A Mackay-based CQUniversity Exercise and Sports Science student has this week endured a 24-hour session on a rowing machine to raise awareness for mental health on his 24th birthday.
Alexander (Alex) Brough has been raising money for Beyond Blue and through his lengthy rowing effort hopes to spread the word that 'it's okay not to be okay'.
"Mental health is a massive issue and it has affected us all' whether it be directly or indirectly'" said Alex.
"We all know someone who is struggling or has struggled or perhaps that person is you.
"I've always believed in the idea that you must be the change you want to see in the world' so this is just one of those things."
Alex started his mental health awareness campaign last year with a 100km row and this year he upped the stakes with a 24-hour row.
With a target of raising $3000 via a Facebook fundraiser he hopes to make a real contribution to the Beyond Blue's efforts in helping people with mental health issues.
"I plan to continue doing it every year on my birthday to remind myself as to why I believe I was born – to help others."
But why rowing? Alexander was keen to point out that he wanted to pursue something that was a real sacrifice.
"I chose rowing because I suck at endurance-based activities' and I believe in doing something that sucks every day to strengthen the mind and body'" he explained.
"I hope that I can make a difference in the world and inspire others to do the same."
Alex moved from Melbourne to Mackay last year during the COVID-19 pandemic because he could no longer run his personal training business affectively there.
"So' I moved up here' transitioned my business online' and decided it was the perfect time to study. The rest is history."
Alex hopes to move into strength and conditioning training of elite athletes and eventually open his own training facility where he can help others with their health' fitness and overall well-being.