Olympic Gold Medalist and Mental Health sufferer


Mental Health is as important for our well-being as our Physical Health. In fact, we believe that a healthy combination of the two is required for our overall wellbeing. Doesn’t matter if you are the one of the physically fittest people on earth, if you struggle with your mental health. Surprisingly, I have undoubtedly realised this is the case, when I came across with Dame Kelly Holme's book: ‘Running Life - Mindset, Fitness and Nutrition for Positive Wellbeing’.

Dame Kelly Holmes:

‘Running Life - Mindset, Fitness and Nutrition for Positive Wellbeing’

I mean who would have thought that a hugely accomplished and successful woman like her would have her mental health struggles? But the truth is that Dame Kelly, an Olympic gold medalist, a British Army Colonel and an MBE despite seemingly being on top of everything, is sadly a very good example of how one can ‘have it all’ and still be struggling with their demons and how anyone can be struck down and affected by some truly debilitating and life-changing mental health issues.

Her new book 'Running Life' is an inspirational and attainable guide to how the ‘Big Three’ mindset, exercise and diet interlink with each other and how their balanced combination can help anyone to transform their overall wellbeing to the better.

Her book, based on these three ‘pillars’, is divided into three sections, Mindset, Fitness and Nutrition. Providing tips on how these can be improved on, there is plenty practical ideas and solution for your wellbeing.

The Mindset section focuses on mindfulness practices and exercises, while the Fitness section gives practical tips for how your physical health is to be looked after, in her example of course through running, and also strength and various flexibility exercises. The final part of the book on Nutrition provides an explanation on how and why balanced diet works and what are the food options she considers being part of this, then goes on to giving some of her recipes for different parts of the day and for different routines.

Dame Kelly reveals a lot about her personal struggles by including a lot of her personal stories and examples from her life, that has made her who she is today. I admire her braveness in sharing this with the public, despite the pain it clearly causes her just by mentioning and bringing these up again. That said, I am sure that the sharing of these feelings and memories also has a positive effect.

‘A Shared Problem is a Halved Problem !’

I find it truly inspiring how Dame Kelly has been openly and honestly speaking about her demons and mental health issues to the public. Being in the public eye can make one’s life more vulnerable due to the exposure to some unwanted attention by some ‘troll’s who seemingly know everything but in fact, are only narrow-minded and ignorant. I loved the tone of her book as it is very simple yet emotionally drawing, making you realise that nothing is what it seems, and how one’s mindset can be the key to achieving our best ourselves. I also believe that with a little help from people around us (your loved ones, or sometimes surprisingly, those you don’t even know, Dame Kelly had a surprising and life-chaning example for the latter as well) and with the necessary input from your end, there is a possibility for you to move towards a more positive and healthier life.

My excitement about her revelation of her mental health issues lead from one thing to another and making me book a ticket for her book signing at the Chorleywood Bookshop (10 January 2019). Update to follow…

Viktoria Balogh