Nathan Shearer: A Portrait of an Athlete
‘That which does not kill us makes us strong.’
A well-known and frequently used phrase by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche, which depicts how struggle makes us more resilient.
World champions who have battled through mental illness and publicly recognised their struggle know the power of hitting rock bottom and building themselves back up.
Research conducted by The Australian National University shows that 46.4% of athletes in Australia have struggled from at least one case of mental health problems in their development. The Australia Institute of Sport reinforced the prevalence of mental health conditions found in one out of five professional athletes.
Professional Triathlete Nathan Shearer training on his Giant Trinity at Preston Velodrome.
Giant Ride ambassador Nathan Shearer is a professional triathlete who has achieved impressive results around the world, including a win in 2016 at Ironman World Championships. His achievement came through his perseverance and determination to reach his goals, and like almost 50% of athletes, this unrelenting perseverance can be overwhelming.
Professional Triathlete Nathan Shearer smiling with his Giant Trinity Advanced Pro Time Trial Bike
Whilst training for Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, Nathan found himself struggling to get out of bed and find the motivation to continue training. Even though he was ‘performing better than ever’, his coach suggested that he return to Melbourne and seek some help.
As gut-wrenching as this might feel, Nathan reflects in appreciation for his coach, who made the decision to send him home.
The competition isn’t out there—most of the time, it’s within you. It’s in knowing when to step back, and when to get started again.
If you know someone struggling with mental health, go to headtohealth.gov.au to help you find the right service for you from Australia’s most trusted mental health organizations.
Or call Beyond Blue Support Service at 1300 22 46 36 for referrals on depression and anxiety related matters.