A Cumbrian couple who love running have published a remarkable book about the joy of adventure.
Move Happy is a debut venture for photographer Laura McGuigan and her writer husband Dave.
It’s a collection of startling images which celebrate their conviction that moving more naturally is what we need to improve our health and wellbeing.
They set out to show that adventures – unusual, exciting or daring experiences – can be found in the world around us – especially here in Cumbria.
The couple, who live in Grizedale Forest and who love to get outdoors as much as possible, are members of the core volunteer team at Fell Foot parkrun. They take readers back to basics in re-learning how to breathe and walk, balance and climb, before embarking on a journey of overcoming natural hurdles.
Laura (38) is the photographer and creative designer of Blurred Edge Images, a former gymnast who left behind a career in project management to concentrate on her passion for movement and photography.
She captures action photos on her mobile phone camera and back at base turns them into works of movement art, capturing and celebrating the essence of movement in all its forms.
Dave (37) is the writer, who also left a conventional desk job for what he describes as a simple, playful, more creative life. His biggest take away from the corporate world was a love of mentoring: “I want to encourage people to make the most of themselves and their own lives.”
The images illustrate the couple’s love of being playful in their running and adventuring, climbing trees, leaping across becks, scrambling on rocks, jogging on beaches.
“We want to help people question the conventions they live by which don’t seem to work for them,” Dave explains. “It’s about rethinking and redesigning their lives in a way that’s more true to who they are, centred around running and movement generally.”
The photos have a startling beauty and appear to come alive on the page. “It’s a simple joyous challenge, to dare to take a more natural approach to wellbeing, to embrace our inner child and give ourselves permission to play,” says Laura. “In the world of sports and gyms, it may seem unusual to want to move as we were designed, in settings we were designed to move in. But perhaps we’re becoming disconnected”.
“Adding a little running here or there into your movement adventures can get the blood flowing and be truly liberating,” says Dave. “Let your body and breathing be your guide and see how you go.”
Move Happy has been acclaimed by art lovers and photographers as well as runners.
Dave, whose writing mentors include Adharanand Finn author of Running with the Kenyans, and Richard Askwith, who wrote the best-selling account of the Bob Graham Round, Feet in the Clouds, says that he and Laura are already working on a follow-up where the focus will be an even deeper exploration of the great outdoors.
Move Happy is available from Amazon