ALEX Hello and welcome to the Stompcast with me Dr. Alex George. This is the podcast where I go for a walk with a guest to take a wander into their life. In this episode I'm delighted to be stomping with Tasha Ghouri, a contestant in season eight of love island that aired earlier this year. Tasha was born deaf and couldn't hear or speak until she was five years old, and now has a cochlear implant, which is often confused with a hearing aid. We'll explain a bit more about this later. While on Love Island, Tasha received hurtful comments about her voice and the way she speaks. She later expressed her shock as ableism is something she had never experienced before. Tasha is on a mission to have a positive impact in the disability awareness space. AD We are about to get stuck into the stomp this week, but first I’d like to chat about our sponsor FitFlop who are helping me to move better with supportive, comfortable and scientifically-tested footwear. Now, after I’ve been on a good long stomp, I don’t want to take my Fitflops off and put on a subpar pair of slippers after being so comfortable. Luckily for us, FitFlop have thought about this and have an amazing range of slippers and slides that are perfect for lounging around the house. Their range of men and womens slippers have contoured footbeds and are made with incredibly soft materials to make sure your feet get a treat. I can’t vouch for the women’s cosy Shuv shearling slides myself but wow - they look like absolute heaven to slip into after a stomp. They have triple-density Microwobbleboard technology, which basically means that they absorb shock and diffuse underfoot pressure. What a dream! And for men’s, there’s plenty to choose from, including the amazing iQushion technology – ultra-light, supersleek cushioning that’s ergonomically shaped for all-day comfort. So if you’ve upped your stomping-game but not your slipper-game, head over to fitflop.com END OF AD ALEX Tasha, thank you so much for joining me on the Stompcast. How are you first of all? TASHA I'm good. I'm very good. Thank you. ALEX Thanks so much for your time. It's really great to join, it’s such a beautiful day. TASHA Yeah, I'm so excited to actually be doing this with you. ALEX Oh, thank you. TASHA Going for a stomp. ALEX Oh, thank you so much. I really appreciate that. Yeah, I can imagine well I thought when we were chatting just before and I said oh gosh, how long you've been out the villa eight months, and no it's been two so shows that my head is clearly a bit frazzled. I don't know. But time is very weird. And when I came out of the show, it was kind of, I found that time either went really quickly or really slowly at certain points. I guess maybe you feel the same. I don't know. TASHA I'm so quick for me. Flown by. ALEX Too fast. Well, we've got an hour together a nice walk but it's nice grounding, and hopefully you'll come out of it going sigh nice and relaxed. TASHA Yes, definitely. ALEX Everyone listening get your stomping boots trainers on. Let's go for a nice walk. And let's start the week correctly. It's a Monday morning when this goes out. Yeah, deep breath TASHA I always get nervous during this things. ALEX Do you get nervous? TASHA Yeah! ALEX Well, let's ground let’s start with the grounding. So this is why I love doing the five senses. So I actually woke up today feeling quite stressed. Stressful start to the week this week. I've had a week off which is fantastic. But for some reason, I started feeling stressed today so it's gonna be good for me as well. Let's start off first of all, where are we? Where are we before our senses. Where are we? TASHA We are at Greenwich Park. You can see you know fields Hills surrounded by trees. Very beautiful. Autumnal. ALEX It’s an autumnal time. What can you see around you? I start with sight. TASHA I can see leaves, round leaves, trees, huge trees, fence, people walking. People socialising dog walking ALEX A dog bin for dog poo so it’s not on the floor. That’s what we like to see. And a police car actually. TASHA Oh, yeah. I didn't see that ALEX Park police. That is a great job. Being a park policeman because I think you can monitor the part and go for stomps all the time. And keep it nice and safe. So this time here it is. It's very, it's one of my favourite times of the year because you have the colours of the leaves changing like the ones above us here. We've got green ones but they’re going from green to brown to brown, isn't it? It's such a nice time of year TASHA You know when you walk on it it has that crisp sound ALEX We're gonna get a bit of leaves. Bit of ASMR. That's a lovely sound. So that's some grounding for you and some touch as well. Look at these dogs. Oh, they're so cute four little miniature. TASHA they're really cute ALEX What kind of dogs are those? TASHA I think they’re dachshunds. I don't know. I could be making that up. ALEX We’ll go with it. They can't see what we can see. So it's okay. Like, we could say it's an Irish Wolfhound, they wouldn't know. So, around