Episode 30 - Ashley Bennallack

  

  

Ashley Bennallack of Cycle Well shares valuable information on resilience and mental health that we can all learn from in this episode. Cycle Well is Australia’s first organisation whose mission is to provide men with better physical and emotional health through their love for road cycling by giving them practical and performance-oriented coaching.

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In this episode we cover: 

  • Ash’s journey to what he’s doing today.
  • Tips and advice on having resilience.
  • How his VIA test results have helped him in living a more rewarding and fulfilling life.
  • The things he would have done differently about the experiences he went through as a child.
  • How he practiced resilience despite the struggles he experienced in life.
  • How cycling has helped him.
  • His thoughts on the mental health of men in the corporate world.
  • Personal and family life changes he experienced after his cycling accident.

Links


      Transcript:

      FELICITY:

      This is episode 30. Welcome to the All Torque podcast, where each episode we interview an inspiring person to share their story with you. I'm your host, Felicity Dales, managing director of Body Torque.

      I have here today, Ashley Bennallack who has started cycle:WELL, which is Australia's first organisation whose mission is to help men to improve their physical and emotional health through the vehicle of their love of road cycling. Why? Because the state of men's health is in crisis.

      In Australia, poor mental health leads to six men taking their lives every day. One in two Australian men have had a mental health problem at some point in their lives. 20 out of every 100 men will suffer from anxiety, and another 12 out of every 100 will suffer depression. Three quarters of suicides are men. Prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years, and testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50. 70% of Australian adult men are overweight or obese.

      cycle:WELL is dedicated to providing all the dads, brothers, sons and mates out there who love cycling with evidence-based information, tips, tricks and coaching on all aspects of their physical and mental health and wellness whilst helping them to become better cyclists.

      Ash's formal experience includes a postgraduate certificate in wellness, he was a certified corporate resilience trainer with his past employer, mental health first aid qualified and level one wellness coach plus Cert III and Cert IV in fitness.

      The cycle:WELL team for 2019 also includes Matt Wallace, a cycling coach, and Ryan Jeffrey from TKO Fitness and Bendigo Body Composition. Craig Harper will be a guest blogger and will be the keynote speaker at the first camp in March, 2019. Craig, one of Australia's most respected motivational speakers and educators, is considered to be a leader and pioneer in the areas of personal and professional development.

      cycle:WELL has launched a road cycling health and wellness training camp based in Victoria's beautiful north east alpine region. The camp will provide men with professional coaching and testing in road cycling, strength, conditioning and body composition, men's physical health, mental health and resilience skills and holistic wellness.

      Welcome Ash.

      ASHLEY:

      Thanks, Felicity. Thanks for having me.

      FELICITY:

      You're welcome. Your background, Ash includes doing a Bachelor of Business working for the first 12 years of large companies such as Pacific Brands, with the first stackhat from Rosebank, and can work with Repco and Malvern Star, as well as John Sands and L’Oréal in marketing.

      Originally from Bendigo, you moved back there and opened a Hairhouse Warehouse franchise in 2006. Following on from that, you worked with Aussie Bodies sports nutrition in Melbourne, and then back in Bendigo, in Bendigo Bank from 2012, followed by Monash Rural Health back in Bendigo in 2017.

      Tell us your story, Ash about growing up and where you are today.

      ASHLEY:

      Okay, thanks Felicity.

      Yeah, so growing up through to today, I started off.. I'm a Bendigo native, Bendigo born and bred, I did my study here, did a major in marketing and HR, and then like most country kids, the first thing I wanted to do was get out of Bendigo and hit the big smoke, so I went to Melbourne and started with Rosebank as you said, and a funny story there is I actually had zero interest in cycling back when I was with Pacific Brands and Rosebank, so I was selling..

      FELICITY:

      Really? Hard to believe.

      ASHLEY:

      .. I was selling stackhats and I was selling Malvern Star bikes and Repco bikes and ordering stuff from China for parts and all sorts of things, and whilst I was having lunch in my lunch break, most of the people that I was working with were down in our little makeshift workshop that we had, and they were building bikes and tinkering with bikes and all sorts of stuff, so yeah, it's funny how the different directions life takes you in.

