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A personal best is not a number.
It’s a feeling.

For too long, the world of sport has told us to push harder, go further and stop at nothing.

Selling us the idea that the only thing that matters is a faster time, a longer distance, a higher score, and more reps. Creating an intimidating culture that is putting 1 in 3 of us off exercise.

For the sake of everyone’s mental health, isn’t it time that exercise was more welcoming? And we celebrated the benefit of exercise, not just on the body, but also on the mind. 

Because a personal best is not a number, it’s a feeling.

Share how exercise makes you feel. 

Every #NewPersonalBest you share will raise for £5 for mental health charity Mind.

What’s your personal best?
Share how exercise makes you feel.
Every personal best you share will raise £5 for mental health charity Mind.
*Every image shared with #NewPersonalBest on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok and Twitter, between 10 October and 10 December 2023 will raise £5 for mental health charity Mind. Up to a max of £20,000.
ASICS’ Purpose

At ASICS, we’ve always believed in the positive benefits of movement on the body, and the mind. 

It’s why we’re called ASICS.

ASICS is an acronym from the Latin phrase Anima Sana In Corpore Sano or ‘a Sound Mind in a Sound Body’. 

Our founder, Kihachiro Onitsuka recognised that sport had the power to uplift people’s minds in post-war Japan. And so, he dedicated his life, and our company, to helping both individuals and societies improve their wellbeing through exercise. 

More than 70 years on, we believe our focus on movement for mental wellbeing is more relevant than ever before. 

And it's why today we continue to champion the benefits of sport and movement, not just on the body, but also on the mind.

What’s your personal best?
Share how exercise makes you feel.
Every personal best you share will raise £5 for mental health charity Mind.
ASICS & Mind

Recent years have put more strain on the mental health of millions of people. And we believe now, more than ever, we need to take action.

Our aim is to support and encourage more people to experience the mental health benefits that moving can bring. 

And that starts by breaking down the barriers that stop people from being more active. 

We know that exercise can feel intimidating. And we want to change that. 

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Through the incredible stories of Mind’s ambassadors, we want to show that a personal best is not a number, it’s a feeling. We hope to shine a light on the positive impact of movement, however small, to support better mental health. 

Together, we hope to encourage more people to experience the feeling that movement can bring and raise funds for Mind’s life-changing work. 

Visit Mind’s website for resources to support you with moving for your mental health: Get active, feel good | Mind - Mind.

What’s your personal best?
Share how exercise makes you feel.
Every personal best you share will raise £5 for mental health charity Mind.
My personal best is not a number. It’s feeling...
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Stefano Baldini is a former marathon runner and long-distance athlete, 2004 Athens Olympic marathon champion and two-time European champion (Budapest 1998 and Gothenburg 2006). After his brilliant professional career, he now devotes his time to training promising young Italian athletes. He is also a TV commentator and athletics technical advisor on Sky Sports TV. Stefano is a legend and an ASICS ambassador.

When I think of my personal best, I don't think of improving a number but of feeling even better.
Track & Field Coach and Ambassador

Playing sport is really an outlet for Moïse. She used to play field hockey at a high level and performing was a major goal. Now she plays field hockey in a friend's team and fun is paramount. During sports her mind goes to zero. Nothing beats sweating on the field or in the gym. Sometimes she imagines that the sweat during sports is all the negativity she gets rid of. She always feels better after exercising and tries to use that as motivation even when she doesn't feel like it, which happens regularly. It is not only physically but also mentally very healthy. The days she really can't manage to exercise, she tries to walk an extra round with their dog Wim. This way she still moves without having to go to the gym for it.

Sometimes I imagine that sweat is all the negativity I get rid of. I always feel more comfortable after I exercise.
actress and presenter

If you were to ask Anne-Cécile's friends to describe her, "athletic" would probably not be the first word that would come to mind - her self-description is more along the lines of "couch potato". She had never tried running until she was 32, but then decided to give it a go. Despite all her reservations, she started running and was welcomed with open arms by the running community. She quickly realised that every run she completed was a triumph in itself. With the support and encouragement of her running group, she began preparing for her first half marathon - an achievement she had previously thought unimaginable. Running helps her regain her emotional well-being and gives her a deep sense of fulfilment and belonging.

