Dixon pushes through pain
PAIN is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.
That quote, made famous by Lance Armstrong, could not be more applicable for talented Geelong sportsman Scott Dixon.
Dixon has endured the pain of 10 half-marathons — and has set his sights on completing another two this year — all in the name of mental health.
The 23-year-old is part of the “12 for Twelve” movement, the brainchild of Melbourne runner Rhett Nicholas, that bids to change the conversation around mental health one step at a time.
Passionate about spreading the message, Dixon has made tomorrow’s Melbourne Marathon a family affair. He will pound the pavement alongside dad Bill, 57, sister Emmersen, 25, and brother Nick and up to 50 12 for Twelve colleagues.
“It’s close to home for me and my family and it’s been really motivating and rewarding to get involved in something like this,” Dixon said.
“We’ve had family members, including myself, battle mental health and it’s so common. I think most families would have a connection in some way or another.
“When you see them suffering, you just really hope that no one else has to go through it as well. It’s something that can be fixed and we’ll just keep promoting things like this and hopefully the message gets across.”
Taking on the challenge of 12 for Twelve, Dixon admitted it had been taxing on the body.
But not even the pain of knee tendinitis could prevent him from achieving a goal.
“The first couple weren’t easy,” Dixon said.
“Our second run was a trail run and the elevation was between 50m and 600m above sea level, so we were just going up and down for 21km.
“But that pain that you experience is temporary and nowhere near the pain of people suffering mental health problems.
“I didn’t struggle too much with the motivation side of things. It’s been really rewarding and something that I’m really passionate about.
“I’m very open and passionate to speak to others about it, hear their stories and help out where I can.”
Dixon said Nicholas, a friend at Old Geelong Football Club, had been inspired to launch the group in honour of his sister, who committed suicide last November.
“By December he decided to do 12 half-marathons in 12 months to raise $100,000 and more awareness for mental health,” Dixon said.
“It started with a little bit of advertising on Instagram and he had a whole group of mates that chipped in to help.
“Some of them did the schedules for the runs, others look after the website and fundraising and it’s grown quite significantly.”
Dixon said he and Nicholas were determined to change the conversation around mental health.
“That’s why he chose running because there are benefits of physical activity and mental wellbeing, hence why he started Run Clubs to have that community connection,” Dixon said.
“We’re just trying to spread the message to as many people as we can. It doesn’t matter if someone can’t run a marathon, you can support the cause in other ways.
“We want everyone to understand that it’s fine to have mental issues. You’re not alone and as friends and peers we need to help out to ensure they’re OK.
“Some people get frightened by that a little bit, but in reality the most important thing is to provide direction and support and making sure you are there for them.
“I think we’re on the path, but there’s a long way to go.”
So far 12 for Twelve has raised $95,000. Visit www.12fortwelve.com If you or someone you know needs help, visit headspace.org.au or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
FAMILY FOCUS: Scott, Emmersen and Bill Dixon are running to help raise funds and awareness for mental health.