      Some other general stuff, I'm 44, I have one older brother who lives in Melbourne, I have a wife, Chantelle and three kids, Adeline, Elsie and Oscar and one fur kid, a staffie, whose name is Esme and we get a lot of comments around Esme's name, but whatever, we love it, so..

      FELICITY:

      Yeah.

      ASHLEY:

      So yeah, after being in Melbourne, I was in Melbourne for about the first 12 years, I then decided that I wanted to come back home to have a family, so I opened up the Hairhouse Warehouse. That was a very good learning curve for me personally and from a personal growth perspective, and a resilience perspective, but from a financial perspective, it was a complete and utter disaster, which me might tap into later on.

      So, after Hairhouse Warehouse, which only lasted a little bit over a year, I went to Aussie Bodies, got a job in marketing at Aussie Bodies which was a sports nutrition company, which was fantastic and straight back into what was my passion at the time, which was very much health and fitness and muscle building and body composition and all those sorts of good things.

      Then came back to Bendigo and got a job at Bendigo Bank, which was the biggest employer and Australia's fifth biggest bank, so I thought that was a pretty good idea to get a safe job there. Was there for five years and then have moved to Monash Rural Health as the Marketing and Engagement Manager for Monash Rural Health, which is also fantastic because it's in that health..

      FELICITY:

      .. In that genre.

      ASHLEY:

      .. health space, which is great.

      I guess some other interesting stuff, my journey, along the way, I started off as a fat kid in primary school, which I guess some of your listeners will be able to resonate with. Again, being 44, back 30 years ago or so, it wasn't actually overly common to be overweight or obese when you're a child. The current stats now that over 60% of kids are either fat, sorry, I should say either obese or overweight, but back in my day, I pretty much stood out as being an overweight child.

      So, I sort of had the fat kid syndrome right through till I was about 12 or 13, and then when puberty struck, and I wanted to get a girlfriend and be a little bit more attractive to the opposite sex, then I started thinking to myself, "How can I change this?", and got completely obsessed with body building. So, went from one end of the spectrum to the other, which again is very typical of my personality, my nature, and along that way and along that journey, going from being the fat kid to the body builder, I developed a couple of different unhealthy relationships with food, I think.

      So when I was young, my mum and dad owned a mixed business, back in the days when mixed businesses used to be profitable and on every second corner. They were really, really hardworking and doing the right thing for their kids, but unfortunately that meant that I was sort of left alone with not much to do a lot, so I turned to food I guess, you know, living behind a mixed business, so I could just go out the front and choose lollies and all sorts of stuff that I wanted for free, and it sounds like every kid's dream, so yeah, I ate basically for something to do, sat in front of the TV and ate, which I guess would be fairly similar to a lot of kids nowadays, they're gaming and hooking up with their mates in the virtual world. I guess I just did it a different way.

      And then, as I said, once I got into puberty and decided that I wanted to get a girlfriend and be like everybody else, so to speak, being a child, I thought, "How am I going to fix this, how am I going to lose weight quickly?", and my solution I came up with was yet another unhealthy relationship with food, and food then went from being my comfort to being my enemy I guess, and I did what made sense to me at the time which is basically just stopped eating.

      So it worked, I lost a hell of a lot of weight in a very short time, I ended up getting glandular fever from it, and suffered with that for about six months, and I think that then rang some alarm bells with my parents and got to the stage where they then allowed me to go to, again, if we go back 30 years, kids weren't in gyms, kids weren't lifting weights and all those sorts of things, because they were telling you that they'd stunt your growth and do all sorts of weird stuff.

      FELICITY:

      Okay.

      ASHLEY:

      But Mum and Dad finally said, "Well if this is the crazy levels you're going to go to, we probably should take you somewhere where they can teach you what to do and how to do the right things", and so at about 15 I think it was, I started going to gym and absolutely loved it and got completely obsessed with the whole bodybuilding thing, absolutely loved it and it became a complete and utter passion for probably six or seven years.

