Just About Coping

Ep 5: Ryan Atkin

November 19, 2019 MHFA England
Just About Coping
Ep 5: Ryan Atkin
Show Notes Transcript

This week, Simon caught up with Ryan Atkin, who is currently the only openly gay professional referee in English men's football. After coming out in 2017, Ryan has become an LGBT+ in sport advocate, Stonewall Sports Champion, and diversity and inclusion campaigner.

Simon and Ryan's wide-ranging conversation touched on a number of topics, including:

  • The progress being made in sport around mental health awareness
  • The pressures of being a football official and dealing with abuse online and in real life
  • Ryan's day job and how diversity and inclusion in the workplace can improve creative thinking and find better solutions
  • How coming out as gay allowed him to bring his 'whole self' to work and made him a better referee

They also touched on Christmas, the best song to see in the new year, and how having things to look forward to can make all the difference.

We'd love to know what you think! If you could take a moment to rate and review wherever you get your podcasts we would very much appreciate your feedback. You can do this on most platforms including:

Don't forget to get involved on social media using #JACPodcast!

More on Ryan: twitter.com/ryantatkin
Ryan's article coming out in 2017: skysports.com/football/news/11095/10946185/referee-ryan-atkin-on-being-gay-in-football-rainbow-laces-and-lgbt-inclusion
'Being gay has made me a better referee': telegraph.co.uk/football/2019/04/22/ryan-atkin-gay-has-made-better-referee/

More on Simon: twitter.com/Simonablake
Simon Blake OBE is the Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England. His mission is to improve the mental health of the nation and help build an inclusive and  society where attitudes and behaviours around mental health are normalised. Simon received an OBE in 2011, is Deputy Chair at Stonewall, and enjoys running, equestrian eventing, and walks with his dog.

More on #JACPodcast:
MHFA England: mhfaengland.org
Email: media@mhfaengland.org

Speaker 1:

Hi, my name's Ryan Atkins and I am a senior manager for London, Northeastern railway . And I'm also a professional football referee in the English leagues. And I'm just about coping.

Speaker 2:

I'm Simon Blake and this is just about coping. This is a fifth episode, five of eight, so we're over halfway through and I hope you're enjoying the conversations as much as I am. Today's guest is Ryan Atkins by day. He's a senior manager for Alinea railways and at night and at the weekends he's a professional football referee in the English leagues. We talked about the role of sports in wellbeing. We talked about his experiences as coming out as a gay man in a sport where there are currently no other openly gay people. And related to that, bringing your whole self to work. We covered a bit about Christmas in old Lang zine as well. So our conversation was really wide ranging and I really hope you enjoy it. Let's start by talking a bit

Speaker 3:

about your experience of football, how, you know, given that there's so much focus on physical wellbeing is the same tension on, on mental wellbeing of athletes and referees. Yeah , there is .

Speaker 1:

Um , a lot of the professional clubs have their own psychologists and their own , um, departments that deal with player welfare , uh, within the professional game and match officials, the PG MLL. Um, we've just actually linked up with calm ourselves and we also have a number of sports psychologists that we can tap into and where they do do a lot of work, especially at the training seminars around mental health. Um, and some of the signs , um , around sort of nutrition and fitness that can affect mental health. And especially being a referee. You know, we get a lot of mystic , um, sometimes on the pitch. Um, and sometimes that you can take that home, especially if you see yourself in the press and it's very negative on, so that can affect you

Speaker 3:

and a bit like any job, isn't it really that , um, any , uh, stress , um , especially if it feels unfair and , uh, you know , directed badly can feel , uh, uh, can feel stressful, can feel anxious racing. So in terms of your, your yourself, how do you deal with that if it feels like you've had ,

