You know: not having to go to the gym every day, not having my days all mapped out before I’d even woken up, not having to wear a uniform, basically just not the life of a professional sportsperson. I thought this would all be wonderful for me and my family – to come back to New Zealand (I had been playing in the UK for a few years) and to live a life like that, with no real structure or plan.
And then it happened – I got that supposedly normal life. And it was the worst thing for me.
Physically, I started to get a lot of aches and pains. But mentally, I was just drifting and not really achieving anything. I’m not sure I was a great guy, father and husband to be around, and it was clear that something had to change.
So about six months after I finished playing rugby, I decided to make some changes that were designed to bring back some structure into my life, and get me back to the physical and mental strength I’d lost along the way. (I should also mention that I’m certainly no mental health expert – all I can talk about is what I’ve done in my life, and what’s worked for me!)