'I wish I had more time': Father treads for his son
JOHN 'Nugget' Terrick didn't know there was anything wrong with his son until after Mitch took his own life.
Nugget didn't know the warning signs. That's why he's participating in the Anytime Fitness Tread As One 24-hour treadmill challenge that aims to raise awareness for the charity R U OK?
From 3pm today until 3pm tomorrow two treadmills will run with participants donating $15 for every 15-minute slot they complete.
Mitch Terrick was almost 29 when he took his own life in April. Nugget said his son was a positive person who spent much of his life giving back to others.
"I'm learning now that it wasn't what it looked like," he said.
"Unfortunately 'black dog' got the best of him and he was fighting all those demons within him."
Nugget said even in hindsight he couldn't tell that his son was battling.
"I was totally unaware of what the signs were," he said.
Mitch lived with his mother in Brisbane until he was 18 when he moved to Biloela.
He most recently worked as a personal trainer with Anytime Fitness in Biloela.
"He found positives in that and he just went forward and he never stopped," Nugget said.
"He took on more and more courses and he (found) a positive side of life helping other people.
"That was a big plus as a parent to see your baby come through and develop not only for himself but for other people."
He said his son became so involved with helping other people through their issues, he didn't spend time on his own.
"Now I look back and I feel sorry for him without even knowing what demons he was possibly fighting within himself," he said.
"Sometimes as his dad I feel guilty and terrible that I didn't have more time to learn about him and understand him."
He said he felt like his son would be proud of him for taking part in the Tread As One challenge.
"For me to come along and be a part of it, he would have loved it," he said.
His message to other parents who may not realise their children are battling demons:
"Inspire your kids to speak, encourage them to speak. Tread lightly with them, understand them. Learn about it so you can identify any signs," he said.
"I wish I had more time to do it."
There are still slots available for the treadmill challenge. Contact Anytime Fitness on 49769130. If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health, phone Lifeline on 131114.