Mattkettlewell

LeJog day 1

Waking up in Penzance in a 10 bed dorm, isn’t my preferred way to wake up. But it happened. I was here to meet my new friend for the next month, the recumbent trike. A trike where you are basically lying down flat.

Having never ridden one before I was pretty nervous as the team from the manufacturers came to watch the start, and my first go! Dreading braking it I stayed in one gear whilst they got all the photos they needed.  

Now I am riding for mental health, I’m not a big fan of collecting money of people, but raising awareness for this is something I believe strongly in. Especially when it comes to being outside to help this. 

so the aim is to show how much benefits to your mental health can be had by living a little more adventurous and outdoors. 

 

 

My first day was horrific! Hills and strong head winds hampered progress, but I still managed to smash an 80km day. Putting me 10km already ahead of schedule!  

I stayed in a hostel over night, as I was in a built up area and didn’t fancy spending the night under the stars behind some bins near Newquay! 

though I hate hostels, this one did not change that opinion. Full of youngesters drinking until 2am on a Sunday! Madness. And obviously even this hostel had a guitar playing nobhead, who murdered wonderwall and other oasis classics

 

but I’m rested and ready for day 2

Talking at the Destination Travel show

Destination Travel Show

 

I was lucky enough to be invited to talk at the Destination Travel Show in Manchester. At first there was a slight panic when it looked like I was going to be talking and being interviewed on stage whilst cooking! Now I can cook, but cook whilst trying to talk is a different matter! 

I was on the Meet the Expert stage by the Times newspaper. With my slideshow and Britney Spears style headset I was ready to go. With tales of my adventures in Africa, Asia and Central America. 

A full audience had come along to hear listen. 

 

For those of you who don’t know I had an unpleasant encounter with a big cat, leaving a large scar on my back. Whilst telling this story to the audience, it was greeted with a large gasp when I described in detail the encounter.  I found this amazing!

The story of the muggings in Central America also went down well, this was the point I started to think this crowd enjoyed my suffering!  

Best question from the audience at the end was, when am I writing a book. I think maybe a coffee table book or a pop up book would be the best I can do. 

but over all, it was a great show. I recommend going along. The London show has a certain Levison Wood talking! 

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Me dressed as a member of Kings of Leon

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Quick note check (I was actually watching football) 

Health and my adventures

I find it hard to talk about my health to people, but the more I’ve worked with groups. The more I see the importance of being able to open up.

My health is what got me into my life of adventure, so I thought I would explain it in a short blog.

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Mental Health

During my teenage years, I was bullied at school, this lead me to barely attending school. Doing my best to avoid being picked on, it also lead to me developing depression and anxiety at an early age.

It took a random job in South Africa working at an animal rehabilitation centre, to snap me out of my first low. Which I could not see ending.

But I still find things trigger me into going into huge lows

returning from Expeditions

as soon as I’m home, and trying to slip back into a 9-5 routine, after months of being on the road working abroad. Sends me into what is called adventure blues.  

social media

Now this one is a big one for many people, as we all find ourselves on social media.  I find myself comparing myself to people, or being jealous of their trips. 

Ill health

This was the big one for me, and sent me into a big low this year.  I contracted Malaria at the start of 2018 from a trip to Madagascar. With being ill, I had to cancel most of the years work as I had no idea when I’d be fit again. With not being able to work, losing my fitness and spending more time on social media. I found myself in a very bad place. 

 

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But after a lengthy talk with my GP and myself, I decided I was the only person who could change how I feel. 

So first I started taking silly pictures of me Jumping in the air! These pictures got me back outside hiking, thinking of places to walk to find the shot. Which meant my fitness started to improve. 

Then I thought I am going to stop competing with people on Social media, as they may be in the same boots as me. 

When I was feeling nearly back to normal I decided to walk the Pennine way, which I was a great time. No signal, just me and the fresh air.

 

 

Now I can feel, when I’m on a down and I now know what helps me.  opening up and getting outside