Spent to the max

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JAR­RYD BARCA

The Ruther­glen vol­un­teer set out a goal of 10 min­utes when he first de­cided to par­take in the event but sur­prised him­self when he fin­ished with a time of six min­utes and 16 sec­onds.

But it’s more than just a race and nearly 700 fire­fight­ers from all across the coun­try par­tic­i­pated in the ex­haust­ing stair climb, where com­peti­tors are car­ry­ing 25 kilo­grams of turnout gear and breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus’ as they make their way up a gru­elling as­cend.

This year money is be­ing raised for Life­line and the Black Dog In­sti­tute to im­prove sup­port ser­vices, fund re­search, re­move stig­mas and raise aware­ness of men­tal health is­sues like de­pres­sion, post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der and sui­cide, espe­cially for those within the emer­gency ser­vice and de­fence com­mu­ni­ties.

Mr Daye said he felt “knack­ered” when he reached the top.

“It was a very dif­fi­cult chal­lenge, phys­i­cally and men­tally, par­tic­u­larly with any ex­er­cise

Max Daye felt on top of the world when he suc­cess­fully soared up 28 floors of Mel­bourne’s Crown Metropol Ho­tel as part of the re­cent Mel­bourne Fire­fighter Stair Climb.

when you’re ex­ert­ing yourself, but then when you’ve got the ap­pa­ra­tus on it’s a dif­fer­ent beast all to­gether,” he told The Free Press.

“I was just in­cred­i­bly ex­haust­ing, my legs copped it the most but you re­ally do need good car­dio­vas­cu­lar fit­ness.

“I was com­pletely stuffed at the end, my heart rate felt pretty high.”

It’s a very wor­thy cause that is mo­ti­vat­ing enough to get to the top, with 10 per cent of emer­gency ser­vice peo­ple suf­fer­ing from PTSD.

But Max raced to the top in his father’s mem­ory, who passed away just a cou­ple of weeks prior to the event.

“I know that he would’ve been proud of my achieve­ments, he thought it was a pretty good thing when I spoke to him about it,” Mr Daye said.

“It was pretty dif­fi­cult, that was a bit of ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion for me to get to the top.”

Mr Daye said the tough­est part about the climb was staying men­tally fo­cussed.

“I got to about the 11th floor and I don’t re­mem­ber the last time I did a phys­i­cal chal­lenge that I had the thought of ‘am I go­ing to make it to the top’? I went a bit too hard at the be­gin­ning but once my heart rate low­ered a bit I was able to get into a rhythm,” he said.

“That was a re­ally dif­fi­cult mo­ment for me be­cause I could have very eas­ily given up, but I pushed through.”

Mr Daye said he trained for nearly 12 weeks in the lead up to the event, which in­cluded a lot of leg work and car­dio.

“I was ac­tu­ally us­ing breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus sets while train­ing just to get my head around be­ing able to push my­self un­der those con­di­tions,” he said.

“I was us­ing the multi-level car park at Al­bury a lot and also did gen­eral gym work.”

Mr Daye praised all the fire­fight­ers who par­tic­i­pated in the event and said he is proud of the Stair Climb ini­tia­tive.

“Ob­vi­ously men­tal health is a very big is­sue, I just think that ev­ery­one com­ing to­gether for this one cause is def­i­nitely a good thing and it was great to see the amount of peo­ple there.”

Mr Daye took the time to thank ev­ery­one for their sup­port and en­cour­aged peo­ple to con­tinue to do­nate money to a “very wor­thy cause”.

“I would like to thank my wife He­len and fam­ily for their love, sup­port and en­cour­age­ment dur­ing my prepa­ra­tion, as well as the Ruther­glen Fire Bri­gade for get­ting be­hind me dur­ing the en­deav­our. Also a spe­cial thanks to Gaye Shale from Nav­i­tas Health and Fit­ness for her guid­ance and in­put dur­ing this jour­ney,” he said.

“Ad­di­tion­ally I would like to con­grat­u­late all event win­ners and ev­ery­one from District 24 for their ef­forts in par­tak­ing in the Stair Climb.”

Michael Ward from South Mel­bourne MFB recorded the fastest time of the day, rac­ing up the ho­tel in three min­utes and 34 sec­onds, while Fiona Macken from Di­a­mond Creek CFA was the fastest fe­male on the day with a time of four min­utes and 47 sec­onds – 33rd over­all.

To do­nate to the cause, go to www.fire­fight­er­climb.org.au and help them reach their goal, or sup­port Max here: https://www.fire­fight­er­climb.org.au/climber/max­daye/.

If you are go­ing through a hard time call Life­line on 13 11 14.

Max Daye has helped raise more than $1,000 of the $700,000 tar­get, as set out on the Mel­bourne Fire­fighter Stair Climb web­site to go to­wards Life­line and the Black Dog In­sti­tute. He com­pleted the climb in a time of six min­utes and 16 sec­onds, fin­ish­ing with the 199th best over­all time.

Max’s pre-event pho­to­graph.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.