us is the autumnal setting, there's lots of trees in Greenwich I think people don't realise. They think of Greenwich. And they they imagine the view from the top all the time because this is where the Greenwich maritime is the GMT as people know, the 04 hour time clocks. And that view from the top is incredible. You look over Canary Wharf, TASHA it's beautiful, ALEX but actually the park is really vast and so much of it actually has got lots of trees and things so I say to anyone if you're coming down here, yeah, have a look around. But just go to the top like walk through the trees and enjoy it. TASHA Yeah, exactly, like what we're doing right now. ALEX It's perfect. What can you hear? TASHA I can hear the wind, the trees, the leaves, yeah I can hear that shhhhhh ALEX The rustling? TASHA Yeah I can hear the rustling. ALEX It's nice, isn't it? TASHA Yeah, it's so relaxing. ALEX Can hear a little bit of cars. To be honest, we are in a city we're not gonna be away from it's like immediately. When I say it to anyone as well. Like a lot of people listening to this won't have the beauty of countryside walking and lots of people live in urban areas. You know, part of the grounding is finding places that you feel relaxed. But even noticing sounds like the cars or maybe your bins move in the background. By just focusing in on things you can hear or see your senses. Yeah, doesn't matter what it is. It will still ground you. Yeah, that's fine, now we’re going up hill and our breathing. TASHA I know *laughs* I haven’t gone to the gym in a very long time ALEX I've been stomping loads I should be fit. We shouldn't have done the pre stomp Abs. TASHA It’s alright. We're nearly there. ALEX We’re nearly there. So here we can hear lots of rustling. What can you smell? TASHA nature, nature smell, you know, pure nature. ALEX I like that. I like that. Sometimes you don't sometimes, sense of smell was more about the feeling of air than natural scent. So do you know what I mean? TASHA The fresh air ALEX So anyone now actually, if you're feeling stressed at all, lets stop for a minute, lets do this. Let's ground ourselves. We're gonna do some breathing. Let's do some breathing. So right relax our shoulders. Wiggle your head. Everyone do it with me. Come on. Whole team, cmon Charlie, you've been rushed. Charlie rushed here. The trains were a nightmare. She's stressed. She just needs and relax herself. Breathe out. All exhale, everyone. Deep breath in. And hold. And breathe out. And as you breathe out, let your shoulders drop down further. All the way out. And in. And hold. And out. And you will feel relaxed. It's nice, isn't it? Yeah. Pause for moments TASHA Just feels soft. ALEX Touch. It's that kind of time of year where everything around you is getting cold. Drizzle in the air. Anyone listening now just go and touch something. Touch a leaf, find a leaf, find a tree or even if it's the floor, and just focus on what you feel and your feet. If you've got concrete. What’s the concrete like? If it’s bumpy or if it's muddy, if you’ve got mud in your hands? And then you can do taste afterwards if you want to. TASHA *laughs* Let me know how it tastes like. ALEX Well you’ve got your orange juice? How's your orange juice? Here we go, everyone. I've given you, Tasha ASMR. TASHA What do I do drink it? ALEX Have a drink, what’s it like? TASHA Orangey ALEX Orangey. Yeah. Alright, everyone, have a little sip of your coffees, whatever it is. Focus on your senses. It's interesting how much time we spend each day doing things that involve stimulating our senses. But we don't actually focus on the sense itself. Do you notice that TASHA It's true. Like, that's probably the first time in so long, I've actually felt something or actually smell something. And yeah, we don't really do that a lot in everyday life. We just get on with our lives. We'd never stop for a moment and ground ourselves. ALEX How are you finding it in terms of grounding at the moment, because you're in that kind of post show, you were in a different world, you've come out. I'm imagining the world's changed a lot. How are you finding in terms of just generally like, pace of life? Are you stressed? Are you kind of taking your stride? Are you finding it? TASHA It’s hard, I think coming out and adjusting to a whole new life. It's been really hard. I'm gonna be real. I've had many breakdowns. You know, it's not been easy at all. I think a lot of people think we come out. And it's a whole new, yes exciting, you get opportunities. But at the same time, as I've been struggling to come to terms with this is my life now, you know, social media and all these things that play into it. It's really not easy. And there's a lot of pressure as well, having to keep up with everything. Everything's so fast paced. ALEX When you say pressure, where does the pressure come from? TASHA I think the pressure comes from, obviously, me and Andrew are together. Yeah. And I bet it's a bit of pressure on couples having to be perfect all the time. If you do