How my love of mountain biking is helping my social anxiety
Ryan, who runs the successful Instagram account and UK website TotalMTB has struggled with social anxiety all of his life. He managed it in his youth with school and friends encouraging him out, but into adulthood as his friends started to get busier with work and family life and he worked from home, Ryan was increasingly more isolated, not helping his condition. It was re-kindling a passion for mountain biking that made a big impact on Ryan’s life.
“I started biking to get exercise, fresh air, and to pull me outside away from work. When doing downhill sections that are rocky and bumpy at up to 30mph you have to be fully focused – you aren’t thinking about anything but the bike and what you’re doing. I’m very competitive so seeing my times and trying to beat them on Strava was a good incentive too.
“I’ve always been into taking pictures of my bike and the scenery so I decided to create my own Instagram account, #TotalMTB. Through this I have met some great people; especially the guys at Aussie Grit Apparel and JE James Cycles who have let me review clothing and bikes which is a dream for me – testing them encourages me to get out.
“The events I’m invited to are a bonus. It pushes me mentally and may be a struggle, but attending them is a massive step. My family know that just me wanting to go is a huge deal. It’s very encouraging and positive for the future.”
Image Source: Sport England