Running 31 half-marathons in 31 days for charity has eased anxieties over work and focused my mind on positives, says Adam Badrawy

My name is Adam Badrawy and I work as a production manager in TV and film. I’ve worked in the industry for over 20 years, starting as a floor runner then assistant director and have recently moved across into production.

When the lockdown was announced on 23 March, I had only recently finished a production and was enjoying time off to relax, train for an ultramarathon and search for a new job.

It is now 20 May and things have changed exponentially. Productions have either closed down or gone into hiatus and interviews for jobs are no longer forthcoming.

Adam Badrawy

With so much uncertainty, it’s very easy to get lost and lose sight of what matters. Not knowing when I may earn again or have a job – something that very much defines me, having been in this industry since the age of 17 – has on occasion brought about anxiety and feelings of a black cloud hanging overhead no matter how much the sun is shining outside.

With lockdown’s end unclear and no certainly when filming will be happening once again, I have found myself getting lost a little, questioning what I’m doing and whether this is the new normal, whilst sat in my dressing gown watching Good Morning Britain.

It is then that I remind myself this is not the new normal. This is just how it is for now and soon there will be a newer normal, one where work will start again and the luxury of the time I have now will be no more, so it’s important to stop focussing on the negatives of the situation and find the positives.

When the government initially announced we could use one form of exercise I embraced this and ensured I ran outside or walked with my dog daily – while in production this is something which finding the time for is more difficult.

This led to a renewed focus on the reasons I was waking up and so I decided to put my new-found enjoyment for both running and cycling to create a challenge for the Film & TV Charity – 31 half marathons in 31 days.

During the second week, which I’m currently in, I have also added in a 90km bike ride every day for seven days. Although this is a massive physical challenge, it has helped me move my focus from the anxieties that were not real but merely manifestations in my mind.

This will change. I will find work again but that is not my main take home. The most important aspect of lockdown has been the opportunity to find myself again, to have the opportunity to cook, to bake, enjoy the briefest of moments in the parks or running along the canals.

Adam Badrawy cropped

For me, I hope that it’s the opportunity of self-reflection that we all may have all had that will make the return of future productions and our industry as a whole a kinder space and one that is more aware to individuals needs and mental health.

  • Adam Badrawy is a freelance producer