Three years ago a back injury hit me for six, and my ability to walk and exercise went out the window. During this time I put on 30 kilos in 3 months and I was in excruciating pain both physically and mentally.
The anxiety attacks of struggling for money while not being able to work, being told that I couldn't go back into the line of work and that I was going to have to start from day dot again was very daunting. If someone had told me in this moment that I would be fitter and healthier than I've ever been, I would have told you that you were dreaming.
With an amazing support team around me such as physio’s and personal trainers giving up their free time to support me to rebuild my body to where I am today, I'm forever in their debt.
They are part of the reason I'm riding today with no pain. Another reason is my Dad, Rob who I look up to incredibly. Dad being one of the original riders gives me such pride and drive to take what he and his mates started 21 years ago and drive it for years to come.
Prior to the 2022 ride I didn’t know how much fun, how rewarding or, how much of an impact it would make on my life. The vulnerability of the riders speaking about their own experiences with mental health is both eye opening and refreshing to hear. Meeting my family at the finish line was emotional to say the least and has really brought us a lot closer together.
So please dig deep and start the conversation about mental health because we all have that little voice in our heads saying that we are not good enough. It’s so important that we end the stigma against talking about our own mental health so that we can all support our mates through their worst days.
Drew (Doo) Verboon.
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