I have found a new "family" in this diverse and supportive group. They encourage me in ways I could not have imagined before.
Communications Consultant

Dr Alex George is an A&E doctor and the Government’s Youth Mental Health ambassador. In 2020, following the loss of his brother, Alex found himself in his own mental health crisis. He decided the only way forward would be to make lifestyle changes that put his wellbeing first and started exercising as a first step to recovery. Over the years, Alex has fallen back in love with exercise and finds it’s a method of healing from his past experiences. Today, he uses his platform to encourage others to move for the mental uplift, not for stats, times or physiques.

Regular movement has changed my life. It’s made me feel more resilient, both inside and out.
Dr Alex
Mental Health Ambassador

Tullia's first introduction to sports was not easy, because she did not have a group to exercise with. Then she found Club Itaca, and Tullia had other people to work out with. During tough times, sports helped her to recharge herself with positive energy, allowing her to tackle life's hurdles with greater optimism. For her, exercising means finding a physical and mental balance. This balance cannot always be achieved, but Tullia seeks it out every day.

Life has presented me with different problems, but when I am physically active I feel stronger than they are, and I feel like the real me.
Career Level Associate

Discovering the world of movement has been my lifeline, a journey that began in pursuit of feeling better and finding precious moments for myself amid the daily chaos.

When I move, I feel like an injection of pure energy, a rush that makes me feel strong, optimistic, alive. The weight of the everyday problems seems to lift off my shoulders, leaving me feeling light and free.

Every step, every stretch, every beat of my heart brings joy that radiates from within. My mood brightens, and happiness bubbles up like a fresh spring. Stress and anxiety, once heavy chains, dissolve in the sweat of my effort, leaving behind a calm, serene me.

After every session, I stand tall, proud that I've carved out this time for myself. I've learned that putting myself first is not selfish; it's essential for my mental wellbeing. Movement has become my sanctuary, my daily dose of bliss.

Movement is energy, makes me feel happy and mentally resilient, it gives me a sense of pride in prioritizing my own well-being.
Marketing Consultant

Jarnail believes that fitness is a lifestyle and not just a quick fix. As it did for many others, the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on Jarnail’s mental and physical health. Jarnail, who is social runner, found himself isolated from his community and without a regular exercise routine. Alone with his thoughts and not exercising as much as he wanted to, his self-confidence drastically diminished. Since then, Jarnail has made a conscious effort to rebuild his routine and now focuses on daily movement just to feel better. He doesn’t focus on setting himself unachievable goals, but instead seeks to make a 1% improvement every day. Over time, he’s found that small changes lead to continuous improvement with his mind and body.

When I’m outside running, I’m chasing personal progression not perfection.

Julia has spent much of her life training every day to become one of the best athletes in the world. She pushed her body by all means necessary to increase muscle mass, endurance, strength and speed, with the ultimate goal of winning tennis matches and trophies, and reaching the highest ranks. But since her retirement from professional sport, her attitude has changed and "getting the most out of your body" no longer means pursuing material or measurable goals, but connecting with your body and mind, listening to how your body feels and doing only what you want - without pressure to perform, but enjoying the sport.

Moving and being in connection with my body gives me inner balance and stability. I give back to my body and give myself love and kindness.
former professional tennis player

Virginia is a 27-year-old woman with a great passion for exercise and mental health. On her Instagram profile, she speaks out and shares advice on finding a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, addressing sensitive subjects from mindfulness to self-exploration. For her, sports are essential to remaining rooted in the present and to cultivating her physical and mental health.

It isn't important to me to be able to lift more weight or hold a position longer. It's about spending time on myself.
influencer and digital entrepreneur

Sports have always been part of Dalila's life in various ways, becoming an increasingly essential factor over time until it also became a job. Tennis immediately won Dalila's heart as a child, due in part to her parents both being fans. As she grew up, her devotion to this sport inspired her and then solidified when she met her husband, a tennis instructor. For her, training is more than achieving a goal: it is an act of love and sharing for her mind and body as well as for the people she loves.

Playing tennis makes me feel loved. This is both a positive and a negative real emotion.
Sports Journalist

Sports have always played an important role for Hanna. For her, both running and swimming are inseparable from a healthy lifestyle and getting a clear head. As an entrepreneur, filmmaker but also mother of two young children, these kinds of moments are sometimes difficult for her to guard, but essential. For her, regular exercise is important not only physically but also precisely mentally. According to her, this applies not only to people with a mental variation like Hanna, but really to every human being. This also keeps recurring in the conversations Hanna has for her documentaries and her work with experts and experiencers.

