Overcoming the trauma of knife attack

Sussex Newspapers group arts editor Phil Hewitt will be talking about running as healing at a special event, live via Zoom, hosted by East Grinstead Bookshop.

Saturday, 16th January 2021, 7:00 am
Phil Hewitt
Phil Hewitt

On Thursday, January 28 at 7pm, Phil will be giving a talk on his new book Outrunning the Demons, celebrating the massive mental health benefits of running.

Tickets on https://bookwhen.com/theeastgrinsteadbookshop#focus=ev-ssfi-20210128190000As Phil says: “Running can take us to fantastic places. Just as importantly, it can also bring us back from terrible ones. For people in times of crisis, trauma and physical or mental illness – when normality collapses – running can put things back together again.

“Inevitably lockdown and the pandemic have increased anxiety for so many people. I know I still rely hugely on running for keeping sane! Exercise is so crucial to the way we feel.”

After watching a cricket match in Cape Town, South Africa, four years ago, Phil was mugged – stabbed, punched, kicked and effectively left for dead in a grim, desolate suburb.

Astonishingly, just as he could feel himself starting to drift away, he was scooped up and whisked to hospital by a passing pizza delivery driver. Two deep stab wounds, 15 stitches, three broken ribs, battered liver and stomach, bruised all over and a messed-up head, Phil resolved to put himself back together again by getting back to his first love, running…. And it proved a remarkable way to outrun the demons of PTSD and his blood-soaked pavement. Which is why it became the title of his new book – Outrunning The Demons (available on Amazon here )

In it, Phil tells of his own experiences and their aftermath – and also interviews 34 people from around the world who, as he says, have been to hell and discovered that the surest, safest, quickest way back was to run.

He interviewed people caught up in 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing; people who have lost loved ones to murder and natural causes; people who have suffered addiction, alcoholism, anxiety, depression, violent and sexual assault; sheer bad luck – and even a nose-diving jet.

The result is a remarkable collection of stories about hope and survival – a genuinely uplifting celebration of the strength of the human spirit and all the good that is unleashed simply through running.