But for 24-year-old endurance athlete Jacqui Bell, that’s merely a warm up.
“My favourite event is actually the multi-stage ultra marathon, which is usually about 250 kilometres or more, and that’s spread out across five or six stages through some of the harshest deserts in the world,” she tells Health Hacker.
“The ones I do are self-supported, which means you carry everything you need for the week in a pack on your back, and you run with it. They only supply water and a tent.”
I know what you’re thinking, and don’t worry I was thinking it, too. Unsurprisingly, it’s the question Bell gets asked more than any other.
“Why? Because I absolutely love it,” she says.
“I loved having a goal to work towards. And after I finished four ultra marathons, I realised that, whether I was running away from something or running toward it, I just wasn’t there yet so I decided to do seven events and run through all the major deserts.
“It’s given me this space to work out who I am. It’s about self-acceptance and being happy with myself. Being out in the desert does that to you.”
MORE HEALTH NEWS:
Ultra marathons are unbelievably tough. Racers can spend between seven and 14 hours a day running, and it takes a huge toll on the body.
Bell has lost several toenails mid-race, her Achilles has failed, her racing poles have snapped. The list goes on.
But none of it stopped her, with the Brisbane local now the youngest person to have completed ultra marathons on seven continents.
Better still, Bell did it all while raising more than $20,000 for mental health charity, the White Cloud Foundation.
“It’s okay to have a huge and audacious goal. If people don’t tell you you’re crazy then you probably need to aim a little higher.”
Who better to help us hack mental resilience this week?
FAST FACTS ON … HACKING RESILIENCE
1. Health is more than fitness
“I love the White Cloud Foundation because they think for someone to be healthy it’s more than fitness,” Bell says.
“You also need to work on your mental health, your social health, your emotional health. It’s about balance.”
2. Be kind to yourself
“I used to think of focusing on personal growth as being a bit selfish,” Bell says.
“But now I realise that being the best version of yourself is also good for all the people around you.”
3. Do you
“You don’t need to run across every desert in the world,” Bell says.
“But moving is important and you need to find something you enjoy. But if you hate running, don’t do it. Just get your body moving in a way that works for you.”
Question: It seems like no matter how many times I promise myself I’m going to make changes in my life, I find myself slipping back into bad habits in no time. Have you got any advice on how to stick to a new health and fitness routine?
Answer: We’re all creatures of habit. The only problems is, those habits aren’t often the best ones for us. The trick is to change your environment so that it makes those healthier choices a part of your routine.
If you need to drink more water, put a glass next to the sink in the kitchen so that every time you walk past you have a drink. If you want to wake up and go for a walk each morning, prepare your clothing and shoes the night before and place them next to your bed so you’re good to go.
Before you know it, it will be a regular part of your daily regime.
* Send your questions to [email protected]
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