one thing wrong. It's a massive, big thing, in newspapers or these kind of things. And we're just normal people. We're humans. People have normal relationships and makes us no different. ALEX Well, humans are by definition, imperfect. I've never met a perfect human being in my 31 years. I've got another 30/40 years ago, hopefully, but I don't think I'm going to meet a perfect one. So I think when you put two people together, some of that is clearly imperfect, isn't it? So no relationship is blooming all the time. And I think that's … I always find it interesting almost like a gogglebox view of watching people's reactions to watching Love Island. I sometimes think that people really forget that people get angry, they get sad. They get jealous, they have all different emotions. These are all normal human emotions that get triggered by certain situations. And like everyone is going to experience them at different times. And when the papers kind of sometimes catch certain scenarios, and they go, oh, gosh, look what has happened there. They're a terrible relationship or that person or whatever it is, it seems we're losing like context of like, actually, we just want people who are trying to muddle our way through TASHA Yeah, like I never had TV training before I went in, you know, I was just chucked in there and be like, Okay, do what you need to do. And, you know, I think for me, I'm very emotional person. That's how I deal with my emotions. I don't let things bottle up inside, I'm very, if need to cry it out I’ll cry it out, and that came across, you know, I got called like wet wipe and all these things, and I think people preach about mental health, but then there are probably people preaching about it. And it's like, well, why try to bring someone down for being open and being emotional? Because okay to be emotional? ALEX Well, I think you, both you and Andrew both, I think show you wear your heart on your sleeve, and I think you both were people that kind of showed that side of you. And I think it is odd because a lot of the time it's seems to be men that gets hammered for it. But it feels like your scenario, I think people kind of demonising being sad, but if you've experienced sadness, that's what you're experiencing that time. Like you can't change that emotion, just click your fingers and go, I don't feel sad. If you feel sad you feel sad. TASHA And you know, you don't have contact with the outside world, you have nowhere to go. So the only way I could lay it out was to… let it out. ALEX A good example. I guess of that like, part of it is so this morning, I was feeling stressed. I texted me, Adam, and we got to talk for a few bits. I felt better because I spoke to him. You can't do that in that show. And it's all very well, you've met these people, but how you don't know these people to real depth. Especially the first couple of weeks. You don't really and they're all trying to find their way through the show. You don't have that old friend, you can text can you, so sometimes all you needed as a five minute call with someone like your mom or your family member be like, Oh, this is going on, Like, Alright, fair enough. This is what's happening or I think this is what you should do. You don't have that do you? You learn a lot by yourself in a way, don't you from that? TASHA Yeah. 100% I think when you're in there, it's so intense, and you're always on camera. So there's nowhere to hide. There's nowhere to go to let your emotions out, ALEX Just to get touch on pressure a little bit more. Because I remember when I came out, I think I was joking with you before I had like 200 followers. And I think I didn't know how to post a story, right? Give me the benefit of the doubt because there's still like four or five years ago, I had no idea to post the story. And my phone broke when I came out of the villa because I had this old iPhone, and it was like what have you done to me? And it died. But I really felt I don't know where it came from. It was like, oh, gosh, I need to be busy. I need to be working. I need to be like, What am I? What is my life now? Like, how am I going to do this? And who am I? It's a really weird time.One of the things I found really helpful was actually going back to a&e or just like finding something that was me before, like, what have you found helpful? Are you still looking to find something that gives you that sense of grounding? Does that make sense? Not necessarily like going back to a&e But anything that kind of reminds you, yourself? Because I felt really lost in that sense. TASHA Yeah, I think I've been quite lucky. So I've got Andrew by my side. So we're both going through the same thing together. And for me, before I went on the show, I was all about raising awareness for the deaf community and things like that. So going on the show, that second reason why I went on there apart from finding love was to raise that awareness. So coming out the show, I've stuck with that. And that, because I'm so passionate about it. That gives