As I sort through fabrics and running gear I can feel the build up of anxiety blowing through my chest. The plans that are rolling are intimating. I do not allow my mind to think too long. The Ireland run is totally insane. I backed out and tried to postpone it several times, but my running mates are locked on. The reason I run is the fuel that will push me through one of the greatest physical and mental challenges of my life. The run starts Saturday 2nd of July for a period of 30 days we will run an average of 50km a day for 30 days to be the first to complete the 1380km circumference of Ireland.
It started out as a cheeky joke and then it became real. I found that the last person who attempted this run was raising money for the charity Pieta House. The charity focuses on suicide and self harm prevention by providing free therapy sessions and support all over Ireland. As many of my readers know I constantly battle with oscillating anxiety. I thought it was something I would grow out of but it has stayed with me my entire life. I have taken a different approach these days. I embrace the insane fire that shoots me off to places the ‘sane’ would not venture and to realms of myself that can be daunting. It is this false ‘bravery’ or ‘foolishness’ that leads me to achieve heights others deem impossible.
This run around Ireland for me is a campaign for Anxiety Appreciation. I want to celebrate the beauty of this characteristic. Perhaps anxiety has been my greatest blessing and closest friend. The struggle exists when during those times when I have pushed it away, ignored it and pretended that is doesn’t exist. It does very much so and it brings me to very low spaces where I cannot recognize myself. The scary part is when we lose hope that is when friends, family and professionals have to step in to remind us to pull through the dark periods and remember there is light at the end of the tunnel. So I will run so that people can see that we are not alone. We can overcome these challenging moments in life together.
- The other constant question: WHY IRELAND? Well if I am going to spend 30 days running, sleeping and dancing with a place, it better be somewhere absolutely beautiful. Ireland is green, fresh and whimsical. It seems to be a place where dreams come true.