My Story - Jake

Posted by Top Livin on

It all started during the month of August 2016 when I was at the lowest point of my life.

After suffering in silence for many years and never talking about the severity of my depression and anxiety, I needed help and I needed it fast.

The suicidal thoughts became overpowering so I reached out to my older brother Ben - who instantly took me under his wing and away from the lonely environment I was living in.

After a month of eating well, when I had a slightly improved mindset, Ben informed me that he had signed me up for a 25km trail race in Nerang State Forest. Ben had run ultra-marathons for years at this point, so to him, 25km was a walk in the park.

For me, I couldn’t even fathom what I’d have to put myself through physically and mentally to travel that distance with my own legs. With no training and no idea, I laced up my shoes on October 2nd 2016 to embark on the journey that I’d later find out would change my life for the better. 

It’s a massive part of my life now – I have a goal to work for constantly which allows my mind to stay free of returning to a bad place. Six months of running meant that I was able to be taken off my medication that was only making me feel hollow and not like myself.

I now run around 6 days a week, and usually do multiple runs of a weekend. My training runs can range anywhere from 10km – 18km during the week and on a weekend, and my longer runs are 20km – 50km+. I have so many favourite places to run but a standout of mine would have to be Currumbin Valley Border trail. A nice undulating 17km out and back with plenty of single tracks to explore.

When I’m out running, my mind runs free of any negative thoughts and is more focused on my breathing along with the repetitive left-foot, right-foot movement. I’m able to zone out for many hours and just allow my body to work as a unit. For someone who once had a weak mindset and would quit at anything that got hard, it’s definitely given me a warrior-like mindset to deal with the everyday struggles that I may encounter now. Physically stronger with the body getting more conditioned - but when I first started, I had to deal with injury after injury as I went from never running to doing 80km-100km a week right off the bat.

Now I understand more about how my body functions and I am careful with load management which has made me less prone to injuries. Since starting running, I now know the mind will always break before the body. Strong mental resilience is the absolute key to long distance running. 

One of my good running buddies Kieron Douglass always spoke highly of LIVIN and all they do for the community who are always fighting to break the stigma surrounding mental health. LIVIN’s motto resonates with me strongly. “It ain’t weak to speak” - something if I hadn’t done, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

On the 1st of August 2019, I will embark on my biggest challenge to date and by doing so, I hope to create awareness around mental health and suicide prevention and bring the community together to share some k’s and stories with me. I will be running the distance of a marathon (42.2km) everyday for the month of August all whilst working full time for the majority of the month.

This journey will replicate the struggles and pain I lived through in the month of August 2016. 295.4km per week and 1,308.2km for the month. I will be posting on run routes for the day so the community can join in and come for a chat and share some k’s.

It will be my first road marathon where I’ll be running without being a pace runner, so I’ll be able to give it a good crack and hopefully beat my PB that I set in a road 50km in December last year. And of course, I have a significant purpose with LIVIN backing me – I’ll be running for a cause that means the world to me.

Jake aka @forest.goat

For more on Jake's story, check out his podcast:

Or interview with 10 News:

To support Jake on his massive event, 31 Marathons in 31 Days for LIVIN, check out his page and show him some love:


Image: Paul Harris Photography @paulharris