Today, I'm writing this because I have made my debut as a podcast host - although I was never counting this as a big life goal - it's taken me over 40 years (yes I’m rounding to technically the nearest 10) to wiggle my way to this point - so perhaps it should have been!
1st generation black British, born in Leeds, to Kittitian parents that oddly (to me at least) only met once they had migrated across the Ocean to England, meeting up at the Leeds West Indian Carnival. As a child growing up, I don't think my life goals were big enough:
Keep in school,
Keep out of jail, and
Keep it in my pants... were sufficient for me to be "alright"
Academic strength was and is important to my mum, something that remains instilled in me to this day. I was quick-witted at school and really enjoyed it until i left at 16 years old. I was pretty quick with my feet growing up too, representing school, club and district in 100m and - if it wasn't raining or too cold- even 200m races. I did Aikido for ages with some talent...
But football was my best release. I spent several years playing for my older brother's team, Milford, in Kirkstall before stepping down to my own age group around U13’s with Beeston. Things happened from there as I progressed to play for Leeds city school boys and eventually signed apprentice and professional contract at Huddersfield Town.
In the grand scheme of things, it was only a taste of the professional footballer's life. Once recovered from my hernia operation (wasn't a hernia), a contract at The Terriers that wasn't extended and my Mum’s reticence for me to travel too far from home or overseas for further trials - I opted to give university a go and switched to semi-professional football. My initial transition was painful, dark and lonely. Today i can better articulate what the dark periods were (for another post) and where the sense of pain & loneliness came. I certainly got the balance wrong with having to share football with being a part-time barman at the Marriott hotel in Leeds (note: I don't drink, didn't know how to pull a pint but loved the banter) and a Marketing & French Student at the University of Huddersfield Business School. I wanted to be perfect at them all, but in that first year I was probably below average in each.
In the coming months, I’ll share more of my transition story. How I learned to love something other than football, recognise that I was more than just a central defender and found a passion to transform myself, people and businesses.
So, what's that got to do with the podcast? Well, the 2ndwind Academy podcast is all about stories of transition. Over the 30 or so years of being an adult, I’ve had to transition geographically, culturally and career wise multiple times. From professional footballer to banker, public servant to coach & business owner, career transition is something that I have struggled and then thrived through. My point of fascination is in the journey of change - people, companies, processes - transformation & innovation - I love it. And I have some great steps to share on how to do it with a smile, purpose and impact.
This podcast aims to be a collection of the conversations I’m having almost every day with sportspeople contemplating or going through a journey of discovery, reimagination and change. The beauty about elite and professional athletes is that eventually they have to transform themselves, usually at a time not of their own choosing. To reimagine their purpose, to retool their thinking habits, to learn new skills or simply to come to terms with the status quo and be brave enough to change it. Kudos to them for being open to share their journey into a career beyond being the player, so that we can all learn.
Yeah, I appreciate that this article breaks most of the "how to gain impact with a LinkedIn article" rules but I'm shaking off my perfectionist mantra for progress... just watch me improve!
Join me on this conversational journey
If you want to know more, share your opinion or get involved, please drop me a line on email@example.com
Take it easy
Originally published on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-i-became-podcast-hostand-wrote-linkedin-article-ryan-gonsalves/