Jamie Ramsay is an Endurance Adventure Athlete, presenter, public speaker and brand ambassador. He has completed over 32,000km of human-powered adventuring in 29 countries and 20 different adventures. He is a runner, cyclist, trekker and mountaineer. Read below to learn about how running has helped Jamie in his life goals.
I always knew that running was an essential part of my life, but I did not really understand that properly until I found myself in a place where I couldn’t run. Before an ill-advised decision to continue, following an ankle sprain in an 8-day endurance race resulted in a persistent niggling injury removed this essential ritual from my routine, I think I just took running for granted.
When I think back through some of my running memories, they bring nothing but pleasure. From a young age I was on the move, be it trying to get away from my mothers’ camera, to being the kid that ran to the sweetshop to by fellow student’s bubble gum. The first thing I was ever captain of was the cross-country running team. Being able to run got me into a tetrathlon team with the older kids in Pony Club and took me to the national championships. It was not until I was 25 that I turned jogging into work into marathon training and running became my vehicle for foreign adventures. I visited Sweden, France, Kenya and in 2013 found myself running 240km solo down the coast of Vietnam.
It was in 2014, that running took on a very different meaning to me. I had a job in the City of London working in an office endlessly staring at a computer screen and existing to earn money so that I could pay the bills to carry on existing. Life had very little meaning or fulfilment and I was merely going through the motions of what I thought I was expected to do. This led to a deep-rooted sense of dissatisfaction and resentment. The frustration built up inside and I needed to find a way to manage it and gradually, and unknowingly, that was when running became my meditation and self-therapy. I would use the repetitive motion of one foot in front of the other and my competitiveness to drive the negativity out of my body and replace it with a brief feeling of achievement and freedom. For years this worked but as the stress of not feeling fulfilled in life and the negative impact that was having on my general mental health, I felt an urgency to find something bigger to help me stay sane.
On one particular morning, I found myself in an unusually low state of mind and realised that the time had come to take action. My commuting runs were masking the issues but not solving them. I knew that I needed to determine just what I needed in life to be happy and as I sat at my desk gazing into space, I trawled through my memories, trying to find the moment I was content, happy, fulfilled and felt accomplished. That moment was sitting alone at a makeshift bar in an obscure village in Vietnam sipping a beer having run 240km solo and unsupported. In that moment, I realised that promotions, pay rises and a mundane routine were not going to make me happy, pursuing my passions, pushing my physical limits and exploring the world was my key to a more balanced and happy mental state.