In December 2020 I left my high pressure job in the maritime sector.

I was dispirited, mentally and physically exhausted and on the edge of a burn-out.

On January 6 last year, I suffered a massive panic attack. At the time I thought I was suffering a heart attack.

I rang 111 and the support and response was fantastic and they diagnosed anxiety/panic attack.

Isle of Wight County Press: Ian Webb, who did a virtual 2,500-mile Pacific Crest Trail challenge.

Ian's finishing certificate.

That was it. My body had finally done what my mind and emotions had already done and given in to burn-out, though I didn't appreciate it at the time.

Realising I needed help, I contacted my local surgery and the Isle of Wight's mental health team.

The latter were worse than useless - as I wasn't suicidal they couldn't help and to all intents and purposes told me I was on my own.

The route through the NHS was tortuously slow, none of which helped my anxiety, but after various tests they were able to confirm nothing was actually physically wrong with me.

I saw a local medical practitioner and he was the one who diagnosed exhaustion.

At my lowest ebb I needed a goal as I was determined to beat this.

It was at this time that I decided to undertake the Pacific Crest Trail Virtual Challenge, a 2,500 mile virtual journey from Mexico to Canada along the legendary Pacific Crest Trail.

Day by day and week by week I challenged myself, completing on average 11 miles a day in all weathers out walking and on the exercise bike.

Slowly, bit by bit, I started building back up my sense of self-respect and self-belief, the PCT became my route to redemption.

What helped me considerably is that I was following a hiker, Craig Mcpherson, who was actually hiking the PCT for real.

I viewed and commented on all his PCT Diaries on YouTube and he took the time to write back to me and encourage me.

I became a regular sight to many walking around Seaview.

Then after seven months of effort, on a cold and rainy January afternoon, I completed the final five miles during a walk on Ventnor Downs.

A fortnight later my medal arrived, bringing a close to a remarkable adventure, a journey of self-discovery and the springboard to a better future.

A year on from that ghastly day in early January 2021, I am now looking to relaunch my career and have taken tentative steps to do so back in the maritime industry.

The inspiration for a better future has come from within and finding my self-belief on the Pacific Crest Trail.

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