No Panic has recently had a request to partner with TotalMTB to build a mutually beneficial relationship with the shared goal of raising awareness, removing the stigma surrounding anxiety disorders and providing support for all those affected.
Ryan from TotalMTB chose No Panic due to his personal experience of Social Anxiety you can read his story below.
Right, here we go…….
As a few of you already know I have suffered from social anxiety all of my life and this is actually the first time I have wrote and shared it online!
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I had had enough and decided to find out what and if what I was feeling had a ‘name’ and it was only through Googling what I felt that I found it out..
Knowing it was social anxiety and that I did have something was at first a relief but for some reason after seeking help I actually started to get worse. It’s been a long road (or trail as it’s a mountain bike website) and I am slowly getting better but as I like everything to be perfect, I don’t think I will truly be happy if or when I feel like I have conquered it.
At the worst time I struggled going to the local shopping centre or pub for a meal, what made it worse was I was self employed and busy which made work life balance non-existent and friends started getting girlfriends, wife’s, kids and demanding jobs.
I had always loved mountain biking since I was a young child but for many years since further education and jobs I had gotten out the mountain biking loop unfortunately.
After finding out about my social anxiety and friends struggling to get together to play team sports I decided to get back into mountain biking and after taking and posting pictures of my bike in different places with great scenery behind I wanted to share my pictures to as many people as possible.
Unfortunately there was no Instagram accounts to repost and share your photos unless you were famous or well known and that’s when #TotalMTB was born, I would repost any rider no matter what gender, age, skill etc
#TotalMTB has then led me to work with amazing companies and brands like Aussie Grit Apparel and JeJames Cycles, Aussie Grit Apparel invited me to the JeJames Cycles shop in Sheffield to see the launch of their clothing range there and to meet Mark Webber.
This was a massive test for me as I hadn’t done anything like this for years and where would I have got an opportunity like this to attend an event like this and test myself if it wasn’t for #TotalMTB.
I am happy to say I pushed myself to go, meet Andrew from Aussie Grit Apparel, see the event getting put together and meet and have a picture with Mark Webber (proof here), one down side to me is that I find negatives and in this case it was that I didn’t stay to see the event.
I was then invited by Aussie Grit Apparel to join them at Peaty’s Steel City Downhill in Sheffield which was again a big test, again I pushed myself to go but unfortunately once I got home I felt very ill which knocked the confidence out of me.
The next big challenge and the biggest challenge for many years was MTBMeetup again invited by Andrew from Aussie Grit Apparel, living in South Yorkshire it was quite a drive for me so I planned to stay at a hotel 20 mins away.
Getting there was ok but I felt very ill and down that night and really didn’t think I could make it the next day to the MTBMeetup.
But as usual the next day is completely different as I feel fine and my confidence is back up, I really wanted to go to the MTBMeetup to meet the brands I had started to work with like Broken Riders, Booicore, Polaris Bikewear as well as Aussie Grit Apparel. I also wanted to meet the other brands there, meet Si the organiser and of course meet some of the riders.
And guess what……….. I not only went but stayed there for 5-6 hours!!!
The reason I was able to stay there for 5-6 hours was because of the fantastic atmosphere there, it was busy with riders and brands but it felt so relaxed, people were just there having a great time meeting people, seeing products and riding.
It was helped by the excellent venue that was OnePlanet Advernture, the service, venue, staff were all fantastic and complemented MTBMeetup perfectly.
Hopefully I will be able to make it next year and I will put more focus on meeting more riders and actually going for a ride with them.
I would like to give special mentions to Andrew from Aussie Grit Apparel who has been great with me, introducing me to other great people and companies and inviting me to events and challenging my anxiety.
Si, the founder of MTBMeetup for setting it up and organising it every year, it is growing every year becoming a great yearly event for riders to get together.
But the biggest thanks would go to my soon to be Wife Tracy, she has been a great help and support through all the ups and downs.
It isn’t just me who enjoyed MTBMeetup as you can see from all the video and images on this page and this Tweet from Chris.
Aussie Grit Apparel were kind enough to write a blog post about mental health with my quotes.
I’m still miles away from where I want to be and i’m not sure i’ll every be able to conquer it but i’ll keep plugging away and keep mountain biking to take my mind off things.
Unfortunately for me living in South Yorkshire there isn’t a great deal of downhill trails like there is in Wales which is my true love.
My next challenge is to start creating YouTube videos which is another fear of mine as I hate the way my voice sounds when I listen to it back but it’s something I want to do, overcome and take #TotalMTB to the next stage.
If you yourself feel you are struggling please please talk to someone, go to the doctors or you can even email me, you aren’t alone and there is great help out there