Matthew's Reason to Run

Updated: Aug 5

By Matthew Little

My own story: I have experienced social anxiety for my whole life. I have fought it to the point that anyone not close to me would have seen me as being quite an extrovert. I am a teacher by trade in a college, which required enormous daily effort, yet I managed, yet every day was a battle to leave the front door or go into a shop.

For the last year, I started to lose the battle, and my life became me giving in to the pressures, which became harder as I withdrew and ended up having to take time off from work and my relationship breaking down. This was when I attempted to take my own life, very nearly doing so and having to receive emergency hospital treatment.

Up until this point, I did want to continue. However, I noticed afterwards that my anxiety had temporarily lifted, I began looking at the things that were causing my low moods and fitness, low confidence, and my weight (I had put on one and a half stone) was high up there. So my mission was to eat more healthily, my stint in Hospital had got me accustomed to the water and off fizzy drinks, and I figured I would work on the anxiety if it came back.

I Have run in the past, I once ran a half Marathon, and I always remembered how it made me feel incredible. So running it was! Around four weeks ago, I had my first run. I managed 2 miles at a very steady pace, and my legs ached afterwards, but I was determined to get fit and motivate myself. Four weeks in, and I can run 8 miles. I did not want to give up on running, as it really was the cure for me. So I signed up for the Lincoln Half Marathon to not give up. I am now on a really tight time frame to get up to the required distance, but I am so confident. The running completely focuses on me, and I feel so confident. Training has meant that the Mental health professionals checking on me have no real concerns. I do not need medication or Anxiety support. This is the Power of exercise, and it seemed like destiny when I found out that the Lincoln half Marathon had the potential to raise sponsorship for Mental health. So this is my way of giving back.

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