5 min read

Running and depression

In rainbows
Running and depression

hello friend

Hello. How’s your week been? Ever wonder where rainbows come from? Well wonder no more!

So, how are you?


photos

It is International Women’s Day on Sunday. Here are some international women I’ve been fortunate to meet through the medium of photography.

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A young woman at the Liverpool ‘Fridays for Future’ climate protest.

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A cool woman my wife and I met in a small bar in Bruges.

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A cool woman I met in Edinburgh while looking for the colour purple.

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Clare Owens who co-founded Squash Nutrition. A wonderful community cafe where you can not only buy great food but also the ingredients and learn how to cook.

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Valerie who I met while doing a portrait project in Port Sunlight. She had travelled to most countries in the world.  Amazing woman.

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Anne on her 91st birthday about to go play Bongos Bingo. If you don’t know about Bongos Bingo it’s classic bingo with a boat load of booze and 90s rave tracks. It’s nuts. Photographed for Easyjet Traveller Magazine.

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Lilly Cole. Actor. Director. Model. She was in Liverpool directing a movie.

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Jill Scott is a footballer for Manchester City and the England national team. This was shot for Grazia.

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Lastly, my wife. Taken on New Year’s Eve in The Hague. Everything I am now is because of meeting her. ❤️


mental health

I’ve been up early each morning this week. My alarm has gone off. I’ve heard it, got up, dressed and gone out into the world. 4 mornings running and 1 morning for a dip in the lake. I’ve never been a morning person. When I did my degree, in 1997-2001, I was the kind of person who would work till they dropped. Most nights I was up till 3am working. I’d sleep 8 hours and get back into it. Before I met my wife I’d generally get up around 10am. My body wants 8 hours sleep.

This week I’ve been getting up around 6am - 6:30am and getting out there into the world. I’m happy. They say it takes around 4 weeks to build a habit so I’m a little ways off and there’s a great danger that I’ll slip back into my old routine. For now at least this week has been good.

Has it helped with depression? Not one bit. While I’m out I’m ok. I’m distracting myself from issues. When I get home and I have to think about work I’ve become depressed. It’s so stupid and simple but it leads me places. I have to buy a new lens which costs around £1200. It isn’t an every day lens but I need it in my bag. The cost makes me question things. If I’m an architectural photographer I need it. If I’m a portrait photographer I don’t. So then I debate which I am. I stop and tell myself to shut up and just photograph what I love, which is technology. I can’t see a way to photograph people looking at screens so I become annoyed with my lack of ideas or vision. I go out and play with some buildings to take my mind off it and then spend 2 days sitting at a computer being frustrated that the software is slow and hard to use. I can’t get the results I saw in my head. Maybe that lens would help? Oh but… I go round and round. I can’t make a decision because I’ve over-analysed everything. I think back to how “easy” it all was years ago when I was Mr. HDR with my book deals and magazine articles. I find myself looking at a competitor from those days to see he’s made over $1m in fine art sales. I absolutely hate myself.

This is depression. It’s a trigger that makes you think negatively. Your brain is desperate to find more and more negative thoughts. It hunts for them. It finds them and feeds causing you no end of pain. One trigger. One little negative bolt of lightning fires off in the brain and you lose a week to hating your own existence.

But I still get up when my alarm goes off and get outside. I will run in any condition. I’ve run in torrential rain and I’m still here. I’ve swam in 5c water and I’m still here. The hard part is getting up and out there. So while I’ve got all that other nonsense going on in my head I’ve at least achieved this. I no longer look at those people who are doing this and think “Oh if only I could too.” I’m doing it.

Maybe that’s all I need to do right now. Take one thing off my mind. Get rid of one of those “I wish I could do that” feelings. I have a long list of these things in my head that I’m not strong enough to do or maybe I am? Maybe we all are. We just need to take that first step. Ugh that sounds a bit self help booky. A journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step. Hang in there kitten! vomits I dislike cliches.

Maybe this is the way? I don’t fix depression by attacking it head on. I fix depression by fixing those other little things I want to improve about myself. If I can fix one thing, prove I have control over it and that I can actually achieve something then maybe it can serve as a reminder that if you put your mind to it you can achieve anything.

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•  Some amazing photos and some heart breaking ones - Highlights from the 2020 World Press Photo nominees – British Journal of Photography

•  A great resource here - SWIMMERS' YELLOW PAGES – Outdoor Swimming Society Outdoor Swimming Society

•  Autism, the sea, and me – Outdoor Swimming Society Outdoor Swimming Society