December 23rd 2019 I was told by doctors I'd never be able to hike again, never mind run following a serious leg injury a few months earlier. At the time I accepted it, or so I thought, as I'd already completed a few ultra marathons.
Early March 2020 I was back on crutches and then came Covid so I couldn't even have gone fishing even had I wanted to.
April 2020 I was seriously obese after burying my head and reality in junk food and alcohol. Being a long time sufferer of mental health issues I decided I had to do something so started with some gentle walks and very slowly progressed to some short hikes. What no-one knew at the time was this was the start of yet another breakdown and we certainly didn't see what was coming next and how bad things would get!
June 13th 2020 I was arrested for my own safety after the final breakdown and going to a very dark place. Waking up in a cell makes you evaluate things seriously and I knew then I desperately needed help. For the first time ever I shouted for help.
Finally after all these years being treated for depression I got the correct diagnosis. PTSD and anxiety disorder. With councilling and the right medication things started to improve.
One year on from the short walks and 6 stone lighter, I've now successfully completed 7 ultra's, albeit virtual, and set new PB's at various distances including beating my 100k PB by almost 7 hours!
The most important thing I've learnt is it's ok to not be ok and no longer need to hide behind anything, especially alcohol, and just enjoy life and all the adventures my new life and fitness have in store for me.
We wanted to say a big thank you to Dean for sharing his story and it's great to see how he's used running as part of the way he's turned his life around.
If you'd like to share your running story then get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.