Weight off minds

December 06, 2017

Shepparton women Chloe Warburton and Karina Joy are hoping to smash the stigmas associated with depression through the power of weightlifting.

Buff arms and rock-hard legs are not the only benefits of strength training for Shepparton trainers Chloe Warburton and Karina Joy.

The pair started weightlifting almost two years ago as a way to improve their mental health and want to spread the message about how the sport has the ability to help the mind.

Both have a history of depression and anxiety and have used weightlifting to get through their darkest days.

The sport has led the women to lifting competitions across the state and after 18 months of sticking at it, each can lift more than 100kg.

‘‘Sometimes when your life feels a bit out of control, that’s the only thing you do have control over,’’ Ms Warburton said.

‘‘It’s that routine and having a goal of something to build towards that has really helped.’’

This weekend, Ms Warburton and Ms Joy will host a fundraising event for beyondblue and Marian Community at their gym.

The aim is to get as many people involved as possible, raise money, and most importantly smash the stigmas around mental health.

Those who attend can have a taste of what the sport is about in a relaxed, fun setting, as well as learn more about where to go for help.

Ms Joy, who had chemotherapy a couple of years ago, said the process had not only improved her mental health, but had helped her body strengthen after experiencing such an intense period of ill health.

‘‘There is a lot of people we know, including us, who have been affected by depression, so we thought it would be a good thing to do to raise awareness,’’ Ms Joy said.

‘‘The sport itself has really helped with building self-esteem and issues around that, so you really get a boost when you see what your body is capable of, especially as women.

‘‘Just knowing that you can go to the gym and have that structure and community there when you’re going through things, it really helps.’’

The fundraising event will be at GV Crossfit on Mitchell St, Shepparton this Sunday, from 10am until 3pm.

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