New Year…New workouts…

simon bird profile

Simon Bird


It’s January 2021. You might be one of the millions looking in the mirror promising yourself you’ll work harder in the gym. Except you can’t because they’re closed.

With Joe Wicks then – or some other home-based workout in any case. You won’t be alone of course – the promises, threats and bargains we make with ourselves are echoing around our streets at the moment.

But I want to share with you my discovery this winter which has been a real mental workout rather than physical. Maybe I can offer it as a late festive gift? It caused me to turn some of my views upside down, laugh out loud in the street, reflect hard and even wonder about some of the things I held as truth. I found a podcast on BBC Sounds called Tricky – which, according to it’s own blurb,

“…takes tricky questions of right, wrong and in-between…..every week 4 guests spend half an hour discussing the issues facing society. Nothing is off limits and no-one goes unheard..”

You don’t need me to tell you that narrative in society is increasingly polarised. The media has always encouraged us to pick a side, and see the world as black and white, right or wrong, my way – not your (idiot) way. At the same time now, we have the unintended consequences of algorithms working in the background which are designed to show us more of what we already agree with, and ensure we are less likely than ever to hear different perspectives offered in more than a soundbite.

What I have loved about Tricky is being able to listen to 4 people with different views talk about issues such as Black Lives Matter, depression, body image and conspiracy theories – with no presenter getting in the way – in a way that made me feel stimulated and interested. At times it’s really felt like a mental workout – or something bright and colourful after a month of beige food.

You don’t need me to preach at you and tell you how important it is to see things in shades of grey – or maybe orange, magenta and turquoise. Except it really is important, isn’t it? Maybe in this process of discovery, I’ve really been reminding myself of this – and catching myself becoming lazy in my thinking. Either way – a new year seemed the perfect time to course correct.

I hope you might be tempted to try my late gift (OK – it’s a recommendation) – and I’d also love to hear about your own form of Tricky – the stimulus to your own mental backflips and reverse lunges!

Share the knowledge

Leave a Comment