Professional Lucy Adams joins skateboarding friends for marathon in aid of West Sussex Mind
Professional skateboarder Lucy Adams is joining two fitness fanatic friends for a challenging marathon in aid of West Sussex Mind.
Organiser Charles Mears and his friend Lewis Ide are planning to skateboard from Worthing to Brighton and back to get people talking about mental health.
The keen fitness enthusiasts took up skateboarding again only a few months ago, after a 15-year gap, and having met Lucy at Broadbridge Heath Skatepark, she agreed to not only sponsor them but to join them on their 26.2-mile quest.
Charles, 30, from Ashington, said: “The whole idea behind it is to casually talk about mental health throughout the day, not just us but other people en route. This is such a great opportunity, after lockdown.
“We will go from park to park to raise awareness, and raise money while we are doing it. I wanted to create a community where we are open and welcoming.
“Skateboarding is the perfect metaphor for what you have to do in life, you have to keep pushing on through the pain barrier. Sometimes it hurts when you fall, sometimes the road is tough, sometimes the pavement seems difficult to carry on. But it’s crucial to know if we take our time, we can keep going.”
Charles had help with work-related stress anxiety last year and he wants to encourage people to talk about their own mental health.
He set up Woodpecker WOD to support local businesses and create a community of people who are there for each other. The skateboarding marathon is one of several endurance events, encouraging members to ‘dig deep’ as individuals.
Charles explained: “The fundamentals are making sure we are tough enough to understand that life is difficult and we need to keep chipping away at it.”
Charles, Lewis and Lucy will be setting off from the bottom of George V Avenue in Worthing on Sunday, August 16, and will visit Lancing Beach Green, Shoreham and Hove Lagoon skateparks en route to Brighton, then head up to The Level before turning back, taking in event sponsor Ocean Sports in Hove on the return journey.
Supporting them all the way will be Andy Pickard on his bike, carrying supplies and taking photographs.
Charles said: “We wanted to do it where there will be people who will stop and ask what we are doing.
“I have been through some difficult times myself and have had some moments when I have had to address how I am thinking.
“I did the Brighton Marathon four or five years ago and I know the depths you have to go through if you don’t train properly. With skateboarding, if you can’t push, you can’t go anywhere.
“Anyone is welcome to come along for a chat. If I have the opportunity to help just one person in any way, that I think is something to be proud of.”
The Woodpecker WOD Skateboarding Marathon is being supported by companies that helped Charles when he was struggling last year, Evolution Fitness in Horsham and Laughing Buddha.
Charles said: “Mental health is so close to all our hearts and without the support network, last year would have been so much more difficult.
“Creating Woodpecker WOD has even helped me with strengthening myself by trying to support others. We want to raise money for West Sussex Mind so they can continue to raise awareness for mental health and run their local hubs around Sussex.”
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