It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is Loneliness. There are many ways to connect with people, with sports being one of the most popular. Yorkshire Grit, produced by This is Distorted, is a podcast targeting some of the biggest issues in men’s mental health, aimed at unlocking the stigma and bringing sensitive subjects to the fore, no topic is off limits. Whilst the roots are in cycling the guests are varied and have ranged from Olympians, Turner prize winners, entrepreneurs and survivors. We caught up with host, Tom Bustard, to find out more…
Who are you and what’s your podcast about?
I’m Tom Bustard, 33 from Teesside but I now live in Leeds. I am an ex-professional cyclist and founder and host of Yorkshire Grit podcast.
Yorkshire Grit aims to unlock the stigma around men’s mental health. Grounded in brutal honesty and having faith that good things will come from telling the truth, no matter how hard it is. The podcast is mostly sport focused but it is predominantly about hearing inspirational stories of triumph and despair.
What was the first podcast you ever listened to?
It was the Joe Rogan experience on YouTube. He is the daddy of podcasts.
Why did you decide to start podcasting in the first place?
I started Yorkshire Grit on 31st December 2018. I was at my lowest point and was in a really bad way. I remember walking back from a family friends and everything around me was crumbling; I just remember standing over this high bridge for a while.
I didn’t want to die but I remember looking down and something came to me, the idea that I needed to talk about this and help other people who were also in this position.
So I went straight home and set up an Instagram account, if you check my first post it’s on that night.
Which podcasts do you take inspiration from?
I’m hugely inspired by Jordan Peterson, everything I listen to with him changes my way of thinking for the better.
Who’s your dream guest for the podcast?
It’s a hard one and I get this question a lot but it would be a toss up between Tyson Fury, Jordan Peterson and Roger Federer. I just don’t think I could pick between that trio to be honest, it would have to be rock paper scissors.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far as a podcaster?
That you have to push yourself! Depression and addiction do not care, you have to rise up and use every fibre in your body to move forward. The stories I’ve heard on the podcast all share a similar notion, that it’s only you who can do it.
Which episode would you say is the perfect introduction to your podcast?
The episode with Tour de France legend Tyler Hamilton, who was Lance Armstrong’s right hand, was pretty life changing for me. Also the first episode in the pandemic with triathlete Jonny Brownlee, those two episodes helped a lot of people and I know that from the listener feedback and response I received.
Where can the Pod Bible readers find out more about you?
You can follow @gritYorkshire2019 on Instagram where I post about the podcast, guests and a few bits about what I’m up to.