I’m a big fan of Simon Sinek and his book ‘Start with Why’ has been a big influence in my business decisions over the past couple of years. So in beginning to tell the story of Run424242 I thought I’d start with why. Why on earth I’m running 42 marathons in 42 days.
Last month I turned 42, and like Deep Thought (if you don’t know look it up) I was hoping I’d find the answer to life, the universe and everything, what I found was another wrinkle, even more grey hair and a disappointment that the question to the answer is nothing more complicated than: ‘What do you get when you multiply six by nine?’.
Whilst it will be me running 42 marathons in 42 days at 42 years old, Run424242 is not my challenge. It’s a challenge for everyone who works in hospitality. A challenge to get outside and join others to break down the barriers around mental health, build support for those that need it and so that we don’t all end up like Martin, the Paranoid Android.
Awareness around mental health is growing thanks to more media column inches, celebrities opening up and talking about and a general change in our attitudes and understanding around illnesses that affect our most complex and important of organs. The hospitality industry has above-average rates of mental health illness, with a recent report by The Benevolent highlighting that 1/3 of workers have experienced some form of mental health problem.
Being active has many positive impacts on our mental health. It is by no means a magic pill that will cure all ills, but regular exercise is a particularly powerful tool in our mental health toolbox and if you have the chance to get out of the city and into nature, then you can reap the positive benefits that brings as well.
It’s been just over a year since I launched Healthy Hospo with the dream of building a healthier, happier hospitality industry. Last year was all about testing the waters, having conversations to see if people were interested in a better industry to work in or if I was stark raving mad.
I’ve begun training for the physical and mental challenge of running 42 marathons in 42 days. There are no guarantees in life and I don’t prepare properly then I’m certainly going to fail, and if I do all I can to prepare the chances of completing the challenge are still against me. It’s going to kick my ass, push me to places I’ve never been before and I’m certain that I won’t be the same man should I complete it.
But I don’t want to do this alone. I want you, dear reader, to put on your running gear, lace up your shoes and get outside for a run, for your mental health and for the mental health of our amazing industry. Send us photos of your efforts, tag @healthyhospo into your posts and use the #Run424242 hashtag.
I hope to get to run with as many of you as possible and if you’d like to run with me at some point, somewhere, then drop me an email, message, What’s App, carrier pigeon or whatever your preferred method of communication.