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Hermitage gymnast flips the switch on depression

Pat Graves is on a one man mission to 'inspire happiness' and help lower Tennessee's high depression rate.

In fact, flipping just comes naturally for the Hermitage gymnast who said he started it at age two. He made an interesting connection early-on.

“When I was feeling really sad or down and I was on the trampoline, all of my heavy problems would become weightless just like I was becoming weightless,” Graves said.

The 26-year-old decided three years ago to do what makes him feel better every day.

“I literally did a flip every single calendar day from January 1, 2014 until January 19, 2017—every single day," Graves said.

As you might imagine, his extravagant 'Flip A Day' videos caught fire on social media. He does multiple trick shots like the one where he did a front flip with a full twist and threw a Frisbee into a basketball hoop.

Now his ‘Flip A Day’ quest evolved into a full-blown 'Inspire Happiness' movement, giving hope to thousands who also fight anxiety or depression.

“I was battling a lot of heavy stuff and realized that as I was doing it every day that I was becoming happier," Graves said. "If I can flip for 1,115 days in a row, you can do some pretty awesome stuff every day as well."

A message that's truly relatable because one in five people fight depression.

The gymnastics coach by profession is becoming somewhat of a life coach to the masses. He's turning what started out as a childhood struggle into his living legacy.

“My depression was born through my parent's divorce," Graves said. "I really didn't like going to my dad's in the beginning. It would be every other Friday and I'd be shaking sometimes because I was so nervous."

After three years, Graves ended his daily flips in Mid-January. However, his quest lives on in the form of big Inspire Happiness events.

“You can't look at beating depression or beating anxiety as one massive chunk of time," Graves said. "You literally have to take things moment by moment, day by day. The reason I did ‘Flip A Day’ for so long is to try to encourage people to do what they love and to do it every day.”

If you need help with anxiety or depression click here for an online resource.

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