Mental health strikes cord for record- chaser
An Auckland daredevil is on a mission to crack a world record for the most bungy jumps in 24 hours — all while fundraising for mental health causes.
Mike Heard will start his attempt at 7pm on Tuesday from the Auckland Harbour Bridge. His “conservative goal” is 200 jumps in the 24 hours following, and he said he was thriving on the pressure.
“I’m wanting to give the record a solid nudge and bring it home.
“I enjoy putting myself outside my comfort zone”.
Heard has previously set two Guinness World Records for bungy jumping — the first in 2008 when he jumped 103 times in 24 hours from the Harbour Bridge and then again in 2014 when he jumped 80 times in 60 minutes.
His 24- hour record was beaten in 2014 and is currently held by Colin Phillips, who jumped 151 times in 24 hours in Dubai.
Heard is confident he can beat his old record as he is now able to use a shorter rope, around 5- 10m, meaning he doesn’t have to get dunked in the water each time.
“[ For the first record] my cord was 20m; I got wet and very, very cold.”
Heard said there are no proven health issues that result from too much bungy jumping, but he will have a medical team on standby.
The 35- yearold, who works in the technology sector, is hoping to raise more than $ 50,000 for the Mental Health Foundation. He said he wanted to do it for a good cause and mental health felt right considering New Zealand’s problems with suicide. He had tried to support friends and family who struggled with mental health issues in the past. “I did a pretty s*** job. I thought if they were depressed or anxious they needed to go do something they enjoy. But it’s not like that. “I want to highlight how people can be there for friends and family as a support person . . . You’ve got to bounce back.” Mental Health Foundation spokesman Shaun Robinson said the money raised would go towards campaigns and services covering the “A- Z of mental health and well- being” such as suicide prevention.
“We think it’s fantastic that Mike wants to support changes in mental health through his bungy recordbreaking feat. We use the idea of bouncing back from adversity as an analogy for mental health resilience, and the bungy is a good image to represent that.”
Heard said he was nervous in the lead- up to the record attempt as he predicted some “grim moments” bungy jumping through the night.
But with all that experience under his belt, he had a tip for firsttimers — always double jump.
“The first time you bungy you’re scared s*** less. It messes with you.
“If you’re going to do your first one, do a second one so you know what’s coming and you can start to enjoy the feeling you get from it.
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Sarah Harris Watch NZH Focus video at nzherald. co. nz Mike Heard says New Zealand’s sad record with suicide made him want to support mental heath causes. Art auction earns $ 3m Two killed in crashes Brexit will hit Kiwis’ OE Man hurt in Wiggles dash
Jack Tame Newstalk ZB 9am