Two Bendigo principals and a La Trobe University lecturer took on our 10-week men's health challenge to promote our first ever Men's Health Marathon. So, how did they go?

Girton Grammar principal Matthew Maruff learned plenty about his body during a special 10-week Men’s Health Challenge.

Matthew accepted a Bendigo Community Health Services invitation to take on the challenge to raise awareness of men’s health and promote the organisation’s Men’s Health Marathon from August 25 to September 4.

Bendigo Senior Secondary College principal Dale Pearce and La Trobe University Bendigo lecturer Kirk Peterson also took on the challenge with great results.

“I used to think that the body was simply a carrier pigeon for the brain but now I realise it is more complex than that,” Matthew said of his Men’s Health Challenge experience.

“When I received a call from Bendigo Community Health Services in June my first thought was that my professional work would not allow me the luxury of training at Shape Health and Fitness.

“I was reminded though of a friend’s comments made to me when I started in my current role, nearly seven years ago: “Matthew, you need to get hold of your diary, or it will get hold of you”.

“Whilst this is a constant challenge for me, I made a commitment to complete the 10-week challenge, not only for myself but to fly the flag for men’s health.

“What I started to find was that the carrier pigeon may have been becoming a bit lighter, but the most sense of well-being, stamina and alertness were improving. So no I know that the relationship between mind and body is much more in line with the Roman notion of a healthy mind in a healthy body.

“Given the context that this generation of American children may not outlive its parents and with Australia, sadly going down a similar path, it is important that those who do have considerable influence in the lives of young people take on such challenges to inspire those in their care.

“I found the 10 weeks enormously challenging at the physical level and indeed the mental level.

"To have (Shape Health and Fitness staff) Tyler, Ben and more recently Amy, getting that 20 per cent more out of you, was sometimes excruciating.

“The benefits to me and the way others in our community have entered into this narrative suggest a raise in consciousness particularly amongst my colleagues.

“Our students have been interested in some of the more creative and possibly medieval exercises that their head of school has had to endure.

“I enjoyed the challenge so much that I am continuing on for another 10 weeks.

“Thanks to Bendigo Community Health Services for your great work in realising that education is a key driver of good health outcomes.”

How did the other two participants go?

To learn how Dale Pearce went in the challenge click here

To see how Kirk Peterson achieved in the challenge click here

To learn more about the men's health challenge click here

To learn more about our 11-day Men's Health Marathon click here