Updated: Jun 16
What a walk, with so many memories made. I want to say a big thank you to Aaron Connolly for organising a superb Walk and Talk MMH event. We loved this midweek walk!
The wonderful walkers ready for the 3am start from Celtic Park
Author: Martin Melly
On Wednesday the 4th of March we were due to meet at 3am to walk from Celtic Park to the Tony Macaroni Arena in Livingston ahead of the match between Livingston and Celtic for the Walk and Talk Mens Mental Health charity. My friend Aaron asked me to sign up after I joined him in early February to walk from Celtic Park to Hamilton’s stadium. Before I could agree he added me to the group chat, but I would have signed up regardless.
Around the time 2 years previous I had a long hard battle with depression after a series of events which led me to saying the words “I don’t want to be here anymore.” After this I did everything I could to get myself in a better place and there’s not a day goes by that I regret that decision.
In the lead up to the walk I was very anxious. I doubted myself and didn’t believe I could do it. I kept coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t go and even in the shower before leaving I contemplated messaging Aaron, I didn’t and headed for Celtic Park. Aaron was the only person I had met before so I was embarking on a 14 hour walk with total strangers.
We set off and I continued to doubt myself but it was a good laugh to start off with and everyone was in good spirits. The further we went on everyone started to branch off and I got talking to different people. It was fascinating getting to know these incredible and inspiring people and hearing their personal stories and why they had decided to participate in the walk. I got chatting to Lee who started the charity and we got on like a house on fire. We spoke about nineties and noughties football and our love for collecting football strips. Lee is a smashing guy and someone I feel will be a lifelong friend after this.
The walk was difficult at times both mentally and physically but everyone kept each other going and we had people come to get us at the rest points. I spent a lot of time speaking and laughing with Aaron. He is an incredible person who does so much to try and help people after having his own battles and he deserves a lot of credit for all he does.
The longer the walk the more the legs and body began to hurt but we got closer and mentally I kept telling myself to never give up. As we drew closer to the stadium there was people limping and struggling but thankfully we made it. The sense of achievement and sheer emotion upon arriving was a tremendous feeling.
Personally I learned not to doubt myself and you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it and never give up. Going through this experience with these incredible people really built a strong bond between us all. It took a couple of days to sink in what we had managed to do and reaffirmed what I have learned in the last 2 years. Never give up on the ones you care about and most importantly never give up on yourself.
Watch the video here