me a sense of grounding, because it's something I love doing. ALEX Good. It is so good. And I said to you, I will talk about the health fact the week which I do at the end of every episode and I said to you I was shocked I looked. It's kind of preemptively telling you guys now but I was shocked about how many people were affected either by hearing disability, hearing loss, suffering hearing loss, actually, my brother, he's just left the RAF and he had a nasty accident. And he's pretty much lost his hearing in his left ear. And you just realise whether it's from birth or later on in life, so many people suffer from it. But it's so underrepresented. I wonder if Is it because it's not seen? Why is it so… as a doctor, I wasn't aware of how many people suffer from it, to be honest. TASHA Yeah, I think it's massively overlooked, I think because I have had comments where people said it's not proper disability. To me, that's just like, well, it's the third biggest disability in the whole of the UK. And it goes to show how big of a community is and it's not spoken about enough. And that's why, you know, for example, like me, you know, Rose from Strictly, you know, we've now got this platform to speak about and educate people even more because is not many people understood what cochlear implant was, you know, when I was in the show, it was still getting called a hearing aid, but it's so different to a hearing aid. And that's what, you know, a lot more education needs to be done in this aspect. ALEX Let's talk for a second though about the role of stomping, we’re out here nature. We've gone past the police Charlie wasn't stopped, which is great. Thumbs up from Charlie. Tell me about walking. Is it something that you've always kind of used to kind of deal with stress? Is it something that's new? Do you enjoy it? Do you like it? TASHA Yeah, no, I love walking. I always take my headphones. I like to put my music on and just go for a walk sometimes. I live by river so it's nice to go walking by the river. It's the place of having time to yourself, and not have anybody else come to bother you or I put my phone in aeroplane mode. No one messages me. ALEX Do you still do that? TASHA Yeah, oh yeah. ALEX Really good. That's actually really good. A lot of people say they would, it’s a really hard thing to do is anything people think oh what if someone calls me what if it’s something important. Do you actually put it on? TASHA Yeah, ALEX How long do you do it for? How long do you leave it on for? TASHA Sometimes if I go for a walk for an hour or half an hour or normally before bed as well, aeroplane mode, by half ten, 10 o'clock. ALEX That's brilliant. That’s so good TASHA Just because, you know, being in this new life, I'm constantly having to be on my phone. And sometimes I get so frustrated, I just want to get my phone and throw it. So I like to disconnect and spend time with myself, spend time with Andrew. Just me and him, just me. And the next day I feel refreshed. I feel better, because I’m like actually my brains not so functioning about what I've just looked at on my phone while I go to sleep. So I like to go to sleep, watch a nice movie or just put candles on, sit there, listen to music ALEX and just relax. TASHA Yeah. Exactly. ALEX Tell me why did you start walking? I know it sounds a silly question. But like, I asked myself this questions a few weeks ago I was thinking about it. Because most the time and it does sound a silly question. But most of the time we walk A to B don’t we, like you walk to go somewhere. So to go for a walk, like a Sunday stroll. It's like a decision to go and have a walk. Can you remember when when you decided, do you know what it's a really odd thought. It's like, when did I decide to do that? And why? Like what was the reason for it? Because it's something that over in my adult life I've done a lot more when I was younger I don't think I'd have gone for a walk. Do you know what I mean? TASHA To be fair, because I used to live in the country. I always went for walks when I was little we used to have a dog ALEX in Yorkshire. TASHA Yeah, in Yorkshire, ALEX Beautiful Yorkshire, TASHA and yeah, we used to have a family dog so you just go out for walks every Sunday we just have family walks to Osmotherley, so walking is always kind of been in my element pretty much you know being a country girl. Something that we love doing like this weekend be in Yorkshire at my mom's went for a little walk ALEX I think it's something about, because I was thinking I think for me going for walk reminds me of being in Wales so I can see like the… I love my childhood I was lucky to play we didn't have a lot of children, my parents and a lot of money or anything we just kind of spent our time playing in the countryside in the fields and yeah, quite a simple life really but like going out for walks and stuff. It makes me feel like I'm back in Wales. I think that's what it is for me. And sometimes part of grounding is putting yourself into a place where you remember