Jo Boylan-Kemp Is Running 10k Per Day For Mental Health Awareness

My guest today is a woman that is pushing herself this year in the hopes of helping those that are struggling with mental health.

Her aim is simple: run 10k per day to raise funds and awareness of Mind, a mental health charity based in England.

We have a lot to talk about today and I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Jo Boylan-Kemp.

Jo Boylan-Kemp

Following In Her Mom’s Footsteps

Jo Boylan-Kemp grew up with a mother that ran and frequently participated in races.

It wasn’t until Jo was an adult that her mom finally convinced her to run a half marathon with her.

At that point in her life, Jo didn’t prioritize her health or fitness.

Over the course of the race, her mom would frequently speed up and then turn around to run back to Jo.

It was during that half marathon that a seed was planted.

Jo began to think that if her mom could run an entire half marathon, then she was capable as well.

In hindsight, that race with her mom was a turning point for Jo in her fitness journey.

Lifting Complements Running

About 6 years ago, after Jo had already begun running, she came across Crossfit.

With the addition of Crossfit, Jo embraced a more fitness-centric lifestyle.

It didn’t take long before she realized how much lifting complemented running.

Adding in strength allowed Jo to use her body in a variety of ways which helped in making her a more durable runner.

Both running and Crossfit have a social aspect that Jo has come to embrace.

The communities keep her motivated and striving to do her best while always having fun.

This past year has been challenging for most individuals and Jo was no exception.

She is especially thankful for being able to exercise because it has helped no only her physical health but her mental health as well.

Mental Health Awareness

The idea to run a 10k per day came to Jo in the fall of 2020.

Like most ideas, it seemed great at the moment, until reality began to sink in.

Jo knew that she wanted to challenge herself while also doing it for a good cause.

Mental health has affected people in her family and the pandemic year only amplified the crisis.

New Years’ day of 2021 was the start of Jo’s yearlong challenge of a 10k per day.

Before even running her first step of her first 10k of many, Jo received some devastating news.

On New Years’ day, Jo found out that a dear friend had taken his life the night before.

It was in that moment that Jo knew she would see this challenge all the way through while raising funds and awareness.

10k Per Day

Prior to beginning her challenge of 10k per day, Jo backed off of running a bit so that she didn’t risk injury or fatigue before even starting.

Jo approaches most training without a firm plan in place, preferring to adjust as she goes.

The first 3 weeks of the challenge had Jo questioning everything.

Her legs were heavy, she was retaining more water, and she was more sore than usual.

Her body did eventually acclimate and since then she has been pleasantly surprised with how well she has felt.

Jo is expecting to have ups and downs in the next year.

Keeping the pressure low has enabled her to really enjoy each and every run so far.

Currently, she is enjoying the challenge, because she knows things could change at any moment.

Jo Boylan-Kemp

Generosity Is Contagious

Jo is an individual that doesn’t enjoy asking people for anything.

When she initially set her fundraising goal for 2,021 pounds she was daunted at the thought of raising so much money.

She is doing well and has surpassed her initial goal, but it still doesn’t come naturally for her.

Jo has found that most people are incredibly generous and more than happy to donate.

Her new target is to raise 12,000 pounds or more by the end of the year.

Even though the pandemic is limiting races, Jo still managed to get some races and challenges on her calendar for this year.

Jo has learned a lot from running over the years.

She is braver than she ever thought possible and no longer doubts that she can achieve whatever she sets out to achieve.

Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected with Jo Boylan-Kemp by following her on Instagram and/or Facebook.

Jo Boylan-Kemp is running a 10k per day for a year to raise awareness and funds for the mental health organization Mind. The pandemic made the mental health crisis worse and Jo is doing her part to make it better. Share on X

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