Cycling for Mental Health Research UK 

Similar to Jo, Sacha found her path to mental fitness through exercise, this time by cycling across the UK and Europe. Sacha’s own mental health journey led her to take up cycling, and as she’s clocked up the miles she’s been clocking up sponsorship funds for MHR. 

What inspired me to do it? 

I love cycling, the open road, me and the scene - as Robert M. Pirsig says in Zen and Art Motorcycle Maintenance says, “I'd rather be in the scene than watch it”. I need challenges to give me real purpose in life I wanted to see more of Britain - particularly Scotland. So in 
2016 I Cycled the 1000 miles from Lands End to John Groats over 14 days straight (no days off) to raise money for Mental Health Research UK.

Later in same year I also did a Team Cycle Relay Challenge across Europe covering 500 miles in 3 days - the Extra Mile Challenge. 
Why Mental Health Research UK? 

I have had too many lives touch me with mental health issues including close family, and more importantly I personally have had a hidden mental health disorder that I survive and manage, in part through my love of cycling.
Mental health treatment and support is an underfunded area, but research into what we don’t yet know about many very complex illnesses needs even more support. Cycling for me is a coping mechanism, so it made perfect sense for me to raise funds for Mental Health Research through cycling.
How did it go? 

Ultimately it was tough but exhilarating for 2 weeks or life in a bubble away from reality. A chance not to worry. Just to focus on your surroundings. I specifically remember the evening after I entered Scotland and crying down the phone to my daughter but telling her I was enjoying it and underneath the tears I was happy. I also have memories of one of the best birthdays to date on this trip. There were points of sheer physical exhaustion. When I look back I am in awe of myself at what I achieved. 

For the Extra Mile Challenge it turned out tougher than I expected. It was short distances at speed. Having to cool down and start over again made cycling a lot tougher. I experienced a mini asthma attack on Day 2 which scared me but with a team of 4 supporting me (three of whom I hadn't met before), I felt strengthened and determined not to quit. The highlight for me was cycling over the border into Germany whilst achieving my personal average speed record. Despite how tough it was, I'm even considering another trip later this year in 2017! 

After all the challenges I've faced I haven’t given up cycling - in fact the trip across Britain has reminded me where my happiness is, on the open road and in the scene!

You can take a look at Facebook blog for photos of my fundraising journey:  https://www.facebook.com/sachalynch.lejog/  there's also a few pictures and comments on the fundraising page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sacha-Lynch-LEJOG 

Sacha 

Do you know anyone affected by mental health issues?  Or are you personally affected?

If any of these stories have touched you and you’d like to raise funds for Mental Health Research, take a look at how we can help you fundraise now.

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