Date Tuesday April 7th, 2020
Hello there Everyone!!!
I hope this letter finds you well amidst these unprecedented and uncertain times. As most of you know I completed my 365 consecutive days riding, a huge success, the ride had the focus regarding the importance of the care and maintenance of mental health. Now more than ever, this is something that deserves attention as we are in the midst of a time where anxieties and unknowns remain high.
Within the last few days, I attended the funeral of my brother in law. We both own hair salons and we were running our businesses until we were told to close on Saturday, 21st March amidst the COVID-19 situation. This work was not just a business, but our craft, our profession, and it was one of the hardest days of my life when I had to shut the door to my business of 30 years, but we understood we needed to do so to keep people safe. My brother in law, Don, was at a loss and within hours of closing his doors, he suffered a massive stroke. I am devastated to say that he didn’t survive.
At the same time, my mother is living in a long-term care facility, and complications have led to the difficult decision to lower her level of care to comfort care, all while not being able to see her. I have not been able to see my sister, having just lost her husband, and the inability to connect has had a major impact on my family, all with COVID-19. It brings into focus that much more the need for good mental health.
I am a huge advocate of good mental health through physical activity. I ride my bike every single day, and I share my story of my journey through social media and through the outlet of photography. My clients and friends are huge supporters of my vision, and in turn, I am able to support many of them with inspiration they derive from my photography and experiences. Every day I document my route and share these images through my Instagram account, @karljrobathanphotography.
With all the recent challenges, my mental health has suffered, anxiety is high and fear is taking me to the brink of depression. On Thursday, April 9, I plan to revisit my final day’s ride from last year’s RIDE365 in support of mental health awareness. Starting from the North Shore at 4.15am to UBC, then back to the North Shore to Lions Gate Hospital then to Deep Cove (70 km), arriving in Deep Cove at 8.30am. I dedicate my time to support people living with mental health challenges, and to share the message that you are never alone, and that physical activity can help promote overall health during these very dark days.
I want people to know that they are not alone and support is out there. Will you help me share my story? I can be reached at 778 995 1785
Thank you for your time,