feeling really comfortable and at peace. When you're stressed and stuff. When do you walk? Do you go anytime day? Do you? Is it a regular thing? Do you get mornings, evenings? TASHA Night time. I’m an evening walker. ALEX Evening stomper, fair enough. TASHA I do like to go on a nighttime or even midday if I've got time. But more of a nighttime after dinner. Let my tummy… walk it off. ALEX Very good. Very good. Does that help you sleep? TASHA Yeah, it massively does. ALEX Do you notice any differences if you don’t go out and have a wander. TASHA I think the difference is my mind is playing a bit more if I don't go out and go for a walk if just stay in. And sometimes I feel bad for not going on the walk. Like sometimes I sit there. The next day, I regret not going so I’ll be like, Oh, I wish I went for that walk. Just because I think it really does help. Whatever you're going through, whatever situation, whatever you're thinking, you know, I'm an over thinker. So let's go for a walk and just relax my mind. And sometimes the thoughts you have before you go on a walk when you come back home, it can be a whole different scenario what thoughts you have. ALEX Reframing TASHA Yeah ALEX Reframing and it’s… I'd say to anyone, if you haven't tried it before, and when you're feeling stressed and you're overthinking about things get up, change your situation, change like if you're in your bedroom, like lying down and thinking oh god I feel awful, worrying about something – get up, change your location go outside, go for a walk, move your body and often you come back and you approach the same problem with a different view. I can't exactly, a lot of it's a lot of it's kind of we know nature helps relaxing, calming movement improves blood flow, endorphins and things but I think some of it we can't explain every psychological reason that happens but if it does happen most people would would agree that you know, there's the old saying like they go and walk it off or sleep on that. idea or whatever it's like changing your framing by having a different time and place that really helps like deal with the issue. TASHA And do you know what I love as well is yeah, sometimes walking past people and you smile each other. That lifts me up as well. Sometimes I love that about walks. It's just seeing what other people are doing. Someone's walking their dog. You share a little smile, say hello. How are you? Okay, you walk past. I love that feeling of just kindness and it really can lift up your day as well ALEX Was on a BBC News. I saw it I think yesterday before there was… I mean, it's such an I think it's such an obvious thing, really. But there's a study and they looked into people's feelings of happiness if they bump into strangers and like saying hello to strangers. And it makes absolute sense to me that you know, when you're out going for a walk, you give yourself opportunities to have those moments but if you don't, then you don't have it like we we did a Stompcast with Joe Wicks a couple of weeks ago, and we were walking, it was actually could have been really bad. But basically, it was a pram, we thought it was a baby. And they kind of ran down the hill and basically into the lake nearly and the woman grabbed it. Oh my god, we're like, oh, gosh Iwas like Joe, you're, you're gonna have to go in here and let you do that. But I'll do the bit when it comes in. We’ll work it out between us. Luckily, there wasn't a baby in the pram to grab it before. But then we got laughing with them and we're chatting with them and it lifts everyone's thing doesn't and it might be something simple, like get on a bus or go to a coffee shop and say hello to someone or thanks very much. How you doing? Yeah, you're alright. Yeah, there's something about that human connection with people who don't know that's amazing. TASHA Yeah,it just really lifts up your day. I think it shows that a little bit of kindness does go a long way. ALEX Absolutely. TASHA Someone could be having a really bad day… A little hello. That could literally change their mood straightaway. ALEX Have you found a lot of people saying hello to you now. TASHA Yeah. laughs A bit! ALEX How do you find that? TASHA I'm still not used to it. And I think everyone has been coming over has been so lovely. So positive. And it's so nice to have that atmosphere. And that energy. I'm all about energies. And everyone's been so kind so far. And I think it's so nice. And for me, I'm just Tasha Ghouri, still the same girl I was before I went on the show, so I'm not gonna be that girl now that I’ve come off show. I'm not not gonna speak to anyone or … I'm a very social person. Yeah, I like to meet people, like to chat to people. So I think for me, it's just like meeting new people. That's how I see it ALEX What kind of things they say to you. I'm guessing about your campaigning, I would imagine there's a lot of people who are quite proud of you. TASHA Yeah, I think, you know, I've got quite a lot of comments about going on the show that have done really