"Being able to reflect on my life now from a place of good health and wellbeing, I can see how I have often taken life for granted. I can see now that I was struggling with so many aspects of my life which I ignored."
Those are the words of Keith Kelly, who has inspired me with his strength to take on two of my own huge challenges in 2019, in aid of Suicide Or Survive.
It was Dan & Merro's What's the Story Podcast that introduced me to Keith.
His story and the way he told it was honestly a touching and powerful experience, so that's when I made up my mind to dedicate these challenges to Suicide or Survive.
SOS helps so many people like Keith, who are struggling and just need someone to reach out to them. Five years ago Keith tried to take his own life. He was suffering from PTSD following a trauma that nearly killed him, and couldn't see another way out.
It has taken 10 years from that trauma to say those words above; 10 years to get to a place where he can cope, and understand that yes, there is another way.
Much of that is down to SOS's support, programmes, and self-development training, which has taught Keith coping strategies to guide him out of dips and back to wellness much quicker. He says his life is good now, but so much of it hasn't been.
I don't want people to have to go through that. I want to help the charity in anyway I can, starting with putting myself through two struggles of my own, that I hope you'll support me in.
CLICK ON LINK TO LISTEN TO KEITH ON WTS PODCAST
Or read about Keith on Alustforlife:
Last year, I couldn't swim before I completed the Dún Laoghaire Half Ironman, a 1.9km sea swim, followed by a 90km cycle through the Wicklow Mountains and a 21km run.
I did it because it was in our local neighbourhood, and I am signed up again on August 25, but before that comes Ironman Cork, on June 23 - a race double the distance and double the challenge.
I've never attempted anything like this before, but I'm already 11 weeks in to training, under the guidance of Micheal Keogh, my triathlon coach from MD fitness and Keogh Fit Tri team, who tracks me daily.
The team at DLR Leisure Loughlinstown have taught me to swim and let me train in their pool.
And DSC (Dublin Swimming Club) have prepared me for the madness of open water swimming. I'd advise anyone to join DSC, if you'd like learn to swim in the sea in a safe and very friendly environment - these guys are amazing.
So, I've got my support network, and my motivation, all I need now is your support for SOS to help build support networks for those who don't have one.