Meet Chris Marotta, when you hear his story some may say what he has done was crazy, others may say he's inspiring.
Before Covid-19 kicked off, Chris worked in the Tourism Industry as a tour guide taking 22 excited and eager young travellers around the sites of Melbourne. He was working in his dream job, in his home town, and loving life.
Once Covid-19 regulations began to take over, Chris found himself without his 22 travellers following him around the city. Instead he was at home, on job keeper, helping the company update their website and other online roles. Chris says "As pleased as I was that job keeper allowed me to stay employed, I struggled with day-to -day motivation of waking up, opening my laptop to work 8 hours at home. I’d never opened a laptop for longer then 8 hours over the last 8 years, as I have been running tours all over Australia!"
What Chris did next was incredibly brave in the midst of a global pandemic - he resigned from his job to improve his mental health.
Here is Chris' story in his own words:
In the beginning I didn’t mind being out of work. I have spent the last 7 years working long hours, so it was nice to relax spend some time with my mum. I had been living in Queensland for the last 7 years so it was good to spend some quality time with her making puzzles and taking turns cooking dinner!
This is when I started running. Nothing serious at the time, I started running to keep active. I worked out a 5km circuit near my house and with a initial time of 24 minutes, I made a goal of trying to break the 20 minute mark.
I have always considered myself relatively fit just from living an active life. I worked on boats for years and snorkelled and dove multiple times daily so that kept me in shape. I never considered myself a runner, but I instantly loved it! It was a release from lockdown and the pressure of looking for work. It gave me a time to just let my mind wonder and the body work hard!"
"Looking after one's mental health is just as important as the physical health."
" From there it has just grown the 5km circuit that I began with seems so short now. I was lucky enough to get a job down the Mornington peninsula helping at a Nursing Home for 6 weeks. Thanks to Air BnB support support workers program, I had my own place just by the beach. I would just run in one direction for 5kms, turn around, and go back 5km. Without even realising it, one day I ran 21km - I had managed a half marathon. This is when the idea of putting my fitness towards a good cause came about, I thought to myself if I can run a half marathon with little real training surely with a proper training program I would be able to run a full marathon and what better cause then A Marathon to Remember to raise awareness for Dementia Australia which is something so close to me. Having seen first had the terrible effects of dementia on my Nonno and my Pa, I want to my bit to make a difference.
The week after running my half marathon, I returned home from my 6 week Contract at the nursing home and begun my fundraiser! It’s been amazing the amount of support I’ve received, sometimes you don’t realise how close something is to the people around you until you yourself begin to raise awareness about it. It’s been the support and donations from everyone that has given me the motivation train harder and belief that I can achieve my goals!
My Marathon training is going great and I feel the best I’ve ever felt. On Sundays. which is my longest run day on my training plan, I can run 25km without feeling any pain or tiredness. Even when I’m finished, I feel like I could run further! It’s a great feeling something that I never thought I’d be able to achieve in April when I could barely run 10km! Running has given me something to look forward to every day to strive for! Knowing I’m doing something positive in these trying times is also great for the mind. When I started training I never thought I’d be able to raise $3525 in my first few weeks and never thought I’d feel this good!
My goal is to raise $5000 and to run the marathon in under 3hrs and 30minutes and as each day goes by I’m feeling more and more confident about both of them : ) "
Chris has shown what years of research as proved that physical activity can improve your mental health.
If you would like to help Chris reach his goal of raising $5000 here is his fundraising link: