I remember it like it was yesterday, it was November 22nd 2003 and England are in the rugby world cup final against our long standing rivals Australia, the game had gone into extra time, when suddenly England broke quickly from a line out and set up the historic moment when Jonny Wilkinson inspired English rugby fans around the globe by kicking the winning drop goal in the dying seconds of the match.
England had done the impossible and become the first Northern hemisphere country to ever lift the Webb-Ellis trophy, at this moment I imagined myself one day feeling the same trophy with my own hands. It was at this time in my life, where I felt destined to be a professional rugby player, having excelled at every level I’d ever played at, it was surely only a matter of time before I myself turned professional, and have the chance of replicating England’s success.
Within a few hours, I was driving along the sunny coast, when the next thing I know, I was waking up with a full view of a cloudy white dust as far as my eyes can see and a numb feeling emanating through my body, with what felt like an eternity of silence, the only thought coming from my mind is that I must be dead…
It took a few moments for the site to settle and for me to realise that the dust was indeed from an air bag that had exploded upon impact and saved my life. It turns out that I’d been involved in a head on collision with a 4×4 truck, leaving me with severe nerve damage down my neck and spine, which at the time was the least of my concern, knowing that I’d never play rugby again on the greatest day of English rugby cut me deep to the core.
I was unable to play rugby and no idea what to do with my self, I started to put on weight, started to lose my confidence which I had never experienced before, and before I know it I had hit rock bottom. Sport for me gave me everything I needed for my confidence; it gave me a goal, a focus, something to strive for in my life, for me it was always about those big hits that inspired the rest of my team to raise their level and to give everything for the cause, I missed the feeling of getting the job done no matter what.
Having zero confidence soon transferred itself with my success with women, in an area that I truly believed that I would never struggle with, before I knew it I didn’t know what to say, how to make a girl laugh and I even started to fear starting a new conversation, after what felt like months and months of failure, something in me awoke and I made the decision that I had to do whatever it took to get my confidence back.
I had a goal, I had something to strive for, something that I felt I had complete control of, I could feel the dormant energy beginning to flow through my veins.
Soon I began and I decided to look at it the way I used to look at rugby, everything is achievable it’s either down to mental strength or technique, both of which I was lacking at that time, but with my awakened inspiration I kept going, and going and going, making all the mistakes I’d now laugh at but in the end girls did start laughing, girls did want to date me, girls wanted to be around me.
Having that inspirational moment of approaching a complete stranger and charming her and keeping it all to yourself didn’t really hit the mark for me, the one piece missing was my team, how do I get that back, and then it hit me with as much clarity as I’d ever had in my life.
I may not ever be able to replicate the way that Jonny Wilkinson inspired the nation with one kick of a ball, but what I can do is to inspire all the single men that come to me for guidance and support and inspire them the same way that I inspired myself.