More than the metal

Joe Overway hitting a deadlift PR of 425 at West Ottawa High

Juan Gomez

Joe Overway hitting a deadlift PR of 425 at West Ottawa High

Joe Overway

One in two. Fifty percent. Every other person. 

   This is the number of teens who struggle with mental health and everyone is always trying to figure out why. The only problem is that the why is drilled into our minds so much that we forget to look at the how. How do we help, because they are already struggling and at this point finding out why won’t help. But if we only showed them how to heal, then maybe, they could find some peace. 

   Experts give us many different ways on how to help with mental health. Have a good diet, talk to peers and parents, and get enough sleep. Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist, said that out of all the ways of healing the mind, working out is the best. “If you’re not in good physical shape then, one of the things that suffers most greatly is your cognitive functioning.” 

   Sr. Samuel Graft is well known for his strong build and ability to weight lift. “I mainly started lifting just because of football,” Graft said. “Before I started lifting, I was really depressed and really anxious and would have panic attacks, but since I started lifting, my mental health has improved dramatically.” 

    Mental health is also dependent on circumstances. If a circumstance in someone’s life is dragging them down, it tends to take the person’s mental health with it., Fortunately, circumstances can be changed. “My circumstances would not have changed if it wasn’t for 

lifting,” Graft said, “And with that, my mental health changed.” 

   A lot of people would never see themselves lifting, due to its unique culture and the idea of getting underneath a large amount of weight. “I believe that if you did start lifting you would see an improvement in mental health.” Graft believes that the weight of mental health is infinitely worse than the weight in that of the gym.

  Graft used the word “discipline” to describe his core value, which could only have been built by his passion for lifting weights. Discipline helps change your mental health. “Regardless of how you feel, you still have to get up that day and go to work or go to school and live life because it isn’t going to stop for you.” Graft shows the amazing correlation between weight lifting and mental health. How his mental health would never have been the same if it wasn’t for the gym and everything he gained from it.