A Ngatea personal trainer who overcame her own battles with anxiety during the Covid-19 lockdown will climb six summits in support of those struggling with mental health.
Laura Peacock, who works at TCA Fitness Club in Thames, will start her journey at 8am on March 27 by climbing The Pinnacles walk. From there, she’ll venture up Mt Te Aroha, Wairere Falls, Mt Karangahake, the Hakarimatas, near Ngaruawahia, and end her challenge at the peak of Mt Pauanui the following morning.
“This will be an incredible challenge for me,” she said.
“I am by no means an athlete or an endurance expert. I am merely a run-of-the-mill girl who is just trying to give back and show support to my friends and family who struggle with their mental health.”
Laura began training for the fundraiser at the start of January, and expected either the Pinnacles track or Mount Pauanui to be her most difficult peak. Keeping up on her journey while running on a lack of sleep will also be a challenge, she said.
“The Pinnacles is by far the longest summit and will test my endurance, but it is at the beginning of the day, so my legs should be fairly fresh at that stage,” she said.
“Mount Pauanui, although a relatively short climb, is my final summit and is fairly steep, which will be a massive challenge for me with having no sleep and already smashing out five summits previously.”
“But all endurance events are by far tougher mentally than physically, it is always your mind that will give up before your body, but I just need to tell myself it’s one step at a time, one foot in front of the other.”
Laura said she had experienced “tough times” with her mental well-being, particularly during the Covid-19 lockdown. After gaining weight during the alert level restrictions, she felt “massive anxiety” going back to her job as a personal trainer.
“It is so important to reach out for support and admit that you’re not okay, because even the people who seem the strongest and most confident are probably having inner battles of their own.”
Laura is encouraging other people to take part in her six summit climbs on March 27 and 28. She has also started a Givealittle page which has so far raised more than $1300 for the Mental Health Foundation.
“Being a part of this event isn’t about being athletic or fast, it’s about choosing a summit that you’re comfortable with to tackle with your friends and family,” she said.
“It’s a fun day out and a great chance to join something positive to celebrate the importance of looking after your mental health and raising awareness for the great work that the Mental Health Foundation does in our community.”
By KELLEY TANTAU
PHOTO: Laura Peacock will climb six summits in less than two days for the Mental Health Foundation.