Rachel Ann experiences the reality of mental health issues from a young age- she grows up in a dysfunctional home with a mother who suffers with bipolar disorder and disordered eating.
Rachel Ann isn’t naturally athletic and from a young age, feels the pressure of being compared to her graceful ballerina sister Jane. She finds comfort in food and rapidly gains weight throughout childhood and into her teenage years.
Rachel Ann begins running at age 18, but she finds no pleasure in movement. Running is a necessary evil to help her lose weight, an ‘energy-depleting, laboured chore with the sole purpose of burning calories’. She dips in and out of running throughout her life, but only begins to take it seriously after the birth of her daughter, when she sets herself the goal of completing the London Marathon. It gives her purpose and some headspace away from her new role as a mother.
Running becomes Rachel Ann's saviour, she finally finds contentment and freedom she has been searching for all her life.
Living in Yorkshire and speaking to use from her attic
Being a runner and a writer
Publishing her book - Running for my life
Her background of being a lawyer, to running her own health business and now working for a charity
Growing up with her mum, who suffered from mental health issues
Absorbing her mothers sadness (even though her mum loved her)
Coming into her teenage years and dealing with a lack of self confidence
Turning to comfort eating to deal with life
Being in an abusive relationship when she was a teenager
Wanting to feel better about herself and how she started running
Why her running came from a place of self loathing and negativity
Hating running but sticking to her running plan
Seeking professional help with her mental health
Being diagnosed with clinical depression and being on medication for 12 years
Deciding to set herself the challenge of running the London Marathon
Wanting to get pregnant and have a child
Getting a place the first time she entered the London Marathon!
Making up her own training schedule by booking in a series of races
The mental side of training and the marathon
Crossing the finish line of her first marathon in 2011
Experiencing the pain zone
What she would say to the 18 year old Rachel now
Why she deciding to write her book - “Running for my Life”
What can we do to raise awareness of mental health issues
Advice for new runners
Her next running goals
Running Boston Marathon and Leeds Half Marathon
Writing her second book
Blog - www.rachelcullenwrites.wordpress.com
Twitter - @writtenbyrach
Instagram - @rachel_running_for_my_life
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