Today marks the start of my #5KinMay challenge and I will be cycling 5K 5 times a day for the next 5 days – a total of 125K!
I wanted to take a moment to reflect and share why I’m taking on this challenge and why for me, the timing couldn’t be better.
Demand for No5’s services has never been higher – 641 young people and their families have asked us for help in the last 9 months alone (163% increase on the same period last year)
It breaks my heart to know that so many young people in our area alone are struggling with their mental health, but equally so glad to see that young people and their families are reaching out and asking for help. It is our job, at No5, to do everything we can to meet these young people as soon as possible after they ask for help and so we are working hard to raise additional funds to be able to support even more young people over the coming years.
We are regularly told that exercise is beneficial for our mental health, but up until a year ago, exercise was not part of my journey of self-care, maintaining good mental health or helping myself when things were getting tough. 12 months ago I started on a fitness and weight-loss journey that has completely changed how I feel about myself and my relationship to food and exercise. High intensity interval training (HIIT), strength training, yoga and pilates were now a part of my weekly routine and have played a huge part in supporting my wellbeing during lockdown.
All of that changed a month ago today when, out of the blue, I experienced what is known as ‘Foot Drop’ – I couldn’t lift my toes or the front of my foot up, and walking and balance were incredibly difficult. Most of my workouts had to stop whilst we tried to find out what was going on with my leg, to protect myself from any further damage and because most of the workouts that I had been doing just weren’t possible anymore.
Many appointments, tests and scans later and now we know that despite being temporary, it will take many months, if not over a year, for my foot to return to ‘normal’. This was a massive blow and while I watched my calf muscle shrink to half the size, I was searching for a way to maintain the exercise routine that I had got so used to – the prospect of not being able to exercise the way I had been was taking a significant toll on my mental health and wellbeing.
After some research, I decided that an exercise bike was a good option for me – I could maintain my cardio workouts, keep my leg strong and didn’t have to jump or balance in the process!
I am so grateful for all the support that our #5KinMay challenge has received. We are hoping to raise £5k to fund 150 additional counselling sessions for young people in need.
Together we can make a real difference.
Carly Newman – Operations and Relationships Manager