From your head to your body' is one of the most crucial ingredients to feeling good, and for me, movement is the way to achieve that.
Social entrepreneur, filmmaker and actress

Sports have always had a big impact on Coco's life on different levels. She has been doing sports since she was four years old, both in teams and individually. She always walked a lot as a child and in her teenage years developed a love for boxing and kickboxing. This gave her mental and physical satisfaction. When she met her husband, she was introduced to running thanks to him, they ran together. Since then she has run two marathons and lots of miles in the most beautiful environments. From there, they started strength training together and they still do it today. Movement is a common thread in her life and always will be. It gives her peace of mind and provides routine. It also contributes to a positive self-image by making her feel strong and healthy. It has also taught her that exercise is something you do for yourself and not for someone else. You are allowed to take that space and claim that place. Especially in the hustle and bustle of a large family, exercise for her is a moment for herself that she really needs. There is no time when she walked out of the gym worse than when she went in. Even on her worst day, exercise makes her feel a little less bad.

Playing sports gives me peace of mind and provides routine in daily life. It also contributes to a positive self-image by making me feel strong and healthy.
personal trainer (pre- and post partum)

Cristiana was drawn to sports as a little girl. She tried various activities, but in the end she fell in love with swimming and with outdoor exercise. Sports taught her that problems can be overcome through determination and listening to your own body, mind and emotions. Sports and exercise are a key part of her everyday life.

I work out to keep my heartbeat up, to oxygenate myself, to love myself. In short, to take care of myself!

Being highly sensitive and struggling with the mental load that comes with our busy lifestyles, Daniel found Balance in movement. Searching for peace, since he was a little kid, he tried out a lot of sports and finally found his great love in running. Since then he has been the happiest while running. Moving his body gives him back the focus, clarity, and strength to get through even the most stressful times of his life.

Exercise gives me the power to be the best version of myself. It gives me the freedom to fully be who I am.

Even as a child, singer and songwriter Mandy Capristo was always moving. She did ballet as a young kid and this was followed by gymnastics. At the age of 16, she went on her first tour as a singer after becoming well-known through the band Monrose. Years of not getting enough sleep, working through the night and TV appearances with a broken foot - Mandy was extremely tough on herself and set great store on discipline to reach her goals. She thought this was necessary and indeed that it was normal. Her mental health was not a priority for her until she made herself a priority. When her own body started working against her, she began redefining her personal goals. She would like to use her music and accessibility to tell people to not lose their own values and to recognise their own intrinsic values. Over the last decade, her personal experiences have moved her to focus on mental and emotional health in depth and also to found the platform FELICE, which is dedicated to the topic of mental health and well-being.

A healthy mental attitude means taking time for yourself without feeling guilty or selfish.
singer and songwriter

Yuri started smoking as an adolescent and had a sedentary lifestyle that took him close to obesity. He did not recognise himself in the mirror until his life changed around age 40. One Sunday morning, after watching a race, he thought, 'Next year, I'll be running in this, too.' He tried running, but he could not even walk briskly. That night, he threw out his cigarettes and started changing his life. He began running regularly and never stopped. Running helped him feel alive again.

To me, running is a bit of a metaphor for life, and I like living with a big smile on my face.
ASICS FrontRunner and ICT Operations Manager

Garrick is a firm believer in the power of movement on our mental health. After dealing first hand with the challenges of anxiety and depression, he has launched numerous projects to benefit the minds of his local community. In his hometown of the Wirral, he runs an elders’ group and is a member of the Older People Parliament, facilitating activities such as walking, chair exercises and socializing for our elders. For Garrick, his daily movement is sacred to his mental health. Each day he’ll walk or cycle along the Wirral promenade, breathe in the fresh air and watch the tides. This is Garrick’s time all to himself, to connect with his mind, unwind from the day and express gratitude for the moments that make him feel happy.

When I look at the sea, I feel grounded in myself and am grateful I am here in this moment.
Community Development and Lived Experience Advisor

After Gerrit stopped his own athletic career as a runner in 2004, the definition of his personal best became broader. He has since started working on motivating and encouraging people with disabilities to exercise more. People like Gerrit can exercise independently, but these people need help and guidance in doing so. He started giving them that. Nothing gives him more satisfaction and positive energy than their laughter, enthusiasm and fun. They have definitely broadened his view on sports and performance. Seeing this target group enjoy something that is very normal for him makes him feel very grateful. Together they enjoy nature, being outside in all weathers and the wind in their faces. That's what he does it for.

