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ajheijns

when we realise it is finished, we have begun

What Now Sports Star?

What Now?

A question many young adults ask themselves when they end their sporting career.

If they made it (played professionally) for an extensive period of time they would have some options on the table:

Coaching Career/Radio/Television/Working for a brand.

But, what if they didn’t really make it? Or made it, for a short period of time?

What Now? is the question they ask themselves…and more often than not, they don’t have a back-up plan for strategy for going forward in life.  I am aware that in the current environment teams implement career planning a next steps. But because of the pace and emphasis they have to attend to, it’s often just a sideline thought.

The reality is, if you are playing pro sport, you could lose your ability to play, in a mili second.

Most young athletes are highly committed individuals. Who are able to place incredible focus in their “game” 24/7…In many ways they become the game. They walk/talk/eat/sleep their game. And if they started their career in high-school they often transition into senior sport very quickly and very often, don’t study or develop their skills further.

I was one of those young athletes…Played rugby union in school, moved to play for a university team, and found myself in the UK playing the following year. 5 years later and i sat in New Zealand with very little to show for it all.  I had navigated through 3 continents and was not able to break through completely. I found myself under increasing pressure to make it, and ultimately self destructed.

I was 24, and didn’t have another option…So, i got work in a carpet cleaning factory. (as you do?)

I had lost my identity…Actually, only my idea of my identity… I felt that i had lost my purpose completely.  All the training, supplements, gym memberships, money, travel…All for nothing…(or so i thought)

I couldn’t even watch rugby on television. My mates would be playing for their country and regret would set up shop in my heart. It became self destructive…it’s terrible…

I had a wife. And would soon be the father of a little girl. But i didn’t have a career…I was stuck. My resume only contained the odd job here and there. But without any clear direction.

I was blessed to engage in something very different, and sit in Melbourne, Australia today on a clear journey with what i am currently doing. But i know, with sport being a much bigger option for young people, there is possibly a whole generation that is suffering similar pain. And possibly many more to come.

So, in the next couple of weeks i will work through some content to share my journey and a “how to” guide for young/old sport stars looking for the next step.  If this resonates with you, please send me a msg or comment.

 

 

#MyRingwoodPilgrimage – Day 27 – Creation Whispers

As i walk the streets of Ringwood,Mitchum, Croydon i am surrounded by a variance of smells and sights, old and new, things from yesterday recreated, things from today forgotten. The beauty of my pilgrimage is that it crosses a boundary between the physical and the spiritual. Things that seem plainly plain, are revealed as significant elements in the cosmos. An empty coke can grilled in the sunlight. The sprinklers showering a garden into saturation. The petrol burning smoke into the atmosphere.  The wind dancing through the  trees. 


Point being? There is more to this life than what we can get or give. We are here to receive all that creation has been created to give. Not simply as consumers, but as stewards and artists and owners and fathers. There exists an abundance of joy and laughter in the world. And its waiting for you to see it.

Sometimes you need to stop – look – smell – close your eyes and listen. Be healed by the presence of the Glory of God. It’s around you, before you and behind you. And it resides inside you. The very life you have, is His presence. It’s simple, but profound. 

 

#MyRingwoodPilgrimage – Day 21  

Mate…21 Days down and 79 to go…That’s 210km down, 790km to go. 

They say it takes 21 days to form a habbit. “They” are always so smart…it has gotten better. Every day has been challenging. And some days tougher than others. But, i’m doing it. One km at a time. 

One of the things i have certainly noticed is that it’s much better walking outside than walking on the walker at the gym. Even if it’s 2 degrees out there. 

The other significant thing has been that i am once again developing a desire to run. Not that I’ve ever really had one. Maybe it’s the 2 hours of walking that comes into play. If i ran, i could do it in half the time. The thing is…i set out to walk 1000km. And if consistency and patience is a goal – i need to stick to it. My next challenge might well be a running one 🙂

Whoever might be reading and following my journey on here. Thanx for your support. 

Love and Peace to you…

#MyRingwoodPilgrimage – Day 17 – Helping Others

It’s amazing how much need surrounds us…

I’m not talking about “my” need. I know my need. The world is sorta geared toward telling me what i need. I’m talking about the need others have….serious need. Like, need for food, a bed, a home, a hug…people need love.

People need a mother. A Father…a friend…

I started this mini pilgrimage primarily for myself. My health – both physically and mentally. Meditating on truth…centering myself. But since doing it – it’s like i see more need…the need of others. When we become healthy, we are positioned to help others better. So, it starts with me, but, it doesnt end with  me. It’s like we are created to serve others. It’s part of our DNA. Our design.

Ive often felt the healing power of helping others. Even while i’m not “all there”…

Here is the irony…When i live for others, i am living for myself. I benefit most! 

I am currently living for others. My wife and kids. My church and congregation. Our community programs and engagement. We currenlty run a food and friendship program for around 85 families in the week. 

The questions i am left with :

How can we seriously help people? 

How can we set people up for success properly?

How do we release the money and help that others can bring to increase momentum in these areas? 

Since starting this journey i have had encounters with a diverse group the last two weeks…

From a drug user relapsing, to a mother losing her husband, to a women who help 6 kids in foster care, to people with serious depression and anxiety. They are looking for solutions. They are looking for help. They are looking for hope.

My prayer is that God positions us to bring that to them, and others.

  

Name Change :-) #1000kPrayerWalk to #MyRingwoodPilgrimage – Day 15

On my 17.5km walk last night i had a thought. I am currently reading “The Pilgrimage” by Paulo Coelho. It’s his first book on his pilgrimage to San Tiago. A 850km walk through the north of Spain marking the journey of St James. 

I am currently walking my own pilgrimage of sorts…The pilgrimage of AJ in Ringwood. Not as romantic…but transformational non the less 🙂 

So, i’m changing my blog entry. I will continue to pray when i walk. And keep my format. Just with a slight shift in focus. I could have travelled to spain, and maybe, one day i will. For now…i am walking in Ringwood…meditating on truth. Becoming me…

Day 15 – 150km down – 860km to go.

#1000kPrayerWalk – Day 13 – CatchUp Planning

Playing Catchup today…have 15km to catch up and my normal 10km for the day to be square for day 13…After today i would have walked 130km in 13 days 🙂 I’ve just stopped halfway to have a quick coffee and to take a wiz 😉 at the local mcdonalds.


How often to you feel like you are catching up? 

Wouldn’t it be great if you were ahead of tasks, work…life

It must be possible to step past a reactionary relationship with tasks into a proactive one. 

1. Planning comes into play. Planning to catch up, 

2. And planning to stay ahead 🙂

3. Working to catch up.

4. Working to stay ahead 🙂

There you have it…1,2,3,4, Sorted

Scripture: 

Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance and advantage, But everyone who acts in haste comes surely to poverty.

#1000kPrayerWalk – Day 11 – Centering yourself

It’s 6:30am on a Friday morning. Walked to the Cafe at 4:30am after lying awake thinking about a few challenges i face. The walking helps…it’s become a time of deep reflection and peace. Where i focus and centre myself. 


We need moments of reflection. Moments of meditation…just, moments to breath. Just us and our thoughts. It brings context and inderstanding. It brings focus….we centre.

I believe that Christ himself is on our inside. At our very centre. That place where life comes from. Can you visualise that centre?

It’s a place of comfort and tention. Of relaxation and growth. 

You need to find your own space. Either a walk, gym, forest, lake…a bench in the middle of nowhere. A coffee shop in the centre of a busy city…

I have found that i