INTERVIEWED! Mr Motivator at Wychwood 2024

The legendary Mr Motivator (real name Derrick Evans) joined Summer Festival Guide after leading a high energy morning workout session for the Wychwood Festival crowd to talk about the power of movement and his top tips for beating the blues.

This morning you’ve been up on the main stage at Wychwood leading what can only be described as a fun filled, energetic performance this morning and so many people coming out of their tents to join in – how does it make you feel getting up in the morning and bringing that energy into people’s days?

You know what, movement is a wonderful medicine and if you do it in a fun safe way then everybody can participate and my whole drive, and it’s been like that since being on television 30 years ago and I started exercising 40 years ago, I know in my later years how beneficial movement is – but it’s got to be fun! And if it’s not fun I say “don’t do it!” that’s why I’m not into doing press ups, star jumps and burpees – yes I’ll do it – but at the end of the day what really gets people going is music it’s the attitude it’s the laughter it’s the stories.

During Covid you did a lot of motivational stuff on socials and you’ve talked openly here about mental health. Beyond the fitness side of things, how important is that mental health message?

About two weeks ago I spent a whole day in a studio having conversations with all these radio stations from all over the country phoning in to talk about mental health awareness.

I think it’s great that we’ve moved the goalposts, that people can feel a little bit easier to talk about it. Because we call need to talk about it. In particular men, and men don’t wear their heart enough on their sleeve. They think “if we cry that makes us weak” but no, when you cry it makes you strong and so my message is to give people little tips they can put in place if they’re feeling stressed or they can’t go on, if you’re feeling like things are really rough, there are a number of things you can think about.

One is every autumn the tress out there lose their leaves, but the tree still stands up tall. Why? Because it knows in the Spring it’s going to flower again. So whatever we’re going through that we think is really bad, it’s only a bad moment it’s not a bad life. And if we’re patient and we talk about our problems and we really deal with it in terms of taking time out or getting away from it we’re going to get the benefits of getting stronger mentally and that is the important way we’re going to deal with life going forward. To get emotionally, physically, mentally strong.

And what are the things for you that if you’re having one of those down days that help you personally?

One of the best things is movement, for me. The moment I move my body – in fact the thing I did when I did all those interviews we talked about “moving the mood”. And it does! It doesn’t mean you have to do what I do, you can be just going for a walk or a swim, riding a bike or whatever it is, that helps you release those happy hormones and make you feel better.

One thing that works for me is the old photo albums. Because if you take an old photo album it’s only ever got good times in there. We don’t put picture which are terrible. And those memories allow you to escape sometimes from the reality of life and when you come back you come back feeling so much better for it. But if you incorporate movement it actually makes you feel good not just for when you’re doing it, but for hours and days afterwards.

Leave a Comment