Dyl & Dan Chat ‘Project 205’

Dyl Buckley from the Dyl & Friends podcast chats with ultra marathon runner Dan Price about his huge Movember challenge

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Dyl Buckley hosts fellow lululemon x Movember campaign Ambassador Dan Price on his podcast – Dyl & Friends. They discuss Dan’s personal mental health journey, his support for Movember this year by running ‘Project 205’, and all things running and mental resilience.

We’ve shared a snippet of Dyl and Dan’s conversation, listen to the whole chat on the Dyl & Friends podcast.

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Dyl: Dan, when & how did you get involved with Movember?

Dan: I’ve been involved with Movember for about 5 years now, but more formally the past 2 years, and I see it being something I’ll do forever. I really love everything that Movember is about and it’s been an amazing journey with them to now be here as an official Movember x lululemon ambassador this year.

Dyl: I was telling you off camera earlier & trying to flex that I’m running a marathon, but when I heard what you’re doing, I thought.. I better not even bring this up! So firstly please tell us, what are you doing for Movember this year?

Dan: It’s all relative mate, marathons are tough! To give a bit of context, 2 years ago, I ran 60km for Movember and fell in love with the community aspect of running, with all of these run clubs and everyone getting together around a common goal eg. Moving for Movember and running or doing any sort of exercise for a cause. Last year, my mate Lochie and I decided to double that distance and run a triple marathon. That was the stepping stone for me to go off on a little bit of a tangent and this year, I’ll take on a 205km trail run for Movember, running from Myall Lakes to Barrington Tops, which has 7,000m of elevation. Normally it takes people about 11 days to hike the route and I’m going to try and run it in one hit, sub 40 hours (if i can!).

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Dyl: 40 hours… I’m assuming you’re not sleeping in that time at all. Do you just keep going until you finish?

Dan: That’s why it’s so exciting, I haven’t done this before. The longest I’ve been on my feet is 14 hours, when I did 100km in the Blue Mountains. Running through the night, and pushing this really ultra ultra distance, there’s a lot of different strategies, and because I haven’t done it before, i don't know yet. It’s anyone's guess! There’s not too many things we do in life for the first time, and that's what really excites me the most. It’s going to be a really different experience, and I know every time I’ve run long in the last few years, I’ve learnt a lot about myself, and about life. These themes of meeting life where it’s at, and asking yourself the really hard questions, like what your ‘why’ is and ‘why are you here?’. I’ve got a huge purpose and passion for men’s mental health and suicide prevention. I’m going to have a red hot crack and see what happens!

Dyl: I recently heard a Will smith quote ‘1 thing you should do in life is run’. Personally, I’ve never gotten the enjoyment out of it, because it was a job. But something that I really have learnt in the last few months, training for this marathon, is how much running can build your resilience. It’s one of the only things you can do to actually train your mind, because you’re putting yourself in these situations where the whole time you run, your brain is telling you to stop. Have you experienced this - has running built your resilience and mindset?

Dan: You’re spot on there. I even experience that in shorter runs that I do. Running has helped build a lot of resilience for me personally and gives me a lot of confidence in life. I lean on the times that I’ve gotten through some really tough runs, but I also lean on my life experience too - I feel like they’re transferable. When the runs get tough, I remember the hard times I’ve been through in life and vice versa, in life sometimes when I’m struggling I tell myself “you know mate, you can get through this period of anxiety because you just ran 100kms in the Blue Mountains”. It certainly builds resilience. You’re always going to have that voice creep in that’s looking for an exit strategy and sometimes it gets really loud. When I’m faced with a lot of anxiety in everyday life, I feel like I’ve fine-tuned my skills and am better equipped to deal with things pretty quickly on the fly, rather than unravelling.

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Dyl: You're doing incredible things, as we mentioned, with the 205km run and so many facets of mental health that you're promoting and the people you’re helping, but in terms of your own journey, how do you stay on top of your mental health? What are the routines / structures that you keep that you think might be able to help someone else?

Dan: The simple things are the big wins, we just forget to do them properly a lot of the time. I really prioritise my sleep.t’s not glamorous but when I sleep only 5 hours, my mental health is shot the next day, it’s just no good. I eat well and generally take care of myself and my health. I prioritise healthy eating for gut health because there is science to suggest that it benefits your neurochemist in your brain. I see a therapist regularly even when I don't have big things going on. I see her minimum monthly, generally fortnightly. Some other things that I do that are really important to me are meditating everyday (it’s priceless to me), and I exercise everyday even if it's just a brisk walk on my rest days. I make sure I’m always moving my body and communicating with my partner about how I’m feeling. I write a gratitude list a few times a week which is really powerful. And finally, talking is the biggest one I would like to see people do more of.

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To listen to the full podcast episode, please visit the Dyl & Friends podcast. The topics discussed may trigger feelings and thoughts that may or may not be expected. If you’re concerned about your mental health, or a mate's mental health, Movember recommends encouraging them to see a doctor, or to call lifeline on 13 11 14. You can also find more places to get help at movember.com/getsupport.

You can also support Dan with ‘Project 205’ and donate to his Mo Space

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