Incredible journey from suicide attempt to ultra marathon for Laura
- Credit: Laura Bird
A St Ives' woman who attempted to take her own life aged 18 has written a book about her inspirational journey to becoming an ultra-marathon runner.
Laura Bird, 28, completed the gruelling challenge of 10 marathons in 10 days last year to mark the 10th anniversary of her darkest day, having discovered running was her route to happiness.
She had taken the challenge on to raise money for the people who saved her – the East Anglian Air Ambulance – although her journey to show appreciation for her life is far from over.
Having previously been called up to the England women's national football team as a teenager, Miss Bird later went on to carry the Olympic torch and even starred in a series of SAS: Who Dares Wins.
All of those, alongside her many other achievements, are featured in the book – which she said she saw as another challenge to sink her teeth into during lockdown.
Miss Bird, who is originally from Kesgrave near Ipswich, said: "It is all about trying to show a complete appreciation for life, after being in a genuine situation where I was so close to losing it.
"It sounds so cliché, but it is about that absolute privilege we have of being alive.
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"Such a fundamental part of mental health awareness is understanding we all have our trials and tribulations, but if you have that strength to fight through it – you can see all the beautiful parts of life, and there are so many of those.
"In this time, with the place the world is in the moment, you have to understand yourself – you have to know what makes you tick.
"All of these opportunities that I've had are out there – I really want to encourage people to go there, don't just knock on the door – knock the door down. There are so many adventures in life you can go on."
Miss Bird, who recently moved to Cambridgeshire, said she hopes people reading her book will take with them a message of hope.
She is also hoping to become a motivational speaker.
She added: "There are two chapters in the book devoted to the marathon challenge – the final chapter is a bit of a survival guide, it details all I've learned in the last 28 years.
"The hope is that someone will read that and take some of those lessons with them."
Miss Bird's book 10 10 10: My 10 year journey from suicide is available here.
If you need help, contact the Samaritans on 113 123 or dial 111 in Cambridgeshire and press 2 for mental help crisis support.