Cape Breton man completes grueling physical challenge to raise awareness for mental health
NORTH SYDNEY, N.S. -- A Cape Breton man has completed an exhausting physical challenge to raise awareness for mental health.
Kenzie MacDonald ran four miles (6.4 kilometres), every four hours for two days.
“One of the hardest things I've ever done,” says MacDonald.
It’s a challenge created by former U.S. Navy Seal and motivational figure David Goggins. It's meant to test people physically and mentally.
“I'd go down for a 40 minute nap, then have to wake up and go for a run at two in the morning and it was very, very difficult,” says MacDonald.
MacDonald took on the challenge as a way to raise awareness for mental health, a cause close to his heart.
“I struggled with substance abuse for a few years. I was an honours student until grade 11, and then I pretty much dropped off the face of the earth after that. I lost mostly all connections with family and friends,” he says.
Since then, MacDonald has turned his life around and started a career in the military. He says he wanted to make a difference in his home community.
“As much as I've done bad in the past, if I continue to do this and push forward there will be opportunities where I can make up for that,” he says.
MacDonald and a friend are now asking others in the area to take on the challenge, on their own or as part of a team.
The friends are organizing an event in mid-April called ‘4x4x48 – A Mental Health Marathon’ and proceeds will go to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.
“Mental health itself doesn't take breaks. Whether it's four o’clock in the morning or four in the afternoon, there's always somebody suffering with mental health issues. So with this run, we're trying to get people to feel as if they can be in those peoples' shoes just for a minute,” says Joe Townsend, MacDonald’s friend.
MacDonald says completing the challenge was one of his greatest accomplishments.
“I put my mind out and said ‘I want to do this’ and I achieved it and it was something that was very difficult,” he says.
“If I can do this, I can achieve many other things.”