WHAT IS THE ONE THING THAT YOU DO, THAT HELPS YOU BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE?
Once upon a time I was representative rugby league player for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Then … I broke my neck in two places; C7 & T1. I was rushed to hospital, where I found I was half a millimetre from my spinal cord snapping, which would leave me bound to a wheel-chair for the rest of my life, unable to play rugby. I was put in a neck brace for 8 months. My mum had to bath me, take me to the toilet, make me food (I ended up putting on 12kg and turned into a fat potato), drive me around endlessly to appointments to doctors, and make my bed so I would sleep upright (eventually I turned to valium to sleep which then developed into an addiction).
I spent 18 years of my life chasing this dream of one day playing first grade rugby league. I gave up social events with my friends, choosing not to drink and not to take illicit drugs like most of people that age. I sacrificed everything and put all my eggs in one basket and it had pulled the carpet from beneath me and literally landed on my head and broke my neck.
Through all of this I turned to heavy drinking and endless partying for the first time to try and cover the pain. And then one Sunday afternoon it hit me that I didn’t want to be alive anymore because I couldn’t do what I loved. I decided it was the end, hopped in my car and drove to a headland on the northern beaches. In a split decision while I was standing on this 100 metre drop, I promised myself I wouldn’t go on like this. I called an older mate and he advised me to go home where my parents were waiting for me.
They held me tight, and organised a psychologist for the next day. The psychologist diagnosed me with severe depression and anxiety, and I was medicated to ‘fix my problem’. I went from appointment to appointment, GPs to psychologists again and again to ‘fix my problem’. But did it fix my problem? Fuck no it didn’t. I had something taken away from me that I had sacrificed so much for and will never be able to lace up a pair of footy boots to run out on a freshly cut green footy field. What did all these surgeons, GP’s and psychologist have in common? They were trying to help me!
There was this special someone: Dan O’Neill. He personally trained me from a young age and he taught me to grind pain out and be different. And he was there when I was going through this trauma. So I thought to my self how I can help people? And it clicked, the next day I had signed up to be a personal trainer and I found my purpose again. I believed in myself that I could one day help someone in need and that’s what I wanted to do
One thing that I do for my self to continue to grow is to keep learning. Everything that goes wrong will build you as a person. It will cement your values and your morals and make you into the person you are supposed to become and you will be built for something magical – keep moving forward, one step at a time and don’t stop, just keep fighting and never surrender.
personal trainer . fitness coach