What is Carry and Connect?

Words by James Ward

Carry and Connect started as a couple of men going for a walk carrying some heavy weights sometime in 2020. The experience of walking, talking and the shared struggle with those weights was profound.  It was such a simple and natural thing and it fed a primal need within these men for both physical activity and mental wellbeing. This experience was good, and it had to be shared with the community

Since that day we have met every Saturday, bringing men of all abilities, ages, size and shape together for an hour to suffer in our beautiful natural environment  You might have seen us walking from Eltham Adventure Playground to Allendale Road carrying sandbags or weights and thought, who are these crazy guys walking in the cold, heat or rain barefoot (not mandatory) carrying those big bags?

The act of walking in nature while carrying weight is cathartic.  You move out of your mind and into your body; the worries, stresses, and persona that we carry during our lives can dissolve (if we let it) revealing a truer self.  I highly recommend it as a form of active meditation. Struggling together also serves to bring people together and facilitates connections and bonds with your fellow man.

Men in action – Photos by James Ward

I joined Carry and Connect about a year ago. I was new to the community and hadn’t met many people. With trepidation I arrived with some easy to carry weights.  I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was a group of like-minded men; men who welcomed me to the group and enabled me to find the better self within. 

Since that day it has become part of my routine. My wife loves that I’m getting out, that I’ve made new friends, and that I’m coming back more full of energy and thirst for life. We believe that strong men build strong families which build strong communities.

I now extend the invitation to you, “Men of Nillumbik”:  join us at 8am any Saturday at Eltham Adventure Playground. This is a free weekly event where you can meet like minded men in the area, break a sweat, make new connections, and most importantly build yourself up. 

The first step is as simple as showing up.