Dad plans 24-hour Arthur’s Seat bike challenge for mental health
a HUMAN resources specialist is going to put his own endurance to the test by cycling his way around Arthur’s Seat non-stop for 24 hours to raise money for mental health charity MIND.
Kieran Power, 33, who suffered from depression in 2014 first turned to cycling to cut down on commuting, but found the health benefits of getting on his bike each day life changing.
The dad-of-one hopes his mammoth effort starting today will raise awareness of mental health and show people that it’s “ok to talk about struggling”.
He said: “Mental health is so important, I was in a bad place in 2014, I was severely depressed but I didn’t know I was. Everything seemed to be bringing me down, I broke up with my other half, finances were hard and I was finding my job really repetitive and boring.
“I became really shy and introverted and was having really bad thoughts about myself. This lasted about two years.”
Kieran explained that cycling has been a “positive coping mechanism” for him.
He said: “I started cycling to try and cut down my commuting time and my entire mental health and wellbeing changed. I got my confidence back, I realised it was really good for relieving stress and I’m five years on now and loving it. Cycling really grew me as a person, I was a shy, quiet and introverted person when I started and now I have my confidence back.”
Kieran, who has recently been elected as the new supporters’ representative on the Hibs club’s board said that without the positive impact of cycling he wouldn’t be where is today.
“I wouldn’t have got the job with Hibs if it wasn’t for cycling”.
He also spoke of his friend Craig Patterson who sadly took his own life last Christmas at the age of 48. Kieran described Craig as “the happiest person” He never suspected he was struggling and was completely shocked when he received the text message from a friend saying that Craig had died.
“But it didn’t say he had committed suicide, nobody would say that he had killed himself, it’s still so taboo. It shouldn’t be, I want people to know that it’s ok to talk about their mental health.”
Kieran’s wee boy Finn, seven, a budding cyclist will join him for one hour tomorrow, while his fiancee Lisa, 35, and friends from Musselburgh Cycling Club will be cheering him on throughout the day-long challenge.
Kieran has previously cycled from Edinburgh to London over two days and then completed the London Triathlon in 2018.
He said: “We should not underestimate the power of doing something nice for someone, the power I got from raising money in London was massive. It changed me as a person. You feel ten feet tall after doing something like that and I know I am going to feel ten feet tall after this challenge, it feels amazing to help other people”.