well. I've inspired people and just a lot of love, a lot of love, and sometimes it’s nice to stand there and listen to what people say, I do get emotional about it. Because yeah, that's all I ever wanted to do. So I think even on my Instagram, yesterday, I posted a picture of my cochlear implant and, you know, things of me, I like to be real. And that's when we're constantly doing and, and the amount of comments, people sharing their own stories. And people saying, Because of you, I can now wear my hair up, you've inspired me to do that. And that was what I wanted to do. ALEX That’s amazing. If you think about it, that's really profound, because, you know, to someone to live their lives in a certain way they feel shame, for whatever reason, they have shame, whether it's a physical thing, a mental health issue, or developmental, whatever it is, to then give someone that feeling of empowerment, they feel, actually, not only should I not be ashamed of this, but actually own it and be proud of who you are. there's lots of different stigmas around and different issues and things. And I just, I do sometimes think it's just sad when people give themselves such a hard time, for something that is just part of who you are. TASHA Yeah. And you know, growing up, I was never this confident girl at all, you know, it wasn't easy for me. So I found my empowerment in the dance industry, I would say when I became a dancer, because dancing is a feeding off expressing your emotions that massively helped with me, and finding who I am as a person. And growing up, I wasn't confident, I was ashamed. I wouldn't speak to people, I used to hide it. You know, I used to be angry all the time. I'd be the girl that locks myself in a bedroom, wasn’t an emotional person, I always bottle it up. And the dancing really helped me to be more open. And that's when I became more confident and I realised that sharing my experiences and sharing my stories really helps a lot of other people. So that's why I want to you know, raise an awareness and keep doing that. ALEX Does it help you? Because obviously it helps other people. Do you find that it… Is there in some way, like helping others… Is that kind of reciprocal thing of energy or…? TASHA Massively. Yeah, and I think it's weird. I believe that I was given this gift for a reason. You know, I was born into hearing family and I wasn't born into a deaf family. So I believe I was given it for a reason to be doing what I'm doing now. And to see other people happy, to see other people smile, gives with that element of love, and warmth inside. So, to me, it's just something I'm really passionate about. ALEX I think it's amazing. You know, quite frankly anyone that that kind of highlights something that is otherwise seen in some sectors by something that's shameful and then takes that sometimes pain because everyone I mean, imagine growing up it was very difficult at certain times, but taking that and using it as a real strength, and especially kids, I mean, I published my children's book recently, and I tried to like, get people to look at what they believe their weaknesses are now and see the potential of those strengths. Like I did a tour, a school tour, and I was talking, I was like, hands up everyone that's felt anxious and everyone's hands are up, you know, hands up people that worry about things that feel like, like, like empathy or worry about other people hands up, I was like can you not see that, yes, it can be a real, if we don't manage it can be really difficult. But you think that's a weakness in the future is a huge strength I was a worrier as a kid, as a doctor, it's brilliant to care about people. If you're if you're not an empathetic or caring person as a doctor, then you're in the wrong industry. You know, you wouldn't do it if you didn't kind of care. So some of the things that we see as children. Oh my God, I feel really bad about this. It changes, doesn't it? TASHA Yeah, massively. And I think you know, strength, strength is something that comes from deep within. And I believe that you're given obstacles in life to overcome them for a reason. You know, everyone goes through obstacles, but it's given for a reason and you overcome them a you become stronger, and yeah, I've come so many. But that's got me the strength that I've got now. If that makes sense. ALEX From overcoming challenges is strength isn't it? AD Thank you once again to Fitflop for sponsoring this episode and making sure our feet are looked after whether we’re wandering in the woods or lounging by the fire after a hard stomp. Head over to fitflop.com to check out FitFlops outdoor shoes and trainers, as well as their slippers and slides. END OF AD ALEX Everyone, well done. We've smashed a solid 20 minutes whether you're going to continue stomping with us right now or you're going to come back tomorrow. No sweat. Just be proud of yourselves. You’ve done a really great job. For those that continue we're gonna head on to part two. If not, we'll see you whenever really.