"One day it will feel like walking…."
The words of a friend after I explained I had been running for a few months but concluded it wasn’t for me. After hearing these words, "one day it will feel like walking", something shifted, my whole relationship with movement changed in an instant and I was on my way… Never in a million years did I see what was coming and how running would change my life forever.
It was 2011 and I wanted to kick the nasty habit of smoking for myself and my daughters, it was the last thing to go after giving up other drugs back in 2002. Running was suggested as a way to build a healthier lifestyle that would support my efforts.
In 2002 I found myself in rehab for drug addiction. As a part of my rehabilitation I was introduced to gratitude work. Very quickly, I realised being grateful was a powerful vehicle to uplift me. It brought balance to a very negative mindset and a focus to the good in my life and the opportunities I had to build a great future. Mindfulness, meditation, gratitude, and more was now a valuable part of my life that even influenced those around me i.e. friends and family. So, when these words 'running one day feeling like walking' were shared, I instantly attached the movement to gratitude and focused on being a more mindful runner without any pressure attached. No real desire to chase 'Personal Best' targets or distances.
The days, weeks and years that followed saw the creation of YOUR TOWN CIC (Community interest company), which created unbelievable moments including events, running and walking communities. Your Town CIC delivered UK wide challenges, primary school workshops and lesson plans all centered around how we connect with our local towns and each other. This saw me proudly acknowledged as one of the top 15 Social Entrepreneurs in the UK by Redbull.
Fast forward to 2020 and all our in-person activities had to stop because of covid. We adapted and did our best to support the community we had created. Then one day I took on a challenge with a friend of running a mile on the hour every hour for 24 hours, I decided to attach each mile to gratitude, sharing about uplifting experiences, people in my life and more. The day was overwhelming, inspiring and consequently RUN GRATEFUL was born!
I got busy creating a space and platform for others to dedicate their own grateful miles. Now via our events and workshops, our community spans across 80 countries, people who share gratitude with us. This includes work place experiences, facilitating events & more.
Our workshops are designed for the next regeneration of mindful movers and they've helped us build an amazing community who add gratitude to their miles. They are as uplifted and inspired as we have been.
"We are on a mission to help everyone experience at least 1 grateful mile in their lifetime, because we believe it won’t stop at 1! If we are fortunate enough to have mobility, we must use it as a superpower. I am extremely passionate about Run Grateful & creating something special around the world. Let’s see what we can achieve together."
MARK WHITE - FOUNDER OF RUN GRATEFUL