Heading into the great outdoors, whether on foot or on my mountain bike, never fails to release huge mental health benefits and significant physical payoffs. It really boosts my sense of wellbeing. Over the past 30 years I have walked and cycled many miles and set myself lots of personal challenges to test and build my physical and mental grit. Highlights include riding the South Downs Way in a day and riding from Land’s End to John O Groats off‐road. Multi-day hikes on Dartmoor, the Lake District, North Wales and in South Africa also come to mind. If you feel that traditional in-person or Zoom counselling isn’t quite right for you, read on to see how therapy outdoors could be a unique alternative to improve your mental health.
Having attained the British Cycling Mountain Bike Leader Award (Level 2) and Remote Outdoor First Aid qualification, I am ready and excited to launch my new Lifestorm venture Mind the Grit ‐ bringing counselling, walking and mountain biking together to help people boost their own mental health with unique therapy outdoors.
Mind the Grit gives you the freedom to have fun outdoors on foot or on your bike with the opportunity to talk to your counsellor about any personal challenges you may be facing.
Initially we will have a short conversation online/by telephone at no cost to you. Following this we book a one hour session online/by telephone during which I will work through my intake form with you. I will also provide access to an online personality profile questionnaire.
Walking sessions last at least an hour and mountain biking sessions last a minimum of 90 minutes. Each session costs £45. My routes will be focussed on you, tailored to your fitness level, your walking or cycling experience and your time constraints.
I currently work within a 15 mile radius of Baughurst, Hampshire (Covid 19 lockdown rules).
Mind the Grit walks and rides can start weekdays anytime between 9.15am and 3pm, and on weekends too. Start points will depend on whether you can transport yourself to the destination. Either we leave from your front door for local routes or we arrange to meet elsewhere. We walk or ride in all but the worst weather conditions (horizontal rain or lying snow and ice).
If you choose to walk then you will need to have suitable outdoor footwear and clothing. If you are cycling then you will need to have a roadworthy mountain bike, an undamaged cycling helmet less than five years old and riding attire suited to weather conditions.
Depending on your circumstances you may need to check with your GP before undertaking exercise.