LOCAL super-mum Helen Davis has certainly went the ‘extra mile’ this lockdown, with help from her former GAA club St Patrick’s, Donagh, together their efforts raised over £4,000 for mental health charity ‘Pieta House’ through the ‘Run4Pieta’ twenty-four hour challenge.
Speaking to the Herald on her recent achievement, Helen said, “I would have always done the ‘Darkness Into Light’ walk every year in Lisnaskea and I actually lost a very close friend and work colleague to suicide three years ago, so from that I’ve always wanted to give something back to Pieta House.
“I was totally blessed with the full use of Blessingbourne Estate during the 24 hour challenge, the Estate offered areas to us runners which are usually restricted but we were granted full use of it and I can’t thank the owners enough.”
The ‘Pieta House’ charity offers free therapy and support to vulnerable people suffering with self-harm, suicidal thoughts or to those who have been bereaved by suicide. “My late work colleague and close friend that I lost to suicide was the person who actually got me into running in the first place. He always promised me that we would run a marathon together and unfortunately we never got that chance.
“I always carry his picture with me every time I run a marathon and for me this challenge was in memory of him. He was the life and soul of every party and you could have asked him to do anything for you.
“He was training to do the Derry Marathon in 2014 and I went up and watched him having no experience of ever taking part in one, to see the amount of people just blew me away. After that I came home and said to my husband Ian that I was going to run the Dublin Marathon that same year.
“That evening I registered for it and downloaded a 16-week fitness programme from Google to prepare myself. There’s a misconception that people need to have some level of fitness to run but that’s not the case – I didn’t.”
Helen continued; “The 24 hour challenge taught me a lot about myself, physically and mentally. Over the 24 hours I laughed, I cried, I heard some funny stories and some heartbreaking stories.
“Mental health is very much present within our society, if you are feeling like things are not OK please talk to someone, reach out, pick up the phone and call someone.
“You will never regret putting on your trainers to go for a run, or walk even if it’s just a few miles. Get out, make time for yourself and be kind to your mind.”
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