Gary, whose friend and colleague suffers from Crohn’s & Colitis, hopes to shine a light on the condition and raise some money for the charity as a special thank you to his friend who helped him through some challenging times. He also wants to use it as an opportunity to tell his story and shine a light on mental health.
‘I was in a pretty dark place and my friend really helped me through some tough times, so I really want to do this to say thank you to him. I also want to use it as an opportunity to tell people, especially men that it’s ok not to be ok. Physically, I’m strong and people were surprised that mental health would cause such disruption to the life of ‘a big strong man like me’ but it’s just not the case. There is a huge stigma attached to mental health and we need to start talking about it more so we can raise awareness, change attitudes and encourage people to look after their mental health and wellbeing’.
In order to prepare for the event, Gary has changed his training plan and is consuming 8000 calories a day to help him break the Dinnie Stones world record of holding them, without any aid for over 34.8 seconds.
Each year a select few from around the world are chosen to take part in this historic event which sees competitors lifting or carrying the Dinnie Stones (that weigh in at an impressive 332.5kg combined). Gary hopes to become the 145th person in the world to complete this challenge on the 11th November.
After taking on the challenge, Gary’s next goal is to walk with the Dinnie stones over the width of the bridge at Potarch, a challenge laid down by Donald Dinnie himself in 1860. It doesn’t stop there; Gary is also hoping to qualify for the UK’s Strongest Man competition in 2020.
If you would like to find out more about Gary’s cause or to donate please visit his Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gary-maddison1