True’s new outlook on life had pushed him to create the True Triathlon — a roughly 50-mile swim from Key Largo, FL to Key Biscayne, FL, a 3400-mile bike ride to San Diego, CA, and a 600-mile run in an effort to raise $500,000 for Mental Health Awareness Month. True also hopes to break the stigma surrounding mental health while showing others the “undeniable power of speaking their truth.”
Bend, Oregon, July 15, 2022, Many people have psychological issues in varying degrees. Standing face-to-face with their issues and confronting them head-on is the best way to conquer them. Some folks just cannot muster the courage and inner strength to attempt to change their lives and fade away into obscurity.
Justin True, fortunately, is one of the people who met his inner demons and kicked their butts. He had to endure many crushing experiences as he grew up, that no doubt had a negative affect on his psyche. After battling depression and an abusive upbringing as a child, Justin True decided at the young age of eighteen, that he couldn’t continue living through the traumatic events that scarred his psyche.
A former mixed martial arts fighter, True was no stranger to pushing through unimaginable pain to win in the octagon. However, this pain was different, and too much for him to overcome. True’s first attempt to take his own life was not successful, so he tried again. When the second attempt also failed, he had a fundamental shift in his outlook on life. He emerged wanting to turn his life around, and to help others who are suffering and feeling hopeless. Since that day, True’s life has been a calling to help others.
During a recent interview, Justin said, “Being tortured by my brother, being held at knife point, water boarded, torched, and locked in dog kennels growing up taught me that no matter what card you’re dealt, you have to keep going. You have to keep fighting and get back up.”
He went on to say, “The triathlon is such a perfect metaphor for what I am trying to convey. Swimming in the ocean symbolizes life’s waves — sometimes you can't tell up from down, but eventually you’re going to hit a clear spot and at some point the rough part’s going to end.”
While this might seem like a physically insurmountable task, True’s past mental and physical challenges have prepared him for this new test. His past endeavors include completing a tandem 150-mile bike ride through the Cascades in Oregon state, an Olympic Triathlon carrying a 90-pound concrete Thor hammer, a marathon while pulling a truck 26.2 miles, and a 29-day, nearly 500-mile, walk across Madagascar in which he encountered numerous life-threatening situations.
The True Triathlon exposed Justin to many situations and experiences that would have caused most people to just give-up and call it a day. He came face to face with a shark during the swim and had to kick it to go away. Justin was hit by a car on day two of the bike run and ran off the road countless times by semi-trucks. One hundred miles into the run he fractured his foot and had to run the next 500 miles on it. He also had a severe staph infection spread all over his thighs around mile 300. Total of 46 days and roughly 3700 miles.
True hoped that the triathlon would serve as both a platform for discussing mental health and a fundraising catalyst. He had invited anyone who was willing to join him along his route for as long as they would like. As he undertook each leg, he hoped well-known athletes, actors, musicians and thought leaders would join for segments, creating space to share their own stories. True has documented the True Triathlon and the stories shared along the way as part of a feature film.
“When you’re struggling with depression, the next day might be tough, the next week might be tough, but eventually you’re going to hit a spot that’s so cool.” True said. “The struggle will always be worth it.”
Justin’s Open Invitation To Support The Cause:
The pandemic has left a mental health crisis of staggering proportions in its wake. Isolation, financial, physical, and mental stress, loss, and battling long-haul COVID symptoms have led to spikes in depression across all age groups, genders, and socio-economic brackets. The True Triathlon is Justin’s first endeavor to bring together the power and resources of individuals and business to support the organizations who are battling this crisis head on. Join the cause here.
Justin is focusing on mental performance coaching, strength coaching, triathlon coaching and hiring for public speaking events from schools to corporations.