Speaker 1:

uh, abuse or unfair remarks? Uh , you that you , it's quite difficult , um, to try and manage it. You tend to walk off a football field and just remember that you're in a uniform and actually it's not directed at you personally. Um, social media unfortunately is one of the things that things are no longer just said they linger because they're in text , they're on a screen and so you can't just delete them , um, out of the , out of your brain. Um, for me, I try and , um, distress bottle, bottle of red wine sometimes helps, probably not the best solution. Um, but talking to friends, typically talking to other referees, try and understand , um, what caused , uh , that abuse potentially. Um , all the negativity trying to improve yourself , um, from, from that aspect. But it is the hardest thing. You've got to park the decision that you made, whether it be positive or negative and you've got to move on. And it's just something that you learn over time that once you've done your game, you reflect, you review, look to see if you can change anything or improve anything. But ultimately you've got to move on because you've got a game in two days time. And if it's still lingering, what it doesn't make you do is make more mistakes.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Um, and uh, you talked about social media and that's something which people will often , um, talk about. Uh, so do you feel, does that amp that feels like it amplifies and , and you think you use the word linker ? So say a bit more about that?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Um, I think it amplifies because , um, it's a bit like what children used to say. That words will never hurt me. We've gotten past that now because actually it's written down. It's on the screen. It's, it's available 24 hours a day. It can be shared instantly with lots of other people, whereas before, and if we were having a conversation in a room , um, that is a conversation between two people and you can sort of, you can get, get over it. Whereas when it's on social media, it's there for all to see. Other people want to comment. Um, and I think we've seen a lot recently of , um, some professional sporting , um, people or celebrities where their social media has become a negative impact on their life. Um, you know, somebody has always had an amazing days, amazing holidays and I think that has a detrimental impact. And people then start to , um, falsely project that everything's great in their life and they're very clever and in how they portray themselves. Um, and we know pictures can be taken at certain angles and , and sort of shown to be this wonderful lifestyle. And I think other people that look up to that and think, right, why am I not having that? And it can have a detrimental impact on other people.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And I was just thinking when you're talking about , um, uh, football and the impact of, you know, people directing abuse at you, we often obviously see still racism in football sadly, and homophobia and, and other bits. And just can you talk to us a bit about the impact of, of that on, on players as you understand it or on supporters? Actually, cause of course we often think about the players, but there is also the wider football community around , uh, you know , those who support those on the alternative teams.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think a sport unfortunately, and I say sport predominantly football is in very troubled times. I think there's been an undercurrent in society , um, all of racism that has, hasn't come to bear fruit as such. And I think only now that we're seeing , um, from, from the media, from games if people watched them actually is a deep rooted , um, problems within, within football. Um , and I think it does impact on people because it makes you make decisions as to whether you want to attend football or not. It makes you think, are you good enough to play? Are you good enough to referee because of your skin color or your religion or your sexuality? And I think clearly football needs to do more. Um, it is trying, I think there's a big battle there around um, sort of moral implications but also actually a business implication and they're trying to weigh up how do they tackle this subject. Um, in a fair but robust way. Um, it's not going to be solved overnight . Um, but I do think they need to do more and I think their sanctions need to be , um, more impactful and make change within clubs, drive change within leagues. Because if you don't get that, what you will start doing is you will start to see supporters drop away. People that don't necessarily , um, represent , um, what is shown on the field of play. Um, the one good thing about football , um , currently is if you look at these sort of [inaudible] aspect of football actually is very diverse and that's not always reflected in the , in the, in the , in the stands. And so football has got to ask it's itself, well , why is that? Why doesn't the audience represent , um , what you've got on the pitch, but it clearly has a mental impact when you read articles from players from England and the decision making process as to whether they walk off the field of play, when they're , you know, when they're being abused or , uh , by , uh , racist comments. And that must linger for a long, long time because they're not being judged on their football skills. They're being judged on the color of their skin and I think that will have a massive impact on someone's personal performance.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Um , and obviously you are , um , currently the only out gay person in , uh, in professional football. Um, and you know, whilst , uh, there have been, you know , speculation about others, you are currently, you know, the, the person flying, flying the flag. Um , that must've been a challenging decision. Well, no, tell us a bit more about that and not going to say it must've been a challenging decision. I'll let you , you , you, you say whether it was a [inaudible] .

