More than just another run for Amanda Allen
FOR Crossfit champion Amanda Allen, her current trek across rural Queensland is symbolic of her own harrowing journey through depression.
The world CrossFit champion and Run For MI Life ambassador stopped in Roma on Friday on her run up the Warrego Highway, travelling to Mackay as part of the Balance Podiatry Run For MI Queensland event.
Ms Allen, who has been running since May 29 from Toowoomba, said the 1000km run was for more than raising awareness of mental health, suicide and depression across Australia.
“I’ve struggled with suicidal depression for most of my life, so it’s been quite a defining experience for me,” she said.
“I tried to be a professional athlete in so many sports and it’s undermined me in almost every one.
“People think that everything is rosy for me; it’s not the case, so this year is my opportunity to spread the message that I’m not a machine and have personally struggled with the illness.”
Running 30 kilometres a day is no easy feat for Ms Allen either, who mentioned the hardest part wasn’t even the strenuous conditions or the run itself.
“The hardest part every day is turning up for the run. Who can prepare for this sort of thing? You need to dig deep mentally to keep turning up and take that one more step in,” she said.
“Over and over again I feel amazing in that first 10 kilometres, but then I feel I can’t take another step before I hit 30.”
A Griffith University study earlier found the highest age-standardised suicide rate was found in the Western region of Queensland.
Ms Allen said there was a need to break this perceived stigma throughout Queensland, which was why the south-west was specifically selected for the run.
“On this trip so far I’ve heard the most horrendous and heartbreaking stories of suicide and depression at every stop, from families who have lost loved ones to suicide or have attempted suicide themselves,” she said.
“There shouldn’t be a stigma; there should be no shame in saying we’re all humans who suffer and have feelings and struggle.”
You can support Amanda by donating to her GoFundMe on her Facebook page.