Running together with people with disabilities and seeing them enjoy themselves gives me such a tremendously grateful feeling.
ASICS FrontRunner

Even as a child, Philipp was interested in sports, and this passion has accompanied him through the years. He started rowing at the age of twelve and worked his way up to the national rowing team while steadily increasing his training in terms of intensity and scope. His enthusiasm was solidified with top placings in the World and European Championships. But exercise was not just about competition for him, but also a source of strength that helped him overcome personal hurdles. In 2016, a painful and unexpected tragedy struck Philipp: his former national team colleague, best friend and roommate Yannic Corinth unexpectedly took his own life.

In memory of Yannic and to address the issue of mental health in competitive sport, Yannic's family, former national team colleagues and Philipp founded the association "Wirfueryannic". The aim of the association is to destigmatise mental illness and strengthen the community in competitive sport. Under the motto #letsbeatdepression, they appear as a team at sporting events to set an example and draw attention to the issue.

Movement gives me the opportunity to draw peace and strength in equal measure - whether alone or with others. Every step, every row or pedal is a moment of inner contemplation and letting go for me.
Trauma Surgeon

Sports have been such an important part of Levi's life from a young age and always will be. From the age of 15 he was in the dojo, which was his biggest learning experience. As a professional kickboxer, he works out to perform, and in his work as a coach and trainer, it is a means of teaching others that has always been so beneficial to him. From a young age, sports taught him discipline, perseverance and gave him a place to let his hair down during some down times. This "sports journey" he is on has given him a lot of strength, confidence and peace of mind mentally. "I have already won before I reach the final goal," he says. He wants to give that feeling to others. He is therefore an ambassador for the Mind US foundation, which combines forces and stimulates initiatives to give mental problems of young people the right attention. Movement plays a big role in this.

My sports journey so far has already given me so much strength, confidence and peace. It will forever be an important part of my life.
Professional kickboxer

Markus grew up in a difficult home, which only really became noticeable when he moved out at 18 and went through his first severe depressive episode. From then on, his life was dominated by his mental illness and the search for a way out. Even though there was always support from those around him, he had difficulty leading a normal life. It was only when he started talking about things that they began to improve. The big change came with his decision to integrate hiking and walking into his life. Movement increasingly became therapy for him. For the last 5 years he has been cycling regularly, swimming and occasionally running. Today, he cycles whenever possible to enjoy the freedom and feeling of being in motion. Sometimes he looks for a challenge, but does not participate in sporting events.

Cycling and sport in itself is a regulator, good friend, therapist and very much a freedom that keeps me from the 'prison' of depression.

Running saved Sujan’s life. Her anxiety had become all-consuming, constantly feeling worried and stressed, to the point her counsellor advised her to set a new challenge to give her something to focus on and clear her mind. For Sujan, the challenge was taking on a half marathon, something she had never considered before out of fear of being judged. But all of that changed once she got herself moving. Before she knew it, Sujan had completed her half marathon and was running multiple times a week – not because she had to train but because moving made her feel free and gave her purpose.

Running has helped give my days purpose and ensures I am making time for myself.
Special Needs Transport Assistant

For Biola, movement is more than reps, miles, or calories, it’s what connects her to her mind and body, and makes her feel confident. But this wasn’t always the case for her. When she started cycling, she was swept up in the numbers and pressure to constantly push herself until an injury gave her a new perspective. Now, Biola doesn’t care if she beats a record, her focus is on being kind to herself and feeling strong inside and out.

Exercise makes me feel confident in myself. It’s me showing myself love and kindness.

Following a mental health crisis in 2018, it took Rachel a while to feel like she was able to do things and get back to normal life. Adopting her dog Elvis gave her the confidence to get outside on walks, and reconnect with the world, until she eventually discovered open water swimming. Enjoying the freedom of swimming in fresh waters and feeling strong again, Rachel decided to start her own swimming community for those who live with mental health problems. Rachel has used her experiences to build safe and welcoming spaces that allow people to exercise without judgement.

Sometimes it’s simple things that make a difference. Getting outside and feeling accepted, with no expectation of transformation.
Founder of Mental Health Swims

Deji played competitive sports and basketball for many years, where every game was all about points and winning. He also pursued bodybuilding with the same mentality. It was always about increasing the amount of weight he was able to lift. It wasn't until he finally had the courage to try something new and ran his first half marathon that he realised it wasn't just about winning a race, but also about giving himself space, discovering new possibilities and enjoying the experience. Since then, running has been a source of joy and freedom for him.

