute to a healthy body, and healthy mind and we hope sharing people's stories of mental health and running will inspire others to lace up for better mental health.