Life was grand. A successful online coaching business, directing upward of 30 races a year, rich family life, and crushing it at races - and Jacob Puzey was making the most of it.
Covid brought things to a screeching halt. A devastating string of events, alongside the pandemic, realigned his perspective. And then some.
“I lost more friends, family, & associates in the past year than in any previous period of my life."
“I’m pretty good when things are in place and I can control all the variables, but it’s another story entirely when I can’t.”
Then his brother and best friend, celebrated athlete Tommy Rivers Puzey, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
In the midst of all this, trips to and from the States to see family required rigid quarantining; Jacob spent 4 out of the last 17 months completely isolated, having to completely rely on other people.
“I thought I had a broad sense of the human experience prior to Covid, but I’ve developed a new appreciation for what it is to live and travel.
Usually if people need something, I’m your guy. And I couldn’t fix any of the things that were happening around me.”
Pressure, guilt, and frustration built up, and while he didn’t want to vent or dump it all on family or friends, he didn’t know what to do.
So he reached out to a counselor and got the support he needed. It made all the difference.
“There are so many people looking happy and fine, in no small part because of how fabricated our lives are on social media. Behind that façade, it can be an entirely different story.
Many driven people struggle with expectations that they put on themselves and that they think society expects of them. It got me thinking about anyone who might follow me, wondering if they might have similar predispositions that might lead them to not know what to do."
"It became important to me to help spread the word that you don’t have to have all the answers and it’s OK to ask for help.”
Using trail running as a platform to advocate for mental health, BTTT provides educational support and treatment options. All are welcome - it’s not limited to runners; the main focus is to bring to light struggles and challenges associated with mental health.
“It was so helpful to have someone who didn’t know anything about me help me sort through some of it.”
If you'd like to help support Jacob in his efforts, just enter "jacob" in the discount code box at checkout and we will donate 5% of your purchase price to Bigger Than The Trail on your behalf.
Learn more about our Changemakers program here.
This is in addition to the 1% of total sales Endurance Tap is committed to donating to 1% for the Planet.