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Ultimately, I think when you open yourself up to critic criticism or you open your life up and allows people to comment, and this is where we talk about social media. If I was to tell a couple of friends, okay, they may tell a couple of people who tell a couple of people, whereas when you do it in an era where there is social media , um, around that news travels all across the world. My main reason for doing it was a couple of seasons back when I was demoted in football, I wasn't enjoying football. I wasn't enjoying my personal life. I contemplated whether my personal life , um, hampered my football or whether football was hampering my personal life. I'd often like to spend time with my friends on a special on a weekend. But actually my weekends were predominantly taken up with football. And so my own field performance wasn't great and I got fairly demoted. Um, and sort of, I then had to decide whether I wanted to continue football or not. And I decided I did. And so from that I sort of had to sort of dig deep. I had to accept what I was willing to sacrifice and what I wasn't willing to sacrifice and try and have a fair balance. Um, worked really hard, got promoted back to the level I was , um, after two seasons. And then when that happened, an opportunity arose through John Holmes at sky sports , um, around telling your story. And so I approached John and said, look, a referee in semiprofessional football, I'm a fourth official in professional football at the time. Um, and I just happened to be gay and actually I've seen the work that rainbow laces is doing through and I think it needs, it needs a voice. And I don't want to be going back in the closet. I want to be able to be my whole self. Um, I want to be authentic. Um, and me and John sat down and we penned a , a , um , article which took a couple of months. We involved a lots of different bodies in that. And then the article went live in 10th of August, 2017 and the rest is history really. Um, but what it has seen and I've seen is that I'm a different person on the field of play. I take my whole self into a game. Um, I'm not afraid or shy anymore of being who I want to be on the field of play. My relationship with footballers is improved as far as management. Um, and I can accept myself in football. And what I've seen of that is my own performance improve. And then as of the end of last season , um, I got promoted to , to where I am now , um, which is in the professional leagues. So there's a direct correlation there with being authentic and being yourself and that comes from um, the sort of mental stability that you have yourself, the physical stability and have a fair balance. Um, and that was where I didn't want to get back to, I didn't want to be in that dark place of not enjoying football because I felt I couldn't be who I was outside of football. And that impact of lying to family and friends live in a double life in some ways, not remembering what you've told person sort of two months ago, to then see them again at football and then have to think, Oh, what did I say and what can I say? Often I would change where I was going on a Saturday night to okay, what's near Soho? Um, cause that would be classed as gay. I would say I'm going to Covent garden or I'm going to Chelsea. And it's remembering those lies that really impact on you. And once you start building on top of that, it gets really difficult to sort of unravel it and unpack it. And you talked about digging deep and I know that, you know, when people do things for the first time or you know , all the hundredth person that's done it , whatever it is, if something feels big to you, that, that mental

Speaker 3:

capacity to , um, to develop the confidence to stand forwards, you know , what, what would you learn from that if you, if you were either talking to somebody else who was saying, I won't , I want to be brave enough to make those decisions. What would you, what did you learn from your experience of doing that?

Speaker 1:

