Last Movember, I started #TacheTalk, a blog speaking to different men about their lives, health and happiness. This year I’ve interviewed more men (which you’ll be able to read about on here very soon) but I was also keen to keep the old conversations going. Here’s the second part of my catch-up with the original thirty guys, finding out what’s changed and challenged them over the last year.
After graduating this year, Hadley set up his own mobile chiropractor practise in South Wales: ‘As I’m self-employed, work tends to consume every hour of the day and there never seems to be time to have a break. I’ve neglected the gym, football and playing the guitar.’
This year, Jack graduated, got a new job, a new flat in Peckham and even a new shoulder. ‘I dislocated it, so had surgery and they fixed me up. It was an interesting experience, quite liberating. It’s good when surgery goes well. There’s always a risk with it and that can get you thinking about all sorts of things.’
‘Everything has challenged me. The last few months has been a big big time. Sometimes those things feel a bit daunting but suddenly you’re on the other side of it and it all seems rather easy in the end, although at the time I’m sure it wasn’t. I relish the challenges, but they are challenges nonetheless.’
In September last year, Matt was diagnosed with testicular cancer. When I spoke to him in May, he was in remission and recently started a new job in Harrogate. ‘I’m getting to do a lot of different, interesting research and development projects, it’s basically my dream job!’
‘A challenge for me has been staying positive about the future. I’m still having ongoing issues with depression and trying to fight through that. The hormone side of things hasn’t fully settled down since my cancer treatment so I’m waiting for doctors to decide what to do about that. Work has really helped me through it as it’s given me some stability and takes my mind off things. It really makes a difference doing something you love and enjoy, life is too short for the 9 to 5 grind!
‘One of the most inspiring things I’ve seen recently was Elon Musk’s presentation about the future of the human race and becoming a multi-planetary species. It really gave me hope for the future.’
‘It’s been a tough year. I was signed off work for a month in April because of stress but having that time off taught me how to cope with stress and anxiety better and put myself first. I’m lucky my boss is incredibly supportive, because I’ve talked to him about it before.’
As well as getting back behind the DJ decks at club nights, this year George became a Birmingham City season ticket holder. ‘I’m inspired by the sound of Tilton Road End. The Birmingham City anthem is Keep Right On. I couldn’t ask for a better club anthem.’
In May, Matt celebrated his first wedding anniversary. He’s also changed roles in his company and been on his first surfing trip. Every week Matt and I now go to the local Parkrun 5k with our friend Kate. This week he ran a personal best of 19:49. He hopes to qualify as an actuary in the next year, with just three of his fifteen exams left to do.
‘I’m inspired by Abraham Lincoln. He was a self-educated man, and that desire to further his knowledge and better himself stayed with him his whole life. That’s something I want to emulate.’
Nathan’s second child was born on Christmas Day. This year he’s won his second competitive physique and bodybuilding show, launched a new business venture and written an ebook.
‘Adjusting to another child at home has been challenging, but the relationship with my wife has strengthened and we now work closely as a team to support and help each other. Another dieting phase for my training early in the year was also challenging with the new born but made my win even more rewarding. Having a better life balance and continued support from family and friends helped immensely.’
‘At home I am constantly inspired by my hardworking wife who balances being a housewife and motherhood, as well as managing to start her own online business. I’m hoping for another year of laugher and love, where my family continue to grow happily and healthily.’
Last month, Dave accepted a new role working for Tearfund in South Sudan. Before moving, he sold off most of his possession for the second time, including the headphones he showed me last year.
‘People are always challenging but life isn’t really worth it without them. In the end, everyone wants the same thing: to love and be loved. Once you work that out, you can see through all the other mess. It’s been helpful to be truthful and honest in situations where people are mucking you about.’
‘Hopefully while I’m in South Sudan, I’ll cross off lots from my bucket list. I’ve already been in a helicopter!’
This month, I’ve shaved off my beard to grow a moustache and will be running my first ever 10k race. It’s to raise money for Movember so they can keep research and conservations on men’s health going around the country. You can sponsor me on my MoSpace or by texting ‘JKMO90 £10’ to 70070. Thank you.