I WAS LEARNING LESSONS THAT BLEW MY MIND. LIFE COULDN’T BE BETTER.
AND THEN MY WORLD STOPPED.
I believe life is a journey of opportunities for us to grow, through which we must create a clear vision to allow ourselves to enjoy the moment of now.
I grew up in Cobar, a small country town in Central West NSW, 300km from the nearest Big W (or McDonalds, for those lovers of the Big M), with a population hovering around 5,500 people. Sport it seemed, was the opportunity that presented itself most to me.
I loved my Rugby League and athletics, and in my final years at High School was offered several NRL contracts and sprinting scholarships at the Australian Institute of Sport. My extremely supportive parents allowed me to indulge in these opportunities, which I’m forever grateful for.
As they say however, life really is a journey with many forks in the road. At the age of 17 I found myself having to make one of those choices, the hardest of my life so far. I stopped playing football to follow my dreams of representing my country as a sprinter, a decision my grandfather was proud of.
My Grandfather became my first real athletics coach, at an age when my sport started to get more serious. He’d never coached sprinting in his life, but he knew if he didn’t take on that role, my location in a rural area meant I’d probably be disconnected from the sport at a competitive level.
We travelled the countryside together, a lack of operational airport in Cobar at times meaning we’d be driving tens of thousands of km for competitions, as far as Adelaide, Brisbane, and Hobart.
Truly, my Grandfather became my idol.
More admirable to me than the commitment from my Grandfather to be my coach, was the relationship between he and my Grandmother. Happily married for 53 years, always cuddling and kissing and whispering sweet nothings to each other, they taught me what love and respect was through their ‘being’.
Two of the most influential and inspirational mentors in my life, my grandparents contributed significantly to their community and were successful business people, modeling to me that entrepreneurs can truly give back.
The support of my family allowed me to strive for excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), training full time with some of Australia’s best athletes and one of the World’s Best Coaches Iryna Dvoskina. This is where I learned some tough lessons and really started to grow as a person.
I also became a qualified Soft Tissue Therapist and have travelled the World with a variety of Australian Paralympic Teams, and worked with Australia’s top athletes across many sports.
In 2014 I was lucky enough to intern at The World Athletics Centre in Phoenix, and learn from some of the World’s Best Coaches, Athletes and Therapists. I was immersed into a community that welcomed me like our town of Cobar and I was learning lessons that blew my mind. I was on top of the world, sharing the experience with my amazing girlfriend and feeling like life couldn’t get any better!
And then my World stopped… My heart stopped. My visions stopped.
My Grandparents, the two most influential and Inspirational mentors in my life, were murdered. In their own home, back in Cobar.
Just like their journey was cut short, suddenly my entire existence was cut deep. It rocked my entire family and our small Cobar community.
I went from feeling on top of the world, to feeling like part of my life had ended. The journey of opportunities suddenly felt like a claustrophobic vacuum.
Like with any experience or adversity in life, we must learn and grow, and not let even the harsh realities hold us back. Our family has hung strong over the past 12 months, and the Cobar community has been the backbone of our growth.
Through these extremely tough times I’ve been lucky enough to learn about emotional agility and emotional intelligence to levels I never even knew existed. My vision is now clearer than ever. I’m proud of where I stand in the world today and trust the timing of my life. I draw strength from my greatest adversity and am honored to carry on the legacy of two genuine human souls.
Now I’m still traveling, as a full time Sprints and Jumps coach for Paralympic Athletes, a Performance Therapist for some of Australia’s top athletes, and dabbling in the entrepreneurial world. Coaching is a rewarding job. To me it’s not just about helping athletes achieve their goals and life dreams, it’s about teaching them qualities for life and becoming the best humans they can be.
I’ve connected with some inspirational humans on my journey, that have helped me understand my value to the world is through giving. It’s a trait that runs in my blood, from seeing my grandparents give back so much to their community. It’s now my aim to help hundreds of thousands of people tap into their own inner excellence, becoming the best humans they can be.
It’s how I’m going to let the legacy of my Grandparents continue to have a profound impact on the world.