      FELICITY:

      Wow.

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah.

      FELICITY:

      So that was the start of your bodybuilding era.

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah, so that was the start of my obsession with bodybuilding. I went through that all through my late secondary years, all through uni, I had the big dreams back then of becoming a competitive bodybuilder and all those sorts of things and opening franchises of gyms and being Arnie 2.0.

      FELICITY:

      Yeah, right.

      ASHLEY:

      As we all do.

      FELICITY:

      And was that a healthier focus, do you think?

      ASHLEY:

      I think initially when I first began, yeah, I think it was a healthy focus, because I consumed as much knowledge and learnt as much as I could about weightlifting and about diet and exercise and those sorts of things. I think once I then sort of tipped over the scales into the really full on competitive bodybuilding scene and wanted to start working out ways of some other chemical enhancements and all those sorts of things that you can take to make you grow a bit quicker and get a bit bigger and lose weight faster and all those things, that probably tipped over the scales a little bit, and I guess the deeper I got, and once again, back to my personality, again, I was dreaming I was going to be a pro, I got right into it.

      And then, I still can't really work out why, but one day, I remember sitting in the gym looking at all the guys around me and thinking to myself, the harder I train and the more stuff I take and the more money I spend on this sport, these guys have still got better genetics than me and they're still growing faster than me and they look better than me.

      FELICITY:

      Right.

      ASHLEY:

      And I guess I just realised I'm not actually really cut out for this, I'm not going to be a pro, this isn't actually how it works.

      FELICITY:

      You weren't under that illusion anymore, you had a realisation.

      ASHLEY:

      No, yeah, I had the realisation and so just gave it away, just decided if I was going to do that I'd just concentrate on the healthy side of it, and then got back into hockey, which was something that when I was a young kid, I was naturally very talented at, but again, being from the country, if you were a bit of a superstar at hockey, it didn't really make you an anybody locally, you had to be good at footy, or you had to be cricket, or you were nobody, and back when you're young, it's all about who you are and who people think you are and your image, so I gave that away in my early teen years, but then got back into when I was older and got up to playing State League Hockey for five or six years, which was good fun.

      FELICITY:

      Awesome. With your certification as a corporate resilience trainer Ash, as a previous employer, you coached approximately 300 colleagues in positive psychology and resilience skills, and resilience is the one factor that Jason Backker, who was Cadel Evans' and Kayla Bewing's manager, also mentioned as a key factor for elite cyclists to have. But of course I think that could be said for all of us, are there any tips or advice you can offer our listeners in relation to resilience?

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah, I think there's probably a couple of ways that we can approach the resilience question. One of them’s fairly easy, and the other one requires a little bit more work. So I'll start with the easy one, the easy one I guess is most people nowadays have heard of gratitude and mindfulness and empathy. They're becoming very popular terms out there in the media, and there's a really, really good website and local Australian organisation called The Resilience Project, and they focus very heavily on teaching people and kids particularly, skills around having gratitude, empathy and mindfulness into your every day.

      A lot that happens nowadays with our modern society and our consumer focus society, and particularly living in probably the luckiest country in the world, is we forget to sit back and take stock and actually be thankful and have a bit of gratitude for what we've got.

      FELICITY:

      Absolutely.

      ASHLEY:

      We're always taught to be chasing the next big thing and looking at the next promotion, or the new car, or in the bike game, the next bike or the new kit or whatever, and I think that's the easiest way that I found through doing my study and just doing work on myself was, if you sit back and when you start getting that internal voice and you start thinking about what can I do next and what can I have next, it really helps to just sit back and think about, "Well what have I got, and how good have I got it?"

      And mindfulness is really very simply, we talk in the corporate resilience training was really just being aware of where you are at the time and being in the moment. So most of us spend the majority of our time listening to our internal voice, so we've got the internal voice chattering away pretty much all day every day, and that's usually where the first signs of anxiety and depression and those sorts of things start to happen, when that internal voice starts to get really loud. So, if you can just learn the skills to just sit back and just really take in what's around you, and just be mindful of the actual moment that you're in, that really helps slow the pace down and slows your heart rate down and just gets you back in the moment, and releases a bit of stress.