Running makes me feel brave and boundless. It gives me a feeling of freedom.
Project Manager

For Emiliano, playing padel is a journey towards a 360-degree state of wellness, rather than simply physical exercise. This sport was crucial in transforming his life and helping him reach an important objective: losing more than 20 kilograms at age 34, down from 100 kilograms. Emiliano experienced the real uplifting power of sports, making physical activity part of his daily life. The positive impact of exercise allows him to face challenges with greater confidence and to tackle obstacles with a stronger state of mind.

I play padel regularly to make a positive impact on my mental health and to have the best day possible.
Journalist and Padel influencer

Joshua's mental health goes hand in hand with being in motion. This is how he experiences it from a young age. His head goes every which way every day and exercising is the way for him to calm down. If he sits still for too long, it becomes chaos in his head. Keeping moving is key for his peace of mind. No therapy session can really compete with this. Every day he tries to consciously check in with what his body needs. Does it want to hit and kick a bag for an hour? Then he does that. Is it in tension and really just wants to stretch, also good. Whatever it is, as long as his body is moving. It's a form of self-love that helps him not mentally slip into depression, which he is all too familiar with. "Movement equals life for me."

Movement for me is a form of self-love that helps me mentally avoid slipping into depression, which I am all too familiar with.
lead singer Chef's Special

As a former England netball player, Eboni is no stranger to the pressures of the sports industry. After competing in four Commonwealth Games with Team England, and a 17-year career with the England Netball Roses, she retired from elite sport in 2022 to focus on her legal career. Eboni is a mother to a 3-year-old, with a second baby on the way, and she continues to hold a real love for netball. Being on the court distracts her from the daily challenges and helps her to meet new people. It’s no longer about medals and trophies but connecting with her netball community and playing a sport that has for so long been a part of her identity.

I still love getting on the court and feeling part of something. It helps me feel like me.
Former Netball Player

A late entrant into the world of fitness, Erika felt lonely and unsure of herself when she turned 55 and her two children moved abroad, leaving her with an empty nest. During a visit, her daughter enrolled her in a nearby gym, which marked the beginning of Erika's journey to push her own limits and develop a consistent exercise routine. In addition to exercise, Erika attributes her continued fitness to eating a balanced diet without obsessively watching her calorie intake, rarely drinking alcohol, and quitting smoking five decades ago.

Exercise gives me a sense of physical vitality and emotional well-being; I feel energised and happy.
Content Creator

Aldo has always played sports: football at first, then over time he moved to swimming, volleyball and American football. After years of running on roads, he recently switched to trail running. Sports helped him at different points in his life because it gave him a tool that he used first for his education and then for his job: preparation, attention to detail and constant improvement. For Aldo, physical exercise is crucial: it makes him feel free, while he does what he loves.

Sports push me to improve myself, and my personal best is always achieving new goals.
ASICS Brand Trainer

For Shirin, staying active means feeling the most alive. After a diagnosis of depression and an eating disorder, she found her path to recovery through running. Initially, it felt like an escape from her thoughts, but she realized that self-improvement brought more fulfillment than self-sabotage. She began prioritizing her mental health, revitalizing her love for life by sharing her running journey on social media, making new friends , and enjoying plenty of pizza and pasta for those vital carb-loading sessions.

No matter my mental state, I always go out for a run to reconnect with the essence of feeling alive.
Content Creator

Adam’s journey with exercise hasn’t always been positive or easy. From his early 20s, Adam has felt the pressures of toxic exercise culture – telling him to exercise in certain ways, always having to push himself and never feeling like he’s doing enough. Years of this burden took a toll on his mental health, diminishing his self-worth and creating a fear of judgement. After seeking the help of an exercise therapist, Adam is now reclaiming his relationship with movement, exercising on his terms and for his own mental health.

I am moving for mental health not because I feel I must. And that’s liberating.
Senior Commercial Reporting Analyst

Tom rose to fame when he finished last in the 2023 London Marathon. He’d never been much of a runner but wanted to take on the ultimate challenge in order to help raise funds for charity. Throughout his training, and eventually on the running route, Tom didn’t let comparisons, or the pressures get to him. The roaring crowds had dispersed, and clean ups has begun but for Tom, it was all about moving at his own pace and accomplishing it for himself. Finishing at 8 hours, 10 minutes and 58 seconds, Tom hopes to use his story to show others that the numbers aren’t what make you a winner.

I had never felt more accomplished than when I did cross that line, because I did it for myself.
Transport Manager
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