Let’s all show Sean Vanhorn our support and strip the shame away from the topic of mental health. Join us THIS SUNDAY at 11 a.m. at the base of TieHack Sean will be attempting to break the North American record for most feet uphilled on skis in a 24-hour period. This equates to more than 39 laps at Buttermilk. “…ultimately this is a personal challenge to test my limits and help inspire a change in the dialogue surrounding mental illness.”
“You will feel better than this, maybe not yet, but you will. You just keep living until you are alive again.”
In March I’ll be attempting to complete a 24 hour effort on skis to raise funds for The Aspen Strong Foundation, a non-profit that promotes access to mental health in the Roaring Fork Valley. While the A goal for this effort would be to get the North American record (around 63,000 vertical feet of climbing), ultimately this is a personal challenge to test my limits and help inspire a change in the dialogue surrounding mental illness.
I’ve battled with mental illness my entire life. Addiction, depression, and disordered eating have simply gotten the best of me at times; leaving me helpless, broken and suicidal. If it weren’t for me stumbling into the world of endurance sports I am honestly not sure I would have come out the other side of my afflictions alive. This is why I believe that it is important to use this personal challenge as a platform to fund-raise for mental health . While exercise and mountain landscapes can certainly be an antidote to a variety of mental illnesses, they often don’t resolve the underlying issues that are at the root of an individual’s problem. This is why organizations such as Aspen Strong are so vital, as they offer a lifeline to those in need.
Mental illness is significantly under-addressed by society and Aspen Strong helps to fills this gap locally. Your mind is an organ like any other and deserves treatment and resources. One single point of contact and coordination is especially helpful for the most in need, the young and the poor.
I hope that my effort can play some small part in reducing the stigma around mental illness. The same characteristics that make me prone to mental maladies have also allowed me to excel in other areas of my life. Acknowledging and addressing our defects does not makes us weak, rather, it is in fighting these demons that we truly become strong.
Want to join me in making a difference? Give a little bit to Aspen Strong, any donation will help make an impact by promoting better access to mental health treatment in the Roaring Fork Valley. DONATE.