      And I think probably the bigger one there is around really doing the work to get to know yourself and to get to know your values, and start to put some measures in place every day if you can to actually live those values. And that was what a lot of the work in our corporate training was all about, it was about helping people to identify what their values were, and then helping them find ways to actually get in touch with those and live a little bit more of an authentic life.

      So there's a really good test that you can do which is called the Values In Action survey, if you Google V-I-A survey or Values In Action survey, it'll come up, it's a free test.

      FELICITY:

      Sure.

      ASHLEY:

      And that will actually list for you a list of 24 common strengths in all people, strengths or values, and if you have a look at your top five that it lists for you, they are the five values that the latest scientific research is proving that if you try your hardest to live in alignment with those top five values, you'll be a happier, healthier, more resilient person.

      FELICITY:

      Person.

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah. So, they're probably the tips that I would say.

      FELICITY:

      Yeah, that's fantastic, and they're great resources and we'll put those in our show notes, so thank you for those.

      ASHLEY:

      No problem.

      FELICITY:

      And have your test results helped you with your life, you know, in enabling you to live a more fulfilling and rewarding life, from your values?

      ASHLEY:

      Good question. So, I started my serious journey into the whole wellness and positive psychology sort of space about three or four years ago. I've done the VIA test which is a world renowned test from a man called Professor Martin Seligman, who is pretty much considered to be the pioneer, or the godfather of positive psychology, and every time I do this test, which is about 180 questions I think, it's a self-reporting questionnaire, my top three values come up the same every time, and those top three are hope, self-regulation and bravery. Hope being that I expect the best in the future, and that I believe that I can actually work towards creating my own future. Self-regulation fairly simple, being disciplined and controlling how I feel etcetera, and bravery in that I'm happy to have a crack and not shrink from any challenges.

      So, I have very much tried to live most of my life over the last four years and tried to get as much of what I do every day in alignment with those three top skills. How that's impacted in real life is that it was probably one of the main reasons I left the bank, where I used to work, and moved into the space that I'm in now, as it was more in alignment with where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. So I was able to be prepared to take what a lot of people would perceive to be a risk of leaving a good, safe job, and go into the unknown, and it's also very much in alignment with what I'm trying to do with my cycle:WELL organisation, because I do genuinely believe that if I have a crack and work hard, I can create something pretty special there that will help a lot of other people along the way.

      FELICITY:

      And that is living in alignment with your values of bravery, because it does take courage and bravery to do that, to step out of that comfort zone and leave your job, like a comfortable job, and do what you're doing, so kudos to you and congratulations for living to your values, because that does take courage as well.

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah, at some times it's still sort of feels a bit seat of your pants, and a bit scary, but yeah, look, to be honest, when you are living in alignment, or when you think you're living in alignment with your goals, and you're being more authentic, I personally have found that that internal chatter that goes on is a lot more positive now, I have a lot less negative self-talk and those sorts of things now because I'm chasing what I genuinely believe in, so it's good.

      FELICITY:

      Yeah, it's like a compass, so it keeps you focused and full and thinking.

      ASHLEY:

      The way I describe it is it's like an internal compass.

      FELICITY:

      Yeah. Having lived on the fringe of society, Ash twice, at poll opposites, being the fat kid at primary, and then secondary school to getting into bodybuilding as a young adult, you know how it feels to be different and to not quite fit in, what would you do differently if you had known back then?

      ASHLEY:

      Good question. I guess probably I should put a disclaimer in there, I actually did have a really good childhood, and I'm not scarred that much from that.

      FELICITY:

      That's good to hear.

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah, I did have a great childhood, and if anybody asked me I'd say that I did have an awesome time, but also I guess, the classic, if I did have a time machine, I think knowing now, I would have told myself really to spend my time and energy working on just amplifying my strengths and what I was good at, and if we could teach.. there is a big movement at the moment around teaching kids in schools, mindfulness and values and those sorts of things into the curriculum.

