how are you doing?

spiffingly i hope?

some great news this week, we have had 110 people so far, commit to run the cardiff half marathon with bigmoose on oct 1st, so if you've registered with us thank you, and if not register now, and if you know any runners please encourage them to join the biggest team to ever run this race, it's going to be a whole lotta fun, there is a real buzz about it this year already, i can feel it.

register here http://www.cardiffhalfmarathon.co.uk/register/

our main purpose this year is to raise awareness of mental health issues, and the great work that the charity 'mind' do to help people, and you don't need to fundraise unless you really want to.

this week i met with lucy lloyd from mind, who told me that for 20-34 year olds the biggest killer currently is suicide, and often it is people that on the outside seem very calm and content, whilst inside they are in a turmoil of emotion and pain, and having just read this morning of the suicide of the lead singer of american rock band linkin park, chester bennington, aged 41, this situation doesn't seem like it is due to abate any time soon.

however, we can play our part in helping reverse the growth of this horrible statistic, by encouraging people to talk about their problems, and taking away the stigma of mental health issues, especially in men, who since caveman times have always had macho stereotypes thrust upon them, which can cause them to refrain from talking about real emotions and feelings.

bigmoose running the cardiff half might not seem on the surface to be a very powerful vehicle, but at this monday's training run we held at roath park, i returned home aware that three people in our group all had serious mental health issues, and all three told me personally that this journey was helping them with their anxiety, and returning home with chloe we both commented on how it was the best training run we had ever had.

small steps, but the love that was shown to one of our runners who trotted in on her own after completing 2.5 miles, the longest distance she had ever run in her life, and everybody clapping and cheering her, gave me that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from seeing spontaneous warmth from fellow humans.

however, there is lots of work to do by us all to stop the pressure that causes people to take their own lives, and by running or recruiting a friend or work colleague that runs, you can help in your own way, and we are a sum of all of our parts, which hopefully will include you.

as well as bigmoose training runs, we have also had a super busy week going to schools to tell them about part two of my everest journey, and i wish i could have filmed every presentation, as the reactions have been fantastic. 

this confirmed our plan was on point, when at the beginning there was doubt and fear that we were doing the right thing.

this confirmation was enhanced when one of yesterdays schools we went to had the teacher of the year 6's telling us they were the worst year she has ever taught, and three boys in particular were awful, and as i spotted two of them wearing baseball caps as they entered the classroom, i worked out my plan.

my plan was to include them early on in the presentation by asking them questions, ask their names, and then reference their names when they got the answer right, and then keep involving them in a positive light.

as the pictures of the mountain, and the videos of my helicopter flights, climbing high, crevasses, etc, flashed up on screen, the class sat silently agog.

at the end of the presentation these kids from a proper roughy toughy background were asking for autographs, and i signed shirts, bags, books, etc, but drew the line as a young man who stood close to 6ft tall, and whose voice had very apparently broken, asked in a very deep bass tone 'sir, can you sign my forehead?' i thought i had misheard, and asked him to repeat his request, but having heard correctly we then negotiated down to me signing his, and a few of his mates hands.

the teacher who had spoken of the unruly nature of the class then told me she couldn't believe how well behaved they had been as she presented me with a card they had made and all signed, and i left the classroom to a cacophony of sound as they all shouted goodbye.

i wondered if any of them would remember my message of never giving up, and following their dreams, and although i may never know, i live in hope.

this takes me to the final piece of todays blog jigsaw.

recently a few friends arranged a bit of a party at our mates at crafty devil brewery, the guys who brewed my everest at 53 beer.

at the the shindig my climbing buddy doogie brought his young son seb, and after listening to some bigmoose stories seb decided he wanted to run the cardiff half, which unfortunately age deems he can't.

however, there is a family fun run the day before, and this prompted me to suggest that seb gets a team of a load of his mates to all run it, repping bigmoose shirts, and raising a couple of quid for a charity of his and his parents choice, lots of wins i reckon.

now i haven't spoken to doogie to see if he's up for it, but it has stimulated an idea that we should start a junior bigmoose section, that can do all kinds of stuff, which builds the whole ethos of kindness, helping each other, encouraging being active from an early age, putting down the devices and getting outside, a whole plethora of goodness.

so as readers of our blog, if you have any ideas you can suggest, please get in touch, i just think this starts building good humans when they are young, and the energy that kids have is super infectious, and could start a new strand of what we do, and hopefully we can keep leading by example, and like the kids i met yesterday, we can win them over by walking the walk.

now as you can probably tell i am pretty excited about this, so if you have a child that would like to take part in the cardiff half marathon funday you can enter here, but let us know, and we can sort out some bigmoose tiny humans shirts.


finally my old mucka kris king is running up mount snowdon today as part of his three peaks challenge, which he is doing whilst running from john o groats to lands end, so i want to wish him mucho good luck, and you can follow him on instagram here https://twitter.com/coachkingy?lang=en-gb

also whilst on his crazy journey, he is coming to stay with me this week, and we have a bottle of 17 year old whisky that we promised we would toast my everest summit with, which i have a distinct feeling is going to taste quite sweet :) go on kinger!!!

have a top week, love one another, and do some cool stuff that might surprise yourself, as well as everyone around you.

blue skies,