As well as being involved with supporting musicians and the grass roots music, since lockdown I have also tried to shine a light on the benefits of raising awareness for Mental Health Issues, especially Anxiety and Depression issues which I myself have struggled with my whole life.
One of the nicest people I have met through this and whom I’ve got to know quite well is Jon Ripley, a young lad from Rotherham that is passionate about Football but also supporting charities especially Mental Health Awareness. He has undertaken a number of challanges, walking from sports ground to sports ground all over the country and last year undertook a cycling challenge of riding from his Home town of Rotherham to London, which I wrote about last year.
As Jon is about to emabark on his toughest challange yet, I grabbed 10 minutes with him to find out more.
So, John – How Are you?
I am good Michael, I hope that you are keeping well, and I hope the family is doing the same.
And what are you up to at the moment?
Currently I am in the works making plans for outings, trips with football matches and charity work to do in the future, which is all going to plan once everything comes together and makes life so much easier and better. I can’t give too much away, all will be revealed in good time through social media and word of mouth.
I’m interviewing you today because you have an announcement about your next big challenge – do you want to tell me about it?
I am happy to announce that I will be doing a 155 mile walk from my house in Rotherham to London, Kings Cross over 7 days, which will be in aid of 2 charities which are WalkAndTalkMMH and Cancer Research UK. The reason for this challenge is to show awareness and what they can do, as well as the service that they provide and the encouragement through past experiences can have a long-lasting effect of why we should always appreciate what they do and what they aim to achieve for everybody.
Previously, you’ve done these challenges on your bike – what made you think to do it by foot?
The experience to London and back over 7 days on my bike last summer was some challenge, that I must admit. The push to do it on foot is something that I have had on my mind for some time. The main and real reason to go out and not to only prove a point but to show that at my age, weight and figure, it is a doable challenge if you have the right stamina, drive, position and stance to go out and do something practical and fitness wise for others to see and to take note. It will be a hard challenge but if completed, it will be a prime example of great work that has been done and proven to anyone that doubts people that do these kinds of challenges. You do have to have doubters to help you push and bring the momentum out of you when the roads and hills gets tough. I think you will agree to that.
When does it start?
The event starts on the 28th of June 2021 and will end on the 04th of July 2021, a day after I turn 23 years of age.
How long do you think it will take?
The aim for this challenge is to have it done in 7 days. A calculation of 25 miles per day will help to narrow down the finishing line and to see how fitness and health can be tested when hot and cold weather is thrown along the way.
What preparation have you done?
The preparation for this mammoth of a challenge, is down to making sure distance is achievable and dieting as well as consumption can be measured and controlled to a minimum. This diet will consist of fruit, vegetables and a typical routine of being able to control hunger and strength in all major muscles and my stomach. In my own state, I have managed to keep this routine to a maximum with making sure no bad habit of eating has been done and making sure walking far and wide has been done which helps to clear any chances of tiredness or injury.
Who are you raising donations for?
The charities that I will be raising money for is WalkAndTalkMMH. Who I have worked alongside with for the last 15 months, with short and long-distance walks to and from football grounds all around the United Kingdom, the other is Cancer Research UK who have helped and cared for family members of mine in the tough times when we needed them. Two top charities in my opinion and both I have a connection and respect for.
And who has been your inspiration for the walk?
The inspiration for this walk is really a mixture, one of those examples is Lee Adams. The man proves that walking is for the non-walkers, strong walkers and even for anyone that wants to try and give walking a go. Sir Tom Moore must be in that category, since he like so many others made their mark to make a stand and to go out and make a difference for those that are vulnerable, and those that need help the most and the NHS were able to provide that support through his great challenge and strength.
Have you finalised a route? Can anyone track your progress?
The route alone is the same as the bike ride which I think will help with directions and not getting lost along the way. It’ll be a fun walk through the woodlands of some of England’s finest countryside, meeting a variety of accents and people from all different backgrounds and religions.
What about joining in?
Anyone is welcome to join me along the way. I Would never turn anyone away if they are up for the challenge and many people do surprise me with not doing a long walk and then having the strength and drive to go out and smash it out of the park,
Finally, how do we donate to the charity?
There has been a GoFundMe page set up and so far, a lot of people have backed the idea of this walk and the target of £500 looks to be achievable in good time. A good walk ahead, a good challenge that’s what I am looking forward to
I cannot wait to do it.
Thank Your Jon and Good Luck with the walk – please keep me updated .
What an exceptional young man Jon is and a real inspiration to the youth of today and probably all of us that we don’t just have sit around eating cake all day, we can just get up an walk somewhere – it really does help not just with fitness but overall wellbeing and positive mental health.
As detailed, Jon is walking for the following charities and the links to donate and support him are here:
Go Fund Me Page
More about Walkandtalk MMH Here – especially if you want to become involved or how you can support:
Thanks for reading