      So I think, when you're young, if you spend all of your time trying to well, fix, in inverted commas, the problems that society and your social networks tell you you've got wrong with you, to fit in, in the long run, if you have a look at most successful people in the world, most of them are misfits, most of them don't fit in. I think the world needs more misfits, I think we've got lots of zombies sort of shuffling around in like a big sort of directionless herd at the moment, just sort of, "What can I buy next?", and "How can I get more money?", and basically just on that consumerist band wagon.

      FELICITY:

      Yeah, just more materialistic?

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah, I think that's just a never-ending cycle, so if I could have, I think I would have told myself, "There's some stuff that you're good at, just focus on that and eventually you'll find your community. You'll find your tribe and the people who genuinely like that will be drawn to you", the law of attraction. But of course, I wouldn't have listened anyway, so it wouldn't have mattered.

      FELICITY:

      No, that's right.

      ASHLEY:

      When someone comes up to you and says that sort of deep stuff when you're a teenager or when you're young, it's all..

      FELICITY:

      Glaze over.

      ASHLEY:

      .. that's it, it's just about fitting in and being socially..

      FELICITY:

      Acceptable.

      ASHLEY:

      .. in the game, yeah.

      FELICITY:

      Yeah, yeah. Well you've had a few life lessons from your weight, your relationship with food and body image, to your business not working out, and your mum passing suddenly. What helped you cope through all that, was it cycling?

      ASHLEY:

      I think, if I look back at the times where I've been the most resilient and most happy, it's always been when I've been living an authentic life, and before I even knew what authenticity was, or before I got onto the positive psychology train of thought and understood my personal strengths and those sorts of things, if I go back and put a lens over it now, it's always when I'm allowed to, or when I allow myself to express myself, sort of by living my values, that's when I'm the happiest and not coincidentally, it's also when I'm the healthiest and the most effective and the most productive.

      And there's a whole heap of research that’s also starting to come out now, I think it's called psychoneuroimmunology, which shows the links between what you think and how it affects your body and shows that the body's actually a very interconnected system. So, the way that modern medicine currently treats body as being separate from emotion and the thought and that sort of thing really compartmentalises things. There's a whole different stream of thought out there now that's actually starting to show that what we think can directly impact our body.

      FELICITY:

      Well Dr. Joe Dispenza I think has also made that correlation, have you heard of him?

      ASHLEY:

      No, I haven't, no, tell me about him.

      FELICITY:

      Yeah, he's written a book called Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself, so..

      ASHLEY:

      Oh, cool.

      FELICITY:

      .. and he's on YouTube, so check that out..

      ASHLEY:

      I will.

      FELICITY:

      .. because he's actually really interesting.

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah, stick that on the notes for this, that would be good.

      FELICITY:

      Yeah, sure.

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah, so I think when I look back, the times when I've really struggled, has actually been more when I've tried to do what everybody else wants me to do, or when I've tried to fit in, when I've tried to get the safe, secure job that'll pay the bills, but you know, it doesn't matter how good.. and I think this happens to a lot of people in their work actually.. it doesn't matter how good an employer you are, and it's really tough for employers out there, they get hammered a lot, but you can provide the best working environment and the best conditions, and the best job, and the best everything, but if the people who are working for you aren't living in alignment with their values, and they don't want to be there, it doesn't matter how good an employer you are, because it's not about the employer, it's about the employee.

      FELICITY:

      That's right.

      ASHLEY:

      So, I think I fell into that trap a bit too.

      But I think if I fast forward sort of to the last four or five years, cycling's very definitely been a real key tool for my mental and physical health and personal growth, so I use my time on the bike as a way to practice those resilience skills that I mentioned before, the gratitude and empathy and mindfulness.

      Something for your listeners out there, if you've ever gone out and tried to go for a ride early hours of the morning just by yourself and literally be in the moment, so turn the internal voice off and just listen to everything that's going on around you, it's amazing the stuff that you actually pick up that you normally wouldn't.