Um, I think resilience is, is one of the key elements there. Um, and one of the, one of the things that I found helpful was to write down the positives, the neutrals and the negatives and, and, and actually look at it on paper and move things about , um, cause you can put it in your head and you can think about it and where you're going to put it. Um, if you can see it as in visualize it, you, you , you, I found that I , things would move because actually I was , um , too afraid or I was nervous or , um , I didn't have that resilience. Whereas when I wrote it down and I looked at the positives and negatives and the neutrals, what I found is actually there was more positives , um, in coming out and being who I wanted to be, but also having a good, strong support network. And that support network can be a friend , um, and bounce things off people. Um , and that's what I found the most useful. And I think everybody's got that inner strength to do that. It just needs nurturing. And I think friends, family can be a very good way of nurturing and once, once you're comfortable or you're happy in your own personal life, that's the , that's the rock that you need. If you're not happy in your personal life and you make a decision to do something which you find to be , um, quite stressful or it's going to be a big occasion. If you're already wobbling because of personal matters , um , or you haven't accepted things, then ultimately things could topple. So for me it was really important to have a strong basis and then build on top of that a bit like building blocks. Really.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And do you talk to 'em recently? Uh , there was the speculation wasn't there that a, another footballer was going to come out as gay, I think. Uh , and there was quite a lot of anger from some when the person , uh, he, they, she uh, yeah , didn't um, uh, come out. I guess just what now you're on the other side. Yeah . Be interested in, in your thoughts about how to help people in whatever circumstances in whatever closet, whether it's sexuality, whether that's um, you know, wanting to move countries or you know , whatever it is, what you would be saying to people who are just trying to take that first step to even write down the pros and the cons.

Speaker 1:

Difficult question. Um, I think you've got to want to do it for yourself ultimately. Um, and you've got to remember what the end goal is. Um, some things will happen overnight and some things will take a lot longer to come into fruition. Um, and I think for me the key strap line that I've always said to people is that everything will be okay in the end and it will be. And ultimately if the end goal isn't in reach at the moment, it will be. Um, I think some people want quick fixes. Um, and then I think some people , um, are quite happy to take the journey , um , that they lead. But I think it's crucially important to, to do your own research. What does it mean to you ? You know , what is the benefits of doing what you're doing? Um, if I look at , um, people that could be LGBT within the professional game, I think there are lots of pros and as there are lots of cons and that's both from the individual's point of view, but from the organization's point of view , um, there's this big stigma around , um, players who , who come out would be homophobic and be abused at grounds. I personally don't believe that. I think a big impact , um, in a football are deciding whether they want to identify as LGBT or whether they want to publicly coming out and announce what religion they are is , um, when a footballer has their career in the United Kingdom, when they probably get to mid twenties, early thirties, other opportunities potentially come up, whether that be an America and the MLS or whether it be in the middle East or in Asia. Now, as we know, we're quite lucky here in, in, in the Western continents where , um, LGBT race, religion , um, you know , we're moving in the right direction as far as acceptance and diversity inclusion where some other countries are nowhere near where we are. So ultimately by that person declaring who they are , um, could limit , um , the potential for future moves. And what we've got to remember is footballers are their legs, you know, that skill is that commodity that is their business. Um, and that's what they rely on for their income, for their family. Um, so there's a lot of decisions there for people to decide , um, where they want to go in their life. And I think the second thing is it's very daunting to be the first at something. Um , and unfortunate we had the incident with Justin fashioning, who obviously was a BA AME and then he came out as gay and then unfortunately committed suicide. Um, and as an , it was a snowball effect really. When you read back through , um, some of the things that happened to him, you could just see, you know , I hope now that actually there would be support structures in place for somebody who decided that they wanted to , to come out. Um , within the game.

Speaker 3:

Um , you just use the term committed suicide. And more recently people are now I've stopped using the term committed suicide because it's not a criminal act. And using the term died by suicide. Were you aware that that had , that was taking place?

Speaker 1:

