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Reconnect with the animal

I don’t know if you remember but in October I ran the Mile Swing Challenge again after a couple of years not doing it.

Well, I’ve been getting earache from my assistant, Wendy, for not updating you all on the fundraising total and how the money is being distributed.

Well, first off, we raised a touch over €7,000 for the RehabCare HOPS mental health support centre.

How is being used?

Well that’s totally down to the service users.

Each week they have a meeting in which they discuss the service and how it can be improved.

It’s not just the staff running the show, the guys that use the service get a full say.

Which is very cool.

So I’ve been taken in and shown the new Nutribullet and George Forman grill in the kitchen. The new chairs replacing the old broken ones.

And I was asked to accompany the guys on a couple of outdoor events where the fundraising money has gone towards paying for transport and accommodation.


It’s this last point that really excites me.

Getting out into nature, into weather, away from traffic, noise, hustle and bustle had to be one of the greatest things you can do for your own mental and physical well being.

Even those of us without diagnosable mental health problems get great benefit from getting out in nature.

There’s a growing body of research to support this.

But never mind the research, think instead about common sense.

We are animals of the genus Homo Sapiens, a species of ape. We call ourselves “Human Beings” because we can.

Now we sit and watch the news about animal in Zoo’s and other forms of captivity and we curse at the tv, disgusted that these animals are developing psychological issues because they’re kept caged up and that they should allowed in their natural environment to run free.


We look at dog owners who don’t get their dog out to the park with disgust.

Yet we don’t think the same way about Homo Sapiens.

How fucked up is that?

The average Homo Sapiens sleeps in an environmentally controlled chamber, has a plentiful supply of calorie dense food, is transported everywhere it needs to go, sits in an environmentally controlled environment for work purposes, and faces little that causes it any real physical threat or challenge. Those that do look for the physical challenge do so in carefully controlled environments.


Does that sound like a recipe for a healthy animal?

Or should that animal get out in the sun, the wind, the rain. Should that animal remain in artificial light, with artificial temperature control, or should that animal experience and learn about shivering and sweating, wrapping up against the wind or finding shade against the sun.

What do you think?

Now remember that Homo Sapiens is you.

You are an ape, an animal.

And if you forget that you forget to do the animal things, and that, in my opinion is one of the greatest contributing factors to poor mental health.

And as city life is now the norm, almost everyone works in an office, the animal is getting less and less stimulation.

So during the week, get into the gym and feed the animal with Iron Supplements.

But when you have more available time, get out into nature.

Thanks to the money you donated in last years fundraiser, there’s a group of people with diagnosed mental health issues getting to do just that.

I urge you to now do the same for yourself.


Dave Hedges

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