      FELICITY:

      That's right.

      ASHLEY:

      And that's one of the things that I really look forward to when I get out for my early morning rides.

      FELICITY:

      Oh, it's a level of awareness, your sense of awareness.

      ASHLEY:

      Absolutely, yeah, you can pick all the creaky bottom brackets and all the little ticks. My local bike shop thinks I'm crazy because I'm in there every second week telling them about creaks and cracks and things that they can never hear. I'll tell them they need to be a little bit more mindful when they test my bike.

      FELICITY:

      That's right.

      ASHLEY:

      Because they'll hear it.

      FELICITY:

      So Ash, how have you found men's mental health in your 12 years of the corporate world?

      ASHLEY:

      I think men's mental health in the corporate world reflects the bigger picture around first world countries. I was speaking to a guy from Bicycling Magazine the other day, some stuff with them, and we very quickly agreed that that very traditional old-fashioned tough exterior, masculine, blokey, real men don't cry, let's not talk about our emotions, all that sort of stuff. That's very prevalent all throughout the western world, and very much so in Australia as well.

      Specifically in the corporate cultures that I've grown up with, that's probably been even more heightened, it's because you also add into that a really competitive, dog-eat-dog culture where everyone's trying to get everybody else's job and it's all about winning at all costs and don't show weakness because if you show weakness now, that could cost you a promotion, or you might be seen as being a bit soft and it's all about profit and growth and all that sort of stuff.

      So, I don't think the corporate world in general does guys any favours, and yeah, I think a lot of companies like the one where I was, are starting to bring in wellness programs and wellbeing programs and those sorts of things now.

      FELICITY:

      So there's a lot of room for improvement?

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah. But I think also a lot of companies have psychologists and things available where you can go and see someone privately and confidentially and everything, but if you have a look at the figures, the majority of times, it's still the women who are much more connected to themselves and get it a lot more. Guys don't use those services as much because you've got from the time you're.. I even find it now with my two year old. People were quite happy for the girls when they fell over to cry, but if my two-year-old falls over, they tell him not to cry. So it starts right back from when you're his age..

      FELICITY:

      That's right.

      ASHLEY:

      So you've got a whole cultural thing you've got to break through, break your barriers through.

      FELICITY:

      Absolutely.

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah.

      FELICITY:

      And also, we do tend to go from our role modeling as well, we either embrace that, or go totally the opposite, I think I find.

      ASHLEY:

      That's right.

      FELICITY:

      It's one extreme to the other once again.

      ASHLEY:

      They say the pendulum always swings to the furthest arc both ways, and eventually it comes back into the middle.

      FELICITY:

      Yeah.

      ASHLEY:

      I think we might be, in Australia, I think we're probably starting to come back a little bit towards the middle, but we've got a long, long way to go when it comes to men's health.

      FELICITY:

      Well you got hit by a car on your bike and flew over the bonnet, which ended up with a broken collarbone and severe bruising, but this allowed you to recognise that you had to make a change and take a chance and follow your dream and live your purpose, which is why you're committed to helping others to discover and achieve genuine holistic wellness for themselves, but not just PBs on Strava. So, now that you've got a young family yourself, how has that changed your life and helped you and your family, Ash?

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah, that getting hit by a car was probably that classic.. most people have probably read Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point? That was the full tipping point for me, so it's absolutely astonishing how much stuff goes through your mind in the probably maybe half a second or one second it takes for you to go off your bike, over the bonnet, down on the other side. My whole life flew across in front of me.

      FELICITY:

      Before you?

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah, and interestingly enough, none of it had anything to do with my work or any of my material possessions, I pretty much just saw childhood, mum and dad, family, wife, dog, and the other thing that really stood out was that, another image was of me being in a gym working out, which you'd think to yourself, why the hell would somebody think of that when they're flying over a car, wondering whether they're going to live or not. But when I went away and reflected on that, I think I had about 12 weeks off the bike, and I had I think five or six weeks in a sling, so I spent heaps of time thinking about that stuff, and I thought that must be a bit of a message, I think.