I've never been picked up. Even on sky. We've , we've said he committed suicide and I didn't realize that. [inaudible] eh , that's a prime example there wasn't it of how, even within my own business, I will probably take that back to LER now and say, actually we cannot load longer be saying we've had a deputy, we will say someone's had a fatality. Um , we think it's a slightly softer word to use. Um, but I was pretty interested in some of that . I will , I can take back to the railways.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And of course the, the issue around the committees is , is, is stigmatizing. And equally , um, some people think saying a fatality actually is not , uh , yeah , there can be lots of reasons that their fatalities on the track. Suicide being one of those. So that whole sense around language , um, reinforcing stigma or bringing issues into the open. Um, and obviously one of the language is really important around stigma but also role models. And one of the things which has happened recently in football is that some people are coming out and saying, yeah, I experienced mental health problems or mental illness. Uh, yeah. Has that made an impact in the, in , in the football community that you've seen?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, most definitely. Um , players don't often come forward and disclose personal information. Uh, one of the things I always talk about , um, when we talk about LGBT is that why would somebody come out who is LGBT when we don't know anything about football or, so for people to start sharing intimate facts about mental health is really, really positive. And what that does is it allows younger people to , um , identify with their role models , um, in a more natural and human way because, you know, they are under a lot of pressure. Footballers are, are , they are, you know, and it's not just the aspect of playing the game, it's not just the aspect of training, but actually there's a lot of things that come with being a footballer . You've got the social media interaction, you've got the , um, the , the, the pressure sometimes of being a role model and being looked up to by, you know, sometimes millions of people worldwide , um , because of your skill. Um , if you're not playing that well at the time, you know, what you can see is that positivity from fans turn into negativity , um, some of the aspects around their own financial positions about how they handle money and how that impacts on their family relations and friends. So it's really positive to see that footballers are publicly , um, coming out and saying that they have suffered or are suffering and some of the things that they've done to try and , um, resolve that within their lives. Or, or some of the work that they've done with charities to try and look at how they can improve , um, sort of that mental stability for them.

Speaker 3:

And interestingly is as you were talking then, I was just thinking, I wonder if most people listening to this will be falling into that age old trap of thinking about footballers and thinking about men and you know , of course we've seen much more public profiling of, of women's football and women's sport more generally , um, in, in recent times. Just be interested. Has that sort of , um, uh, has that shifted any of the dynamics in the willingness to talk about , uh, mental health or emotions or feelings if you're , if we were to stereotype, of course , say you know , that men often often don't and women find it easier to do so do you think that has all might shift some of the dynamics around mental health and football?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think , um, I think there's a direct correlation there. Um, the only statistic that I can sort of think about is that there are , um, a lot more openly LGBT players playing in women's football. Um, and that's not something to be snared actually that's something to say, well why is it different? Why is it more acceptable within the women's game? Um, you know, we've got the women's super league now , um, within , um, United Kingdom, which is, you know, the following of that, it's been astronomical. We've had the women's world cup, which , um, you know, for seasons before years before wasn't followed. And this year, you know, the sort of the hype around the women's game. So I think it will start to open doors. I think it will start to break down barriers and both legs will start to leak into each other and they'll learn things from each other. And I think that's one of the most important things. How the women's game or how the men's game , um, can learn from each other. And if they take that , uh, then hopefully we'll see some improvements. You talked earlier

Speaker 3:

about , um , that principle , I guess, of taking your whole self to work and thinking about your day job. Um, yeah . Do do you think that sort of, do you from your experiences as senior managers still see that principle of people flourishing as they're able to, to be their wholesales, that at work, I'm over that wholesale field ?

Speaker 1:

Most definitely. I think , um, to have a diverse workforce allows for creative thinking. Um , and the fact that people can bring them home , their wholesales to work, you know, when you've got issues or when you've got problem solving, actually having a diverse workforce will ultimately throw up different solutions rather than , um, a solution that typically the workforce has gone down. So ultimately, yes, it is important to have diversity. Yes, it is important to be yourself. And what that also does is it allows for conversation to start. Um, typically you, you go to a lot of work events and you will see similar people huddled together at conferences or if the , if there's a social event, and I always wonder why people who are different and we're all different from each other. Don't seek out difference because for me, it's the only way to grow your mind is the only way to grow yourself. I love to travel. And I think it's something that allows me to grow, meet new cultures, meet new people , um, embrace difference, understand difference. I think , um , we're very lucky again, you know , in the United Kingdom where, you know, w we're massively ahead in technology. Uh , typically people stand to live in is very good. Um, but we often forget about other areas of the , of the globe that haven't got those resources and why people, I always questioned why people don't seek out to , to enrich their lives by seeing something slightly different and having a different perspective on, on aspects of , uh , aspects of, of the world really and , and their life. And I think it does put your life into perspective when you get to meet different people. Um, because if you don't, you're always going to be on that same train track , uh , on the same line throughout your whole life and you'll never sort of diverged off it. And that's a great shame. [inaudible] trained . Yeah. Good bait, good bait. Um , you talked earlier

