Friday, 25 January 2019

Call it what it is

Are you thinking about suicide? If you are, tell someone. 
There is help out there, please click here 

I was chatting with a Walk2Runner this morning about the RunningSpace logo and my plan to add a tag line to it, ‘Running to beat Suicide’.

He balked a little and suggested I might want to consider something less full-on, such as Running to beat Despair.

The trouble is, I AM Running to Beat Suicide. Ever since I started this journey, I've been very clear that I must not dilute the message. We run, but it’s not to lose weight, get fit, make friends, it’s not even to support good mental health, although it does all of the above and more. Our number one and our only goal is to Run to beat Suicide.

Let’s explode a myth. Asking someone with thoughts of suicide “are you thinking about suicide”…

…Does NOT
                Put the idea into their head. After all, it’s extremely unlikely that they’re never heard of suicide or know that it’s an option

…DOES
                Let that person know that you are comfortable and confident talking about suicide. Direct talking actually reduces risk and increases safety. In fact, if you ask someone who is feeling suicidal directly “Are you thinking about suicide?”, they often feel relieved.

As I teach safeTALK Suicide Alertness for Everyone, I can pretty much tell who in the room has experienced suicidal thoughts. It tends to be those who have never encountered it that find it difficult to say the word. And that’s completely OK, that was me too, and that’s why they’ve chosen to attend the training.  

What euphemisms do we use instead of talking directly about suicide? We talk about “doing something silly” (could be dressing up as Ronald Macdonald). We talk about “feeling like I’ve had enough” (chocolate cake?). We also are pretty OK with “are you self-harming?”. Yet even this, though tragic and needing support, does not help us know whether suicide is involved or not.  

How then do we know if suicide is involved?

There is only one way.

Ask directly. “Are you thinking about suicide”.

If the answer is ‘yes’, the next step is simply to listen. Say “This is important, I am listening.”


My passion is to see every life lived in all its fullness and not one be lost to suicide. For now, I am letting you know that by using our new logo we are saying that we are comfortable and confident talking about suicide, and we are Running to Beat Suicide.

Come and run with us, it might just save a life.



Sunday, 6 January 2019

Send us your stories

If you're feeling like you want to die, Get Help Now

Are you a survivor or suicide? Firstly, well done, we’re so pleased you’re here.

Secondly, we would like to hear your story. Telling stories is powerful way to share hope and to show others that there can be a full life beyond feeling suicidal.

We also know that the best way to make our communities suicide safer is by talking about suicide. Fact.

We’ll leave it up to you whether you keep your story anonymous or use your name. By sending us your story we will assume that until or unless you tell us otherwise, you’re happy for us to pass your story on to benefit others who might need your encouragement. Write your story, use video, photos, art, whatever works for you!

One day I’d like to put stories of life in all its fullness together in a book. Let's dream a little...

For now, we look forward to hearing from you and being inspired to life. You can email your story to  Jacky@RunningSpace.org

Bless ya






Sunday, 23 December 2018

We'd rather turn to no-one than the church.


If you’re feeling like you want to die, Get Help Now

Yesterday while out for a run with a client we were talking about church. I laughed and told her I wasn’t allowed to go to mine. I told her my story and how it lead, in part, to my suicide attempt. I don’t think I spoke badly about the church except to say that they were mistaken in how they handled things. I recounted that when I trained for my ASIST suicide prevention certificate, I had broken down in tears, how when the trainer asked if I had any support I broke down even further because I had lost my church family.

Of the many things I’ve learned about suicide, a real big one is that isolation is dangerous.

Also on the ASIST course I had a revelation - that rather than stay bitterly hurt and angry at the church for not listening to my screams, the solution was in education. They had acted in love, but in ignorance, and I have spoken to too many others who’ve had a similar experience.

That photo above shouts out the problem and this same pattern is repeated hundreds of times over - people who are struggling to cope with suicidal thoughts do not turn to the church. In fact, they would prefer to tell no-one. 

