I was a lucky kid — I grew up in a wealthy family and got to experience amazing things and travel at a very young age.
But I also did many extraordinary things — I was a child prodigy in my sport.
Was all of this good for me, and did it shape me well? In hindsight, I think likely not. My parents were busy running their fantastic business, which financed my lifestyle, and I became accustomed to the easy life of having it all.
In 1976, my family and I moved from the UK to Austria, where I became a ski racer. I started skiing at 3 and competed in my first competition in Austria at 7, which I won, beating all the locals — they were not happy!
From then on, things moved fast. I became more and more successful in my sport. Skiing turned into my number 1 priority, with school being far behind. I was happy as I was unique and better than everyone else, so I thought.
By 15, I turned pro and won the Senior British Championships in Slalom, which became my springboard and my biggest downfall. I turned into an arrogant and entitled sod from being a nice boy.
Naturally, my parents and coaches meant well and were happy I was doing well. Who wouldn’t? My playground quickly extended from Austria to the world. Oh my, did I love that!
Did my head grow a little? No, it grew a lot, and the coolness of my abilities and myself became me.
In 1988, at 18 I qualified for the Olympics in Calgary, where I did well. My coolness grew, and I started partying. Well, I started earlier but sneakily got away with it. My form then dipped, and I was kicked out of the British team, down to my antics.
I got a second wind and surged back to strengths while training with the world’s best team at the time time, the Norwegians. But as luck has it (or maybe Karma), I soon crashed and broke my leg badly, which was the end of that.
After that, a lot happened, but I’ll fast forward not to bore you.
Except I must include one of my highlight periods, which was the defining moment of my foolishness.
I moved my young family to the most expensive town in Europe — Saint Tropez. There I proceeded to cause mayhem, bought costly houses, cars, a boat until I ran out of funds during the financial crisis.
Did I learn my lesson at this point and change? A big fat no! But my wings were clipped, and I had to adjust a little. My parents, brothers, and friends warned me to slow down and take better care of myself, and I didn’t listen.
Why would I? I’m invincible, right?
That lasted until the fatal time where I had a stroke and was an enormous sad and depressed mess. Now reality slowly started to set in, as I was beginning to think my end was near, at 44.
What happened to me?
I was an ass, a selfish, self-absorbed fool. That’s what happened.
But now I’m starting to pay attention to the fact that I have a problem — rather many problems.
I fell out with my parents and brothers all at once, made up to one or the other, only to let them down again. It took me another year to look in the mirror and say, man, you can’t carry on like this; you’re disappointing so many people and ruining your life.
- I cut back the drinking dramatically — I was drinking way too much to soothe my sorrows.
- I began to research why I had a stroke and my options to avoid another episode without medication.
- I found the Keto diet.
- I studied, took a course, which turned my health and mind around.
- I lost the excess weight, ditched all the meds, and reset my health.
- After becoming a certified Health Coach, I started to coach and help people get better — that was amazing and unthinkable to me before.
- Then I decided to re-invent myself as a writer/blogger, informing and educating others about what I learned, with the sole goal to help.
All 7 points were vital in my redesign, but point 7 helped me the most as, suddenly, I was in a position to support other troubled souls, based on all the craziness in my life and my close call to the maker.
I’m by no means perfect today, far from it, but I’m another person, healthy and happy.
I still drink, but only wine and that in moderation. I can’t agree with people who say giving up alcohol altogether is the only way for total clarity and health.
Personal relationships are hard for me to find and enjoy — I think the reason is that my now ex-wife of 18 years isn’t easy to compete with. We had extraordinary times. Yet, that doesn’t bother me much — the right partner will come around when the time is right.
Today I focus on myself, my health, and my writing, and so should you!
I hope you enjoyed my story.