Speaker 3:

about , um, uh, hope , uh, you know , don't think you used the words , uh , hope, but you, yeah . As, as you were talking, thinking about , um, yeah , the, the, the future and your hope for the future is, is a really , um , key bit . So want to just sort of, if you were to think about , um, mental health about supporting people's wellbeing , uh, about different workplaces with your , your sort of straddled across that sort of more office space and you know, the, the , the football field, what would you, what would you hope, if you were to think about wellbeing, mental health in the next three to five years in different workplaces, what would you hope?

Speaker 1:

I think it's for companies to understand and truly understand some of the root causes of mental health. Um, a lot of the time , um, workplaces are not accommodating to individuals. And I think that is one of the key elements for me that can be a big cause of , of mental health. Everybody has their own personal lives, they have a lot of things going on. And it's only now that we're seeing workplaces really support , um, flexible working , uh, working from home, working from a different location where it's typically in Britain. Uh, especially it's been very much if you're not in the office, where are you? What are you doing? And I think that causes issues in itself. So for me, it's businesses looking at the root causes of mental health and identifying in their own structures or within their own sectors. What causes that? Because if you don't get to the root calls, you're never going to understand the underlying causes and you never actually going to deal with it. So, but the hope for me in the next couple of years would be , um, for businesses to link up with charities , um, except that you don't know what you don't know. Um, and actually talk to the experts and listen to the advice that is being given. So if you're asking for , um , charities or organizations to come in and look at how well you , um, manage mental health to actually really take, take on the feedback and make fundamental changes rather than doing it to tick a box. Um, and that would be my hope within the next couple of years for that.

Speaker 3:

Fantastic. And the other bit , which I've just be really interested that obviously there were times when it was , um, that journey was difficult from sitting down with John Holmes and you said you got support from, from families and friends and we talk a lot here at MFA and Glenda about the importance of, of self care and uh, people , um , some people know , understand and apply the principles and the practices. But essentially how do you look after yourself, replenish yourself, give your brain a rest or those sorts of things. What, what would you do , um, in order to keep yourself well and were there any extra things that you would do in , in , in difficult times to sort of really try and bolster yourself and to , to look after yourself?

Speaker 1:

I like to, one of the things I like to do is to travel. And I think people having something to look forward to is a massive stimulus. And it is that, it is for me personally. So I love to travel. And so for me, you know, already thinking about next year, what holidays am I going to look to book? Where am I going to go with friends? And for me that is a massive stimuli for myself to think actually to break the year into blocks. For me Christmas is coming. I know for a lot of people Christmas is , is not a good time for them. For me, my birthday is five days before Christmas. And so Christmas has always been very special for me. The whole of December. Um, I love Christmas, absolutely love it. And there's elements of the calendar year that I actually really enjoy. So I try to map my year out around that and there are going to be lows. They're going to be lows around , um, you know, personal welfare issues. If it's a loss of a family member, loss of a friend, relationship breakups , um, whether it be stress within work because of workload , um, and trying to manage , um, not only work within Alinea but also on the football pitch. My own personal performance within football. Um, you know, we strive to do our best in a game of football, but naturally, you know, making approximately, I think it's something like 250 to 280 decisions. And again , you know, you're gonna get some wrong. You just hope it's not the big decisions, but sometimes you can have a really bad run of luck. Um, and you don't want that. So you've got to look at how you are as a person. But for me, the key element is to, I like to plan, I like to, things to look forward to. Um , I like to talk to friends, I like to spend time with friends. Socializing for me is really important and I think when you listen to friends , um, and this is good friends, you work out that actually some of your issues are not dissimilar to others. There may be slightly, slightly different in , in the approach or the problem, but fundamentally they're the same. And I think listening to your close friends is really important for me.

