11 Aug 2021
Written by Josh Robson, CEO of Intergalactic Gaming Ltd. All views my own.
Last year, my closest friends and I left behind the White Cliffs of Dover, and embarked on the Tour De France climb of the Haute-Savoie. What we didn’t know at the time was that this was going to be the holiday of a lifetime - a true blessing - as we were gifted a week with our dear friend, Nate Sterling. Unfortunately, Nate passed away on the 26th March, this year, and our trip was the last time some of the group were able to see his face and cheeky smile, or hear his contagious cackle - memories we take with us for the rest of our lives, and for which we are truly grateful.
Top, Left to right: Jack, Jimbo, Gregor. Bottom, Left to right: Sean, Nate, Me.
Nate was like our brother, and we hurt as if we have lost our own. His passing left a void that can never be filled, but we carry him through everything we do. Regardless of where we are in the world, we have therefore made a pact that, each year, we will come together for ‘Tour De Nate’ - a cycle in Nate’s memory, while raising money and awareness of the importance of mental health. This year, we have decided to raise money for Mind, a charity that offers advice and information to support and empower people suffering from mental health issues. As well as this, Mind lobbies governments and local authorities to help more people get the support they need, and works to raise public awareness and understanding of issues relating to mental health. Undoubtedly, they are a fantastic charity, that bring hope to so many.
Check out our JustGiving page here if you’re kind enough to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/team/tour-de-nate-snowdonia
MATIC & ETH donation address:
Nate is sewn into the fabric of IGGalaxy, more than most will ever know. He was by my side through the early days of the company and our logo - well, he designed it! He was THE Professor of Design, a genius at his craft, a samurai with pens and sketches. He was an inspiration to so many, and loved by all - a true legend that could light up any room he walked into. His kind heart and beautiful mind touched every person he met, and his empathetic soul meant he could connect with nearly every person, see the good in them, and guide those that were lost. As tributes poured out for Nate, after his death, more and more stories of how he’d inspired someone came to light, and his impact grew all the more apparent - “yup, that’s Nate alright!”
The first ever version of the logo you see today crafted by the legend himself
Again, signed and delivered by the mastermind in 2018
Given that our trip is in the name of mental health, I wanted to tell you: it’s okay to not be okay. For men, the issue has always been difficult to explore, and so entrenched in the stigma of needing to ‘man up’. But, in reality, it’s okay for us men to cry. It’s especially okay to ask for help - doing so is NOT a sign of weakness - you are human, after all, as are your emotions. Last month, I spoke up for Men’s Health Week, a campaign that helps spread awareness of a topic that does not get the attention it deserves. The silence around men’s mental health is dangerous. Without discussion, mental health is an invisible killer, and this year alone, has proven far worse than Covid-19.
1, I have found this post very difficult to write after these last few months. The silence around men’s mental health today is dangerous. Without discussion, mental health is the invisible killer and this year alone is far worse than Covid-19. pic.twitter.com/mZQmTjh7tS— Josh Robson (@Josh_IGG) June 23, 2021
Commencing in less than four days, the Tour de Nate 2021 will see my friends and I cycle more than 500km to raise money for Mind; during this time, we will climb a whopping 7500m. I have cycled ~1000km this year, and I am somehow expecting to do half of that in four days!*
Though the distance and elevation are not for the faint hearted, Jack AKA Jacky Legzzz, has also ensured that we tackle one of the world’s steepest roads - the Ffordd Pen Llech that, until 8 April 2020, was named the "World's Steepest Street" by the Guinness Book of World Records:
Ffordd Pen Llech - geograph.org.uk
As I write this article, we have since hit our fundraising target, but will now aim to double it. If we achieve this, James has graciously committed to donating his four-year-curls to charity. While I myself don’t sport long and sexy locks, I do have hair that I value dearly (as anyone in the IG team will confirm). Once it’s gone, it’s gone, and I highly doubt I’ll be growing it back before baldness achieves it’s mission on my head!
We all have expectations of our life, society, and the people we love: often they are high, and other times they are low. Sometimes they lead to our being let down, or to self-doubt. We also carry expectations of our expectations(!), making us feel trapped in a maze of suppositions. These negative feelings can manifest in our daily lives, pushing us from a left or right path and down a labyrinth of confusion, anxiety and, sometimes, severe depression. It’s time that we realised: very few people follow their expected path, and not one person has lived a life that went according to plan. Don’t let yourself get discouraged if you have fallen away from the path you’ve set yourself. Instead, pick yourself up and go again. You are a unique, beautiful person, and there are many paths before you.
I know sometimes it’s not as simple as this, and I know the turmoil can feel never-ending, with no end in sight. But believe me, it gets better when you open up and talk; you don’t have to tackle the labyrinth solo. You are not alone, and there are human beings all around you, all ready to help. I send my love to all those who are fighting behind the scenes, and healing in secret, because of society’s pressures. We all know someone who has suffered from poor mental health and it’s our moral duty to ensure measures are in place to stop them moving deeper into the labyrinth. While there’s no overnight solution, there are ways to safely overcome (or at least manage) the situation, while enjoying the gifts that life brings.
Data and stories paint a picture of a rising toll on mental health, with some people having no access to medical help, particularly during the height of the Covid pandemic. As we move into the next stages of a social roadmap, and out of our respective lockdowns, it will be more important than ever to look out for our own and each other’s wellbeing. So, together, let’s end the stigma of mental health.
If you’re still with me, then I appreciate you reading this far, and I thank you in advance for any kind donations to this very important and personal cause.
Again, check out our JustGiving page here if you’re kind enough to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/team/tour-de-nate-snowdonia
Me and Nate out for a ride last year while he visited the IG HQ