The Mental Health conversation
Some of you may have come along to the 'Tales of the top two inches' event. Some of you may have watched it online (with terrible audio quality) but some may be thinking what in the world is he talking about. So. Briefly, I, along with Callum and our now mind coach David Galbraith had an idea that we wanted to change the conversation around mental health in sport. There is a mental health crisis happening in New Zealand at the moment and it certainly is not getting any better.
We had a think about the best way to do this. After sitting around and mapping out different concepts we came up with the idea of running a free breakfast with bagels (thank you Al Brown and Best Ugly Bagels) and coffee (thanks Dove and Grey St Roasting Co). We would get people to come along, eat some food, drink some coffee and as the title suggest tell some tales of the top two inches.
I have and at times continue to have an incredibly hard battle with mental health. I've struggled with severe OCD and anxiety over the past few years. I've got it good now. Life's bloody epic. I've learnt how to live where my feet are. Learnt to be present and learnt to appreciate the little things in life.
After this journey I just felt the need and the want to share some of it. To show to people that we all battle, life can be hard at times but at the end of the day we all go through stuff at one point or another and just because you are a high performing athlete it certainly doesn't mean you are immune to it.
The first event, honestly, was truly remarkable and along with the other 3 gents that spoke that morning was one of the most epic things I've ever done. Seeing 60 odd people in a room to hear us speak about this 'taboo' topic. To see people in a group of that size feel comfortable enough to cry, to ask hard questions and to just listen about the real stuff was something I can't put into words.
I had someone come up to me and say as a result of this talk and us sharing that they then went home and shared to someone close to them the struggles they have been going through over the last few years. Boom! We had an idea to change the conversation, to encourage people to speak and to unite each other with those struggles and well we did it. We will do more and use this momentum to better the crisis not just in sport in NZ but around the world.
Interested in more? Go to our instagram/Facebook to stay up to date on what the next one will be
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas to you all!