In my chat with Tim Horan on my podcast ‘a yarn with Beau Robbo’, Tim talks about the ‘honeymoon’ period. That initial period from retirement up until about the 2nd year obviously depending on the individual.
But that 2-5 year mark is when it starts to gets really tough for the majority of past professional athletes. The novelty wears off from your new job, and your newfound freedom. Now you’re just back into the grind of it all, many just back into a regular monotonous routine, when compared to that of the professional rugby lifestyle that I was so fortunate enough to experience.
Since I finished up in May 2017 until the start of the New Year I was loving little things such as eating whatever I wanted, I’ve now put on a bit of beef and am in the process of planning to get back into the fitness, which is how I thought you would pan out.
Doing the 2-month travel trip around Europe was one of the most exhausting (don’t EVER travel with young kids unless you have to, especially if you have 2 or more) but also one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in my life so far, and I’ve had more than my fair shares worth. I was loving being able to drink whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted, hell, Ewelina and myself even went on a kid free trip to Amsterdam that I otherwise never trusted myself to do whilst under contract.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this newfound freedom that so many past players talk about. But I also am very realistic that there are some tougher times ahead. I know it’s coming, and the more I think about it knowing it’s nearing the more I start to get nervous. So much uncertainty, probably for the first time in a long time. The only certainty being that I can live wherever I want as opposed to going to wherever the contract on the table is (if there was one on the table which wasn’t always the case- I do not miss that uncertainty).
Some will say other periods in my life were surely tougher, and in many ways they were, but on the flip side I always knew what I wanted to be, where I wanted to be but needed to figure out how to get there and become that, so there was more certainty when faced with other challenges. Purpose and vision are very important, not just for myself but for everyone. You don’t necessarily always know where the path will take you, but you never lose sight of the final destination, and this is something I’ve really had to address since coming back home to Dubbo on the 1st of January.
The next phase/chapter definitely won’t be as relaxing as the past few months have been. It’s now time to kick on with the real world, the old ‘head down bum up’ approach.
I’m glad I did make the most of being over in Europe and doing the road trip whilst over there. We decided to do that simply because we were over there, and it made sense to have a break. Flights in the future now that we have 4 seat occupying travellers, means that future tickets one way will cost me about a third of what my trip did, especially as that was the last time there would be no seat for Ori. So not having the kids in school, and that being the first and last opportunity for the foreseeable future to have Christmas in Poland with Ewelina’s parents, it made sense to make the most of it.
Talking to Guy Shepherdson, former Wallaby and Super Rugby winning prop with both the Brumbies and the Reds, in another interview for the podcast, I took on board his advice to professional players, that players should have a break, to bring closure to their career, and mentally prepare for the next chapter. Although not the driving force behind the trip, I think this was one of the greatest benefits from it, as opposed to simply flying home the week or 2 after the end of the contract and getting straight into.
This extra time has allowed time to investigate, research and plan for the next phase… As everyone knows those without a plan are many times lost…
Podcast: ‘A yarn with Beau Robbo’
Linked: Beau Robinson