Sweating it out to spread the Movember message
FORGET just trying to grow a mo for Movember.
All you have to do is get into a plastic dinosaur costume on a very warm Echuca day, get down to the gym and get on a treadmill. And run 23km. Then just because you can, you hit the floor and punch out 230 pushups.
If your name is Matt Nunan and you are looking for a relatively fast track (about 23km long) to raising money for Movember that’s exactly what you do.
Gym junkie Matt — who runs marathons in his spare time — said he has had more than enough of hearing about good friends suffering.
He said talking to anyone about their personal experiences with mental illness was difficult.
But for some reason, in particular for men, the taboo topic is often swept under the rug as men are told to, and expected to, ‘get over it’.
So Matt used Movember to do something – and to make a massive point of it.
As part of the campaign, Matt challenged himself and his mates to raise as much money as possible for the Movember Foundation – the leading charity changing the face of men’s health.
It addresses some of the biggest health issues faced by men such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer,
I’ve had three mates really affected by mental health. I just wanted to create some more awareness. If there’s something the money can do, then that’s great. But it’s all about awareness
mental health and suicide prevention.
Having raised more than $2300 before Thursday, Matt headed to Snap Fitness to keep his side of the fundraising promise.
“I said for every $100 we raised I would run 1km and do 10 pushups in a costume chosen by the Snap Fitness members,” Matt said.
“But I wasn’t really expecting to raise this much,” he laughed (and sweated).
For Matt, the fundamental problem he sees is the lack of awareness for men knowing there is a way to work through their mental illness
“I’ve had three mates really affected by mental health,” he said.
“I just wanted to create some more awareness.
“If there’s something the money can do, then that’s great. But it’s all about awareness.
“Even in doing Movember, I’ve found more people are talking about the issues. And I’ve become more aware.
“I can be sitting down with some of my mates, having a good time, and then you realise someone is abusing their alcohol or even drugs.
“But still, we don’t know if it’s too late.
“I think there’s a openness now.”
Construction workers and tradies are among the highest suicide rates of any occupation in Australia, according to 2017 data.
As the owner of Nailed It Quality Builders, Matt enlisted the help of his fellow builders, friends and Snap Fitness to help his cause.
“Movember is not just about prevention, it’s about awareness,” Matt said.
“Three out of four men suffer from some sort of mental illness in Australia and globally a man dies from taking his own life every minute of every day.”
Matt said one of the things he has found most helpful in his life is exercising, but he realised everyone was different. lot more
But felt finding a hobby outside of work was important for everyone.
“That’s why it’s great to being doing this today,” he added.
Snap Fitness club manager Thomas Bryans was proud to get not only himself, but the members of Snap Fitness, involved in Matt’s Movember cause.
“Matt told us what he was doing and we knew it was a great cause with which to be involved,” Thomas said.
“On November 18 we held a charity walk and barbecue where members paid $5 to be involved and we walked for one hour to signify the 60 men taken by suicide every hour,” he said.
“Before Matt’s cause, we organised another event where we walked 8km for the eight people a day in Australia who die at their own hands.”
Thomas said he sees people in Snap every day, working out to improve their mental health.
“I’d say a significant percentage of our members would have joined the gym to help their mental health in some form,” Thomas said.
“Exercise releases endorphins, which helps with depression. It can also be a great release of anger from the work place or home.
“Coming to the gym is the hardest part. But just walking through those doors is an achievement in itself.”