      So, that was a real tipping point for me, and since then, I think my evolving journey through my own personal wellbeing and personal wellness, I'm hoping has made me a little bit easier to live with, my wife and my kids, I'm happier. I'm just as frantic I think and I'm just as focused and my wife says, obsessed, but I think that's just me, that's just who I am, but at least I'm obsessed because I'm trying to achieve something I want to rather than trying to work out how to fit in and play by other people's rules.

      FELICITY:

      Everyone else's rules, yeah.

      ASHLEY:

      Which I really hate playing by other people's rules, so..

      FELICITY:

      Fair enough too.

      ASHLEY:

      .. I think when you get older and you realise that, that's good just in itself, because you can make some decisions around that sort of thing.

      FELICITY:

      Well it gives you more choice I think if you're really aware of where you're at, what you're aligned to, what rings your bell. Whether you're obsessed or not, at least you're obsessed about what makes you happy, I guess, and it's a good thing really.

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah, and I think a lot of people who you see who are obsessed, if you get to know and you get to talk to them, most of them are genuinely chasing something that they really believe in, you don't see very many people who are obsessed with trying to fit in.

      FELICITY:

      No that's true.

      ASHLEY:

      You know what I mean? Nobody jumps out of bed because they really, really want to do a job they hate, just to fit in. So, I think that energy and that spirit and that lift comes when you're living in line with your values, and when you're being authentic.

      I hope that one of the other things from my never ending journey along this, because it is a lifelong thing and it does change, I'm hoping that.. I really don't care much about other people's opinions of me and of my family, and with young kids, I don't suffer from that thing with a lot of parents of young kids suffer of, “What are they going to say, how are they going to embarrass us?”, you know, “Please don't make us look silly out in public”. I don't care, I'm happy for my kids to do and say whatever they like, and I want my kids to always know that they're a very special individual and they need to just get out there and have a crack, and I'll have their back, and at the right times, fitting in isn't always the best thing, but you do have to be allowed to play in the sandpit before you can change the rules.

      FELICITY:

      That's right.

      ASHLEY:

      I've got to teach them how to be allowed into the sandpit, but then I've also got to make sure that they're confident enough in themselves to maybe change the rules a bit.

      FELICITY:

      Yeah.

      ASHLEY:

      So I think that's probably how it reacts in my everyday life.

      FELICITY:

      Yeah, it sounds like a good strategy.

      ASHLEY:

      Yeah, hope so.

      FELICITY:

      Yeah. Well thank you Ash, I'd like to thank you for joining me today, our listeners can find you on the website www.cyclewell.com.au  which has the training camp where they can find out more and register, and you're also on Facebook as cycle:WELL and Insta, and we'll have all those details in our show notes, along with those other references that you gave us, which sound very interesting and exciting.

      I’d like to wish you every success for the camp and helping men with their wellness, that’s really fantastic and I hope that you create a tribe that really enjoy being themselves.

      ASHLEY:

      Thanks, Felicity. Yeah, thanks very much for the opportunity to come one and speak to your audience.

      FELICITY:

      You’re welcome.

      ASHLEY:

      I think it’s.. if anybody out there is interested, we are, the camp is donating our profits to Movember. We want to do what we can do best, which is provide the wellness experience and if we can make some profit out of this as well, we can donate that to Movember to let them do what they’re good at, which is help men’s health.

      FELICITY:

      Great.

      ASHLEY:

      And yeah, tickets are on sale ‘til the 31st of December, so jump in for a Christmas present.

      FELICITY:

      Awesome. Sounds like a great plan.

      ASHLEY:

      Thanks very much, Felicity.

      FELICITY:

      Thanks, Ash.

      Thanks for listening to the All Torque podcast. We'd love it if you would leave us a rating and review on iTunes. This helps us to deliver content you want to hear about. Please take a moment to share it with your friends and family on Instagram and Facebook. I'm Felicity Dales, see you next episode for another story of inspiration and motivation on the All Torque podcast.

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