Welcome to StrongMen

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StrongMen – What is it and what it is doing.


Just so you know this if not an AD, the Charity didn’t come to me. I asked them if I could write about them to help spread the word of who they are.

As many of you might know recently I discovered Channel 4’s S.A.S Who Dares Wins. Which pits a team of average joe recruits through a version of the selection progress for the Special Forces, lead by a tough team of Directing Staff which is made up of Ex Special Forces Operatives; Ant Middleton, Jason Fox, Matthew Ollerton and Mark Billingham.

Each season highlights the recruits back stories and reasons for taking on such a challenge, and each season for me has a couple of people who really stand out with some truly emotionally touching stories. Earlier seasons showed me Ehrem’s story and the season just gone showed me Mark and Milo’s stories. All dealing with grief, loss and a drive to prove themselves in honour of their lost family members.

Obviously as the world is very social media driven I jumped on the bandwagon to follow both Mark and Milo on Instagram. Only to find out their relationship has continued after the show and they are embarking on a Charity Climb of Mont Blanc in July with Ollie Ollerton.Β All in the name of “StrongMen”. Which got me thinking, who are they?


StrongMen

StrongMen is a non-profit organisation set up by several Ex-Recruits and a D.S. from the show. Their mission, to tackle Mental Health issues caused by bereavement and suffering in men. Offering weekend retreats for Men aged 18-55 who have suffered a bereavement of a family member.

With grief and loss being one of the main causes to depression, stress and other such mental health issues the team at StrongMen have set up retreats to focus on several aspects of life; from diet, to exercise, to leisure activities – all with the goal of helping men open up and talk about their emotions and problems. Even if you are not effected by such things I strongly urge you to check out, look into this group and support the team at StrongMen.


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Mental Health is an ever-growing concern in this modern world, as it becomes more widely recognised and accepted. There is still a stigma behind Men and their diagnoses but with the help of organisations like StrongMen we can move away from that stigma and make it socially acceptable to be worry free and open to discuss what is really going on in our mind.

Men can still be the strong characters they always have been, but there is also no shame or harm in being open about what is going on inside your head. Especially if it results in help.

 

 


With all of this new and fresh in my mind it’s really made me take a step back to evaluate my own personal mental health. The up’s, the downs and the vague patches in the middle. Evaluating my own thoughts and well-being has been on the forefront of a lot of discussions recently. Growing as a blogger I have had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with several Mental Health bloggers for both Men and Women and this has helped me dramatically change my opinion on the topic for the better.

IMG_20180121_224107_636I suffered a bereavement nearly four years ago now, where I lost my Mother. I was 24. It was the start of the summer and I was sat in a beer garden in Northampton with some friends. Just a standard evening of drinks after work to unwind. When I got a phone call. My sisters number, but it was my Dad on the phone. He broke the news to me that she had passed away. Regardless of my relationship with her it was still a shock and worse of all I couldn’t do anything to fix it. I couldn’t even drive the 70 mile trip home there and then because I was in a beer garden. Though I have always be a strong-minded character I think that deep down I have never properly grieved. I just took a deep breath and got on with making sure my sister was ok and putting my Mothers affairs in order as I organised a funeral. (My Parents were Divorced as this point, so power of the estate was in my hands).

I’d never thought about this as a contributing factor to my Mental Health before, but with life getting busier, Adulthood creeping in and responsibilities racking up that tower of Life begins to wobble and lean a bit from time to time. Maybe throwing “Money worries” “Frustration at work” and a dash of “Road Rage” into a pot on top of a ungrevied significant moment in my life isn’t a great move – but then on the flip side maybe I am at ease with it all and how I dealt with it was perfectly rational and understandable during that time in my life.


It is a serious discussion we should be having and with the help of organisations like StrongMen I truly believe that discussion will be taking place more frequently.

As much as I am no professional, I like to think I am a supportive guy who will help anyone, with that in mind – if you want to talk, open up or even just have the knowledge and thought that someone is there. Here I am. Don’t be shy.

I will always be there for you all.

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January Round-Up

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So the new year rolled in, the Christmas decorations went down and the bank balance looked scarily low. January is notorious for being a LONG month, it’s dark, you are constantly tired and a break or holiday usually seems like a long way off.

I’ve decided to do a roundup post of what I have been up to in the month, let’s see how it goes. Came back to work after a week off which is always to short a break, getting back into the swing of things was tough but after a few days it was like we’d never been away – which I am unsure if that is a good thing or not.

 


This month I’ve noticed the light creeping back in. The nights are getting lighter, spring is on its way. But the snow is coming too. Constantly on Snow Watch waiting for that miracle 3ft downpour that leaves us stranded at home.

In the motivational push of January in an attempt to avoid the January Blues I joined a gym again. With the intention to get fitter, build some muscle back and just become a better person. Which I have loved – getting back into that routine, working out and pushing myself.

This can go hand in hand with my latest TV / Celebrity Influencer obsession. Which is Ant Middleton and S.A.S Who Dares Wins. I’ve always wanted to watch the show but never got round to it until this new season started. Something within the show, the speeches, tasks and activities clicked inside me. I am not sure what it is; maybe the positivity, the way of thinking, the ideology behind it. Whatever it is Ant Middleton and his team are inspirational stuff. On the hype I purchased his book “First Man In” which was just like the show – Eye Opening. I am not a strong reader, but this book I couldn’t put down and finished within a week. Which in my eyes is an achievement. So maybe deep down something inside me has changed and I am looking to get the most from this change. Be that on here, in the gym or in my life.

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Caught a few films this month too. The best in my eyes was Spiderman – Into the Spiderverse. If you haven’t seen it I urge you to go and check it out. Everything about it was superb, fun and just an all round amazing watch – also Oscar Nominated. So fingers crossed. Though I did also watch Mary Poppins Returns which on the other hand was a bit . . . meh in my eyes. Sorry. Emily Blunt was as always amazing but the film was a bit deflated.

Also another highlight of the month is my Smile. Ever since I was a child I have had a mark on my front tooth, a little black spot. Dentists have always put it down as a knick, a mark, a hole that can’t be fixed. Just one of those things. Until I changed dentists and the first thing she said to me asΒ I lay in the chair was – “we’ll fill that one!”. I was over the moon but also angry at the same time – this could have been fixed long ago but I was told one thing after another. But now I am smiley with a white set of gnashers.

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So overall not a bad month really. Stats are up, interactions are up. You guys seem to be loving what you read and see of me – which is always a plus. I challenged myself to beat last years stats; Jan 18 vs Jan 19 – and mid month I beat it, then I started pushing for beating my best month in 18. Smashed it. Then out of the blue I hit 1000 views in a month. Which was amazing, over the moon. Can’t believe it. I have YOU to thank for that and it’s been amazing, here is to next month. You ready?

As far as months go, it’s been a good start to the year for the blog and myself. Let’s keep it up.

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