LIVIN News & Blogs
Peter Gwynne ‘LIVIN’ To Break The Stigma
Being a fighter in his sporting and business life was easy compared to the internal fight with his mental health. Read Peter’s inspiring personal story and the physical challenge he is about to embark on, raising funds and awareness for LIVIN.
I am 54 years old and a mortgage broker/business owner. I was raised in a little country town named Waikerie in South Australia. I am married with 4 children Lauren 18, Harry and Cooper 17 and Charlie 15. I grew up in a large family of 8 siblings with me being the youngest. I have always been a sports nut playing AFL and Basketball as a child and then moving to Triathlon and cycling in my mid 20’s. I saw a race called the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon on television one year and had the dream of competing there. This is a 3.8 km swim, 180 km ride, and 42 km run with Hawaii being the world championships and difficult to qualify for. I ended up qualifying and completing the event on 2 occasions. I then moved into cycling where I have won 5 Australian Time Trial champions and 2 times overall champion along with many QLD cycling titles. I have represented Australia in both Triathlon and Cycling.
This Simpson Desert Bike challenge is an organised race which some friends of mine completed several years ago. I have always wanted to compete in the race and see how well I can go. It is run over 5 days with 80 kms in the morning and 40 kms in the afternoon over hundreds of sand hills with extremely low temperatures in the morning to very hot during the day. The race starts in Purni Bore in SA and travels through 3 states and ends outside the Birdsville Hotel. To me though, this race is about the people, other riders, the staff and the support crews.
I am then traveling to the USA early November to complete the world 6-hour Time Trial Championships which is another race that has been on my bucket list. It is run in the desert in Borrego Springs in California and is totally different to the Simpson Desert where you run on normal roads. Basically, you see how far you can ride in 6 hours.
I have followed LIVIN for several years and purchased and wear the clothing range along with my family. I know a few people that work at LIVIN but I have always been proud to wear and fly the LIVIN banner as I feel it is close to my heart and something I can totally relate to. I have always been embarrassed to talk about my mental health challenges but seeing the term, “It ain’t weak to speak” filled me full of courage and made me realise we need to be open and tell people how we are feeling. I made the decision that I want to help others and feel that even though I am a very private person, I have a story and profile that can help people and immediately wondered and hoped LIVIN may be that vehicle for me. I would love to present LIVIN to my community, the cycling community.
I have had an ongoing fight with my mental health from the age of around 13 years old. This was from early issues in my childhood which were never addressed and exasperated as you move through life and have other stressful events. It does not go away and needs to be addressed. I didn’t have the tools when I was younger and did try and address these with people at that time but there was a huge stigma and lack of understanding re mental health. I want to dedicate my time to ensure these are broken and be there for people who are going through similar struggles.
Number 1 is to put your hand up and tell someone that you are struggling and need help. One quote I read early was “anxiety hates action.” It’s very difficult, but depression and anxiety can become all consuming and you need to break that cycle.
Here’s what has helped me personally;
- Talking to my partner, family, and friends
- Eating well, no sugar, lots of fatty fish oil
- Exercise. If anyone wants to come for a ride with me, they’re welcome!
- Breathing. Relaxing, taking deep breaths and live in the moment and tell yourself you are safe, you are well and everything will be ok
- Sleep. This is so important. Get rid of technology
- Meditate and change thought patterns. It’s bloody hard but the work pays off.
- Seek a good Psychologist
- Address any stress in your life. Get rid of it.
- Mental health apps. They gave me comfort and good tips.
Please reach out to me if you or someone you know is struggling.
Please donate to my page which greatly assists LIVIN to deliver their mental health education programs into schools and workplaces.
Please share my story to spread the word and awareness and this cause.