Speaker 3:

Mm , absolutely. Um, a couple of people have , um, connecting ranch who, you know, who talked about , um, kind set. And so yeah , we need to shift our mindset into a place of kind set and really try to carry that principle of kindness , um , into , uh, our everyday , uh , lives. If we're going to , um, be able to really, really foster each other's wellbeing and that sense of, of collective , um , wellbeing. It's just be interested in, you know, we don't often talk about kindness, we interested in your take on what it means, but how could we take that into the rest of the day to day lives to improve wellbeing?

Speaker 1:

Um, I think we all have kindness within us , um, but I don't always think is at the forefront of , um, everybody's day to day thinking process. And so for me, if everybody just gave that extra 1% , um , actually the world would be a better place. I know Raj does speak about dr Andre, I should say, does speak about , um , kindness and he speaks, it, speaks about it in a very positive manner and he's right. You know, for him working in a very stressful environment, working within the NHS, he must see a lot of different scenarios taking place. But for me, kindness ultimately has got to be something that you don't, that you don't learn when you're born. You're born with kindness and it's not something that people can use an excuse to say that they never knew about it. So for me it's, it's unearthing that and putting it to the forefront sometimes of our minds. And if you can, if everybody can apply that little bit of kindness, surely the world would be a lot better place for it.

Speaker 3:

It certainly would in my opinion. So on that note, I'm going to ask you one last question. As we are fast approaching the Christmas season and uh , you will inevitably at some point be , um, doing a bit of dancing. So what would be your favorite song to see in the new year? Um , and why?

Speaker 1:

Ooh, that's difficult. That is really difficult.

Speaker 3:

It doesn't have to be true. You can just, yeah , think hard .

Speaker 1:

I always think whenever, I think if I think about the last couple of years for new years , I've certainly changed what I've done. So when I was , um , slightly younger, I would've been in a club or been a party with a couple of friends. Um, I would have seen new year's in. And then the last couple of years I've actually done it either a house party or um, or , uh, close friends and family. I'd actually, it's been better that actually it's just been close friends, close family and I like, I like the song , um , all anxiety , you know, for me, I think it's a great song. If you listen to the lyrics and everybody know what it's about and you sort of, it's that song that you sing and you know, they play it on the telly and big Ben chimes . You know, if you're in London and you sort of, if you want to, you can delete all the negativity that's taken place in the past year. And it's an you've got a new, yeah , you've got a new map to sort of , um, look at. You've got a new ship to sail course and if you can think like that, then ultimately , um, that year could potentially be better. So yeah, I like old Lang zone for me.

Speaker 3:

Excellent. That's not the answer that I thought you thought you would tease me something a poppy. But you know, I mean if it is probably , I mean it could be something like , um, a little bit. That one John, I do like that. No one rocket man. Brilliant. Ryan, thanks very much talking to me. No , thank you very much. I haven't made

Speaker 4:

[inaudible]

Speaker 2:

thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed the conversation. I was struck listening to Ryan about the importance of courage, the importance of authenticity and being true to yourself as an absolute fundamental pillar for wellbeing. Continue to be delighted by the number of people that are listening to the podcast that subscribing to us and leaving us reviews. Uh , so just another shout out this review from Twitter, from Debbie Menem . Thank you for this. Having spent the last 18 months just about coping after the sudden unexpected loss of my lovely mum. This resonated with me. Happy to say I can see that light at the end of the tunnel. Now I can quote him the sad thoughts a bit. I hope you enjoyed our conversation. I'm Simon Blake. Thanks for coping with it.