My mum has suffered with depression for a number of years, sometimes going for weeks without seeing the light of day.
Feeling helpless, I thought about the positive effects running has on my mind and wondered if it could help her in some way. Never one to do things by halves, I went ahead and signed us up to the Walk the Walk Midnight Marathon. Committing to her first official challenge meant my mum had a goal and a focus. With love and support she tackled each day one day at a time, getting out of the house and allowing herself to feel the benefits of exercise.
Crossing the finishing line, hand in hand with my mum will forever be one of our fondest memories together. The big hug in this photo says it all!
Since doing the challenge, my mum still enjoys walking regularly and is now focused on signing up to her first organised run. She's not cured of her depression, but now knows how to help manage periods of feeling low. The challenge gave her the confidence she needed to take back some control of her emotions. I know it's not always easy for her, but I can see her fighting back, determined to get out of bed and out into the world.
Inspired by the life-changing effect that a physical challenge had on my mum's mental wellbeing, R.E.D January is here to help you boost your own mental and physical health.
Know we'll be with you every step of your R.E.D journey. I'm excited to see where this challenge takes you!