After stuffing my grossly overweight body into lycra to do the CEO challenge in 2017, I have taken a leap and committed to undertaking the full 700km Hawaiian Ride for Youth in 2018… which means visually tormenting Perth drivers for another year with my lycra clad fat!
For an old bloke with two knee replacements this ride is no easy feat! I have already started the early morning training sessions with the team (up at 4:40 am, three times a week) and will complete at least 7000 km in training alone before embarking on the big journey from Albany to Perth. Whilst the physical challenge is one part of the journey for me, there is a much bigger and more important reason that I have chosen to participate in the ride.
I’ve been blessed with four happy, healthy, now young-adult children but having experienced a bit of a "troubled" time during my younger years, this is a cause that is very close to my heart. No one should have to feel alone or unsupported when experiencing depression, anxiety, self-harm or suicidal thoughts. We want to believe that if someone is not feeling ok, they will reach out to us for help and we will know how to ‘fix it’. A lot of the time, this just isn’t the case.
Youth Focus aims to understand young people and their difficulties within the broader context of their lives, including family, friends, school and their local community. This understanding acknowledges the effect of past experiences, the significance of current issues and circumstances, and the nature of adolescence as a life stage. By providing free, unlimited, professional counseling and other mental health services, Youth Focus helps young people overcome these issues. The Hawaiian Ride for Youth reminds us to check in with our own kids and helps to remove the stigma surrounding youth mental health.
I am riding with the Hawaiian team and very proud to be representing my great mate Russell Gibbs’ business. Our team will be arranging several fundraising events in the lead up to the ride, so look out for notices on these and please join us for a bit of fun. If you would like to make a contribution to this very worthy cause, please head to this link:
All donations will go directly to Youth Focus and not one dollar is wasted.
In the meantime, I urge you to touch base with your kids to help us break the stigma around mental health, and apologise for the disturbing visuals with the lycra situation…!
Thank you for your support.
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