If the church really is God’s solution, and I believe it is, then something is terribly wrong, but what can we do about it? Well, we've stared by launching RunningSpace
At RunningSpace we are returning to that original goal of Running to beat suicide. How? By educating communities in
Walk2Run 
safeTALK, focusing on Christians (who are the church, I don’t give a crap about denominations or buildings) and by
Running in the Gap adventures.


I’ve been guilty of watering down the RunningSpace message in order to be ‘inclusive’ – but really, there are more Christians in the world that I could possibly run with or educate!

2018 has been a huge learning curve and there have been many successes. More importantly, lives have been saved and changed.

In 2019, we need your help. Would you please pray for doors to open for us so that we can educate and train churches, communities and individuals in Walk2Run and safeTALK
Please help us pray and intercede for anyone affected by suicide as we run our first Running in the Gap adventure from Bexhill to Canterbury in the spring.

Here’s to Running to beat Suicide and to trusting God with that original vision

Come and run with us, it might just change your life...


Thursday, 13 December 2018

How to shine while running in the dark


I read this today
…let your light shine before men so that they can see your good deeds…”.

Well that’s not very British is it? Sounds a lot like ‘blowing your own trumpet’ to me. It could descend into boasting, it could lead to jealousy and envy, even vandalism! Yikes!  
                     
Ok so I was kind of cheating there, taking that phrase out of its context, which helped me see something I’d never seen before – that your good deeds are brilliant and it’s fun to let other people see them.

Here’s the whole paragraph.

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men so that they can see your good deeds and glorify God

Results
It’s the results that are important isn't it? We let our good deeds shine out and everybody benefits Letting our own lights shine gives light to everyone so that they can see. And then other people will glorify God. That’s a win for me, a win for other people and a win for God.  

A little example
Here’s a little example from when I was on the till yesterday at The Pelham, and 2 customers came in for the first time.

Me: You’re very welcome here, we make the best coffee in the world [smile], how can I help?
Customer: Really? What coffee is it?
Me: It’s Kingdom Coffee, but it’s also that we let our coffee brew for 28 seconds which brings out the sweetness of the bean, we use the best locally produced whole frothy milk, and we have Allen, who is the best barista in the world.
Customer: Wow, that’s a perfect storm! We’ll have a latte and a cappuccino please.
After drinking the coffee…
Customer: That was the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life
Me: Told ya! Thank you, glad you enjoyed it
Customer: Not only that, there’s something different about this place, a different feel somehow. Thank you for your friendly welcome, we’ll see you next week.

A tiny running sermon
Final thought. Early morning running at this time of year requires a head torch to see and be seen, and mine is lovely and bright. Not to be outshone, a client bought himself a brand new extra bright head torch. Now we run shoulder to shoulder with twice the light, twice the safety, twice the visibility.

Let’s allow our collective good deeds to shine, and we’ll produce many times the light, many times the safety, and many times the visibility.

Come and run with us, it might just change your life...

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

I'm grateful for running because...


Why do I run? I run to beat suicide, I run to keep healthy, I run to donate money to suicide prevention charities and I run because I am in faith that in running together we will beat suicide.

If you’d like to know how to join us, or how to get started learning to Walk2Run for FREE, please contact me on Jacky@Walk2Run.org

I love running with other people. The ‘power of the appointment’ gets me out of the door at 6 am every day and keeps me as motivated as the people I run with. Today I’ve run in the frosty dark countryside along lakesides and cow fields, closely followed by beach running under a full blazing December sun. I love running with other people. 

I also love running by myself. 
If you’ve never done it before, or it’s been a while, you should try it. 

Even on a short easy walk or run, you begin to hear yourself as the noise of a busy life fades away. It’s beautifully simple and not at all forced, you can hear your own breathing, the sounds of your own footfall, you start to pay attention to how hot or cold you are, you start to take notice of yourself. And then there are the thoughts and stresses of the week that seem to untangle themselves with every step. If you sat me in a room to ‘reflect’ for 30 minutes I’d fidget, I’d cough or sneeze, and my thoughts would turn to washing up, the next phone call, the school letter I should have returned. But in the process of running, even those thoughts just seem to effortlessly find their own place.

The mental health benefits of learning to run are well documented (google it), but you'll never really believe it until you try it. 

Come and run with us, it might just change your life. 






Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Walk2Run by prescription

If only we could bottle it...
In our house we talk about getting a bout of depression in the same way we talk about having a cold. 

Through no fault of your own, you catch a cold so you hide under a duvet with a Netflix box set of something recommended by facebook friends, you eat crap all day but nothing tastes of anything, and your body feels alternately hotter or colder than usual. It feels like you’ve always felt this bad and that it will never change. 

But suddenly, it passes and you’re back in the game.

So it is with depression
Mine at least. Through no fault of my own it came on Friday afternoon, at about 2.20pm. Since then my eyes have been heavy, all I want to do is sleep, despite being in bed hour after hour, and I’m ‘wasting’ time eating digestive biscuits, watching Outlander on Prime (no intelligence required).

The best advice I ever received was ‘don’t try to out-think depression’, and ‘nurture yourself until it passes.’ Just like a cold, it will pass.

Things I can do to help myself
As with any other illness, some things are out of my control, but there are other things I can do to help myself. Drinking lots of water is one, taking myself to bed when I don’t have other commitments is another, and then of course (you knew it was coming), there is Walk2Running.

Walk2Run works. 
There is overwhelming evidence that proves that all of these things we do at Walk2Run
  • exercise
  • outdoors
  • in a supportive group
  • 3 times a week 
help relieve the symptoms of depression. In fact it’s found to be more effective than medication for mild to moderate depression.

But how do you  get started when you feel so sh**? 
The key is usually getting out there with someone you know, either a friend or relative. Or you could simply email me at Jacky@walk2run.org or ‘meet’ me on facebook. This takes away loads of the anxiety, once you find a friendly face.

I wish you could bottle it
After a Walk2Run session last week, one lady who suffers with depression and anxiety said “I wish you could bottle it…” She didn't used to be a runner but enjoyed walking. You don’t have to be a runner either, we all start by walking before we can run.

Sitting here in my sick bed writing this, I wish I could bottle that euphoric feeling too. I for one believe that it should be available on prescription. So tonight I’ll be shoe-horning myself out of bed and getting myself out to Walk2Run where I know I will be welcomed by friendly faces and a workout which will relieve my symptoms.

See you there or drop me a line to get involved, we'd love to support you. 

Thank God for running and for Walk2Run!

Come and run with us, it might just change your life. 

Friday, 19 October 2018

Tracy's Story

Shiny happy people
I was honoured when asked to write a few words about my experience of Walk2Run. Thank you Jacky :)

Background

My partner is disabled, and I care for her daily. I do this with love and compassion. It requires me to have a reasonable level of physical fitness and emotional strength. The build-up of stress and limited time for myself had taken its toll, not only physically, it was also affecting my mental health. What I hadn't realised was that my state of mind was affecting my partner too. She had previously attempted suicide and I really was not prepared to let the way I was feeling affect her any longer.

I hadn't got any idea what to expect that first session. I was extremely anxious as I experience social anxiety and struggle in group activities BUT the thing that drew me in was Jacky’s promise to Teach me how to run.

Jacky’s coaching was just brilliant. She had an amazing ability to involve everyone even though we were all at different levels of fitness and dealing with different challenges in our lives. Encouragement and support came so naturally to her. No one was left out. The people I met that day were wonderful, so supportive, positive and welcoming. After 1 hour I came away exhilarated and positive about my onward journey.

Present

Walk2Run is having a huge impact on my life. I've lost 2 stone. I am fitter than I have ever been. I have gained confidence. My social anxiety has improved considerably and having time out for ME keeps my mind strong and able to face challenges in a more positive way. My partner and I have both attended the safeTALK suicide awareness course that jacky runs and not only do I feel more able to help my partner, but I also have the skills and resources to guide others in the direction of help. In addition to this my partner is more involved in the community and is enjoying life just that little bit more.

Joining Walk2Run honestly is one of the best decisions I have ever made and I can’t thank Jacky enough. :)

Come and run with us, it might just change your life...