UFC veteran Din Thomas biked across Florida to raise money and awareness of male depression in mixed martial arts.
Being a former fighter in addition to a current coach, Thomas knows full well about the struggles many fighters go through.
The problem is not everyone deals with it the right way.
“People come into the fight business with problems, and they don’t always deal with them,” Thomas told MMA Junkie. “When you’re fighting, it’s like your manhood is on the line every time. So people don’t want to say when they need help, they think it’s soft. And that’s got change.”
That is why Thomas opted to do something about it. And having taken up biking last year, he decided to set a goal for himself.
“As an athlete, you’re always looking for the next thing and the next challenge,” Thomas said. “So when I started riding, I started thinking, like, ‘I want to bike across Florida.’ You start thinking about things like that and then you work towards it and try to make it happen.”
Thomas Bikes Over 200 Miles On New Year’s Day
Partnering up with Heads Up Guys — a foundation which works towards the management and prevention of male depression — Thomas biked approximately 210 miles on Friday from Titusville to Clearwater. The experience took him two days in total.
I want to thank everybody who supported me in this journey. This is just the first of many. Never be satisfied. Stay strong and always strive for greatness.
To all the guys going through something, don't be afraid to get help. @headsupguys
Thank you again!!! pic.twitter.com/2YwFz8tlD6
— Din Thomas (@DinThomas) January 3, 2021
He also set up a fundraiser which as of now, has surpassed its target goal of $1,000. He hopes to have raised awareness from the entire venture.
“A lot of guys, when their fighting days are over, their problems haven’t gone away and for some guys it gets worse when they don’t have that outlet any more,” Thomas added. “I’ve been there myself. What I want people to know is, if you’re struggling, you can get help. Don’t give up.”
It’s certainly a great cause and hopefully, many male fighters become aware of it and realize that it’s okay to get help.