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November 2021 Issue
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I’m doing it for my health

Thomas Mandeno is taking on the Walk1200km challenge as a way to lose weight. Photo: Thomas Mandeno

Thomas Mandeno wants to lose some weight and has joined Walk1200km for his overall health and to ‘see if I can do it’. 

In joining Walk1200km, Thomas Mandeno has taken a bold step. Three years ago, the 26-year-old Hamiltonian was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings. Prior to his diagnosis, there were times when he struggled to leave the house and despite taking the appropriate medication he still faces challenges others may find hard to understand. 

“Being bipolar makes sustainable goal-setting hard because you may get put off track for a month or two by a low swing or you might overspend on something and you don’t have enough money to go tramping,” Thomas says.

But he’s determined to give it his best. “I’m interested in the adventure, just to see what happens from doing it. I’m a bit goal-adverse, but it would be really nice to lose more weight.”

To ensure he stays on track, Thomas has broken the challenge down into monthly goals rather than maintaining focus on a distant goal 12 months down the track. He also plans to do some big hikes in case he gets waylaid and finds he can’t walk some days. 

“Once you have 20km tramps in the mix, you can kind of balance out the other days,” he says.

Have you signed up to do the Walk1200km challenge? Register here.