Alex Wisch, one of the nation’s top performance specialists, has announced the national 30-Day Fitness for Mental Health Challenge.
Wisch became the go-to mental and physical performance specialist to professional athletes, CEOs and private equity leaders after defeating his own decades-long, nearly incapacitating depression that robbed him of a likely spot on the U.S. Olympic sailing team.
“I tried every treatment out there for the profound depression I struggled with, including psychotherapy, dozens of medications, ketamine infusions and even ECT,” Wisch said. “Nothing freed me from its grip until I took hold of my own life by designing and using my own fitness, nutrition, meditation and positive psychology plan. That unwavering focus on revitalizing and strengthening my body to strengthen my mind was the beacon of light that led me out of the darkness. I understood that prior to working on my psychological well-being, it was essential to optimize my biology and my body’s innate, healing wisdom.”
It worked so well that, although he still struggles with a degree of depression, Wisch has won an ultramarathon and dozens of other athletic competitions, become a leading investor and advisor in transformational health and wellness companies, and emerged as a go-to expert on peak physical and mental performance, with clients around the world.
On May 30th, 2021, during Mental Health Awareness Month and the day before Memorial Day, Wisch will take on an almost incredible fitness feat of his own to bring awareness to the fact that the mental health crisis affects people of all backgrounds, including our nation’s veterans.
Wisch will perform 1,000 pull-ups, 2,000 push-ups and 3,000 squats, all within 10 hours while wearing a 20-pound weighted vest to symbolize the weight of mental illness on the many millions who must confront it. He is inviting people to donate to support his Herculean effort. All the money donated will go directly to Team Red, White & Blue, a charity that utilizes fitness and community to support America’s veterans as they transition back to their families and neighborhoods.
“Daily fitness and mindfulness have been essential in my experience to overcome the challenges of depression and train for this enormous feat. I want to share this knowledge and help people in all areas of life begin their own journey towards mental wellness,” stated Wisch. For this reason he created the 30-Day Fitness for Mental Health Challenge that takes place during the month of May, Mental Health Awareness Month. Participants can choose from Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Elite and Ultra-Elite fitness routines that anyone can complete in the comfort of their home with just their body weight.
“The 30-Day Challenge includes performing pull-ups, push-ups, and squats every other day, throughout the month of May, along with a daily 5-minute practice of mindfulness,” Wisch said. “It is now very well understood that pairing daily physical activity with mindfulness practices significantly improves anxiety and depression symptoms, along with reducing the risk for clinical depression.”
People who donate even $1.00 will be given access to a series of videos created by Wisch that provides ways to progress and regress each exercise, an alternative movement to pull-ups if you do not have a pull-up bar and special instructions for how to successfully complete each fitness challenge.
Wisch knows that people too often stay silent about their struggles with mental illness out of fear of being stigmatized. He has made it his mission to speak out by sharing his story. “No one is spared when it comes to mental illness, regardless of accomplishments and bravery. In fact, our nation's heroes, our veterans, face unique challenges in regards to mental health.”
Every year, more than 250,000 active duty service members transition out of the military, joining the 3.5 million post-9/11 veterans already living in communities nationwide. They face isolation, weight gain, lack of purpose, PTSD, anxiety, depression and other ailments. Team Red, White & Blue utilizes fitness and community to help veterans overcome these hardships.
“I want my story of healing to inspire people to never give up and to defeat the obstacles in their way—whether physical, psychological, financial or spiritual,” Wisch said. “By talking openly about the hurdles I had to overcome to regain control of my life, I can inspire others who still find themselves facing their own struggles and are looking for their roads to success. I am grateful to have the tools to help my clients achieve their personal goals and obtain a higher sustainable level of performance.”
Wisch has advice for anyone confronting depression, anxiety or any other psychiatric symptoms or disorder. “You must never give up. You must never stand down. Please know that there is hope and healing is possible. Your potential is far greater than you may imagine, especiallyduring your tough times. I have seen extraordinary recoveries unfold again and again, including in my own life.”
Wisch is asking for you to please show your support to make a positive change in the mental health crisis by making a donation on FitnessForMentalHealth.org, participating in the 30 Day for Mental Health Challenge and spreading the word for #FitnessForMentalHealth.