Fighting Depression with fitness

Another great story about fighting depression with fitness:

A man has committed to making 425km journey down the mighty Waikato River – on a lilo.

After suffering from depression for over two years, Jimi Hunt decided he needed to get fit, but he wasn’t really one for gyms and marathons.

“Stuff like that’s just too boring so I sat down and came up with the idea of liloing from Taupo to Port Waikato and I ran with it. Now, six months, later it’s turned into a juggernaut like you wouldn’t believe.”

The Auckland-based designer decided to use his trip to raise awareness about depression and now has more than 7000 supporters on Facebookand is being sponsored by the Mental Health Foundation and Movember.

He’s even upgraded from a $4.99 to a $7.99 Warehouse lilo.

He used to be so depressed that he’d spend his weekends crying in bed, and even small things like deciding what he should have for lunch would seem overwhelming.

But he put on a “mask” whenever he was around other people, pretending everything was fine.

I know all about that mask…I lived with one in place for over 6 years. People mistake depression for “feeling a little bit sad”. It isn’t.

Good on Jimi Hunt for fighting his demons and getting out and getting fit in his battle with the black dog.


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  • bb

    love this idea. wish i could do it too – like a support crew on a lilo.

  • tom

    Imagine it, a whole fleet of depressed people and hangers on, all floating down the river on multicoloured lilos and blowup things in general. You can’t help but grin hehe
    Make it an annual thing, like the cannonball run crossed with burning man.. What a larf :-)

  • Doc

    He should sell tickets to watch him navigate the rapids at Aratiatia on a lilo ;-)

    …but in all seriousness – good on him!

  • Sara

    Good on Mr Hunt.  I know all about the mask too. In fact my 17 year old gifted artist daughter has been drawing herself (and her characters) wearing masks since she was diagnosed as having adolescent depression at 14.
    I think a “wearing the mask” day would be a great awareness campaign and fund raiser actually.

  • Hakimofphut

    Great idea. careful about the sunburn on the back of the neck !
     Dont worry about the Aratitia rapids, its the taniwha much further on that could be a worry

  • yoga..a vegan booze..and a little bit o’ pot (if so inclined/needing a relaxant..)

    ..are  also paths out of that morass..

    ..and whatever you do..don’t accept the latest fashion in pills the drug company pimps disguised as doctors are trying to push onto you..

    (key question:..’is it addictive..?’…’no thanks..!’…)

    ..if you need more…i would also recommend st johns wort..(which is the second most frequently prescribed ‘drug’ by german doctors.. isn’t a is herbal..and non-addictive..and it works…

    ..i don’t use it now..but have in times of stress ..l

    ..and it dosen’t have a whammo effect like the doctors’ pills..

    ..and can take weeks to kick in..

    ..but kick in it does…and i found it burred the edges a bit…

    ..which helps/helped..

    ..but don’t rely on the off the shelf ones..

    ..go and talk to a naturopath..and get a script/recommendation there..

    [email protected]

    • Shaun McC

      Your opinion has no value to me. Im not going bother
      reading your comments again

  • Hakimofphut

    Phil , sugar is addictive, but not if it comes  from a Cuban cooperative.
    You really need your head read telling sick people to  try a “naturopath”

    •  who mentioned cuba..?..

      ..i must have missed that one..

      ..and it is because commercial pills can be too low-dose..

      ..that i recommended asking an expert in that field..

      ..(and shouldn’t that be ‘head-red’..?..didn’t you miss a golden ideological-pun-opportunity there..?)

      [email protected]

      • Hakimofphut

        the money quote –
        key question:..’is it addictive..?’…’no thanks..!’…)
        Do you get the SJW as a little sachet  containing only  the plant material ?  Most of these so  called herbal products, are produced in industrial- quasi pharmaceutical  processes. And yes they make them ‘pill like’ for a reason along with all the fillers and sweetners that go with it.

    • Hakimofphut

      Also you recommend pot – isnt that addictive like those nasty chemicals from big pharma or is it ‘natural’.
      as well current varieties are far stronger than that grown   when you first tried it  30 years ago

      • that’s a ‘no’ ‘addictive?’..

        ..and a ‘no’…to the ‘stronger now?’-question…

        [email protected]

      • Agent BallSack

        Bullshit Phil. Cannabis is at least 70% stronger than it was 30 years ago. And it is psychologically addictive at the very least, and can cause excessive ellipse usage.

  • no ballsack.. that is just prohibitionist bullshit designed to scare those parents who used to smoke..but don’t now..and worry about their children using stronger pot..

    ..and do you know how that lie is proven to be so..? the the facts…

    ..namely court records from both here and america..from the 70’s until now..

    ..where as part of the trial..the potency of the cannabis seized was tested…

    ..and those records show little change..from then until now..

    ..and actually..i remember indonesian/thai/afghani-hash..just to name a few..

    ..that would march most of the current pot out the door.. to put that prohibitionist-myth to the sword…

    ..but the facts speak louder than either of us…

    [email protected]

  • kehua

    Poor Jimi will not get far on a $7-99 Warehouse Lilo, infact I doubt if he will even get into the river, and rightly so. As for the MHF supporting this foolishness, they must be ….mad.

  • Anonymous

    When is Cam going to eject this prick phillip ure. Once again hijacking the topic to talk about pot and other bullshit hippie nonsense.

    How long do we have to put up with this coned stunt, or do we just stop visiting the site?

  • Greg M

    The methods Phil mentioned in his first post are one of the legitimate treatments for depression, that does work for some people.
    Phil, if you hadn’t mentioned ” and a little bit o pot” your post would have been more acceptable to most people here.

    Exercise, good diet, no booze and no more prescription drugs is what got me through it.
    It took twelve years, and I have “black dog days” rarely now.
    If I had the opportunity to lilo down the river I bloody would, I am sure this is going to help this guy. Good on him.

    •  i mentioned pot greg because i feel it is an effective tool..

      ..and far safer that the addictive poisons pushed by doctors….

      ..(and every time i see that ‘pot is stronger now alarmist/prohibitionist-bullshit..

      ..i have to call it… the hope that the revelation of those court testing results will stop that person/and readers.. from continuing to peddle that proven fallacy..

      ..(i’m a

      [email protected]

  • Peter Jenkins

     Phil is bang on about excercise and especially no booze. I suspect rather a lot of depression in NZ is actually alcohol induced

  • when i mentioned pot i did qualify ‘if required’..

    and no..not for everyone..

    ..but i feel it should be an option….

    ..(especially when it isn’t addictive..

    ..and has far less side-effects…(a desire to eat..then fall asleep..)..than those pills peddled by doctors…

    ..and i feel doctors should offer both st johns’ wort and pot as options..

    ..and as neither are addictive..surely before the addictive ones..?’d think..?

    ..after all..they do only have their patients’ best interests at

    ..that the safest of treatments is illegal…is madness.. can it not be..?

    [email protected]