Icebreaker Run – Charlie Engle
In 2016 Charlie and 5 other runners with a history of mental illness ran the Icebreaker Run to help bridging the gap between mental illness and mental health, especially when it comes to addiction, depression, and PTSD.
In 3,5 weeks they traversed 11 states of North-America to break the ice of talking about a once-taboo subject, to make it easier for other sufferers to find help. As a 6-person relay team they covered over 3,100 miles from Santa Monica, California, to the Mental Health America’s annual conference in Alexandria, Virginia.
Charlie used social media to share his message “but that is nothing compared to being with someone face to face and sharing our experiences,” he says. “The more I do that, the greater chance I have to stay sober. If I am not helping myself and improving, I won’t stay sober or be able to help someone else, and that is what this is all about.”
Throughout the challenge not only his two sons joined him, but also complete strangers.
A woman shared her story of alcoholism and drug addiction and what it did to her family.
“It is crazy,” Charlie says. “But I understand. I have been there. I don’t know if it helped her, but it helped me. That is so much one of the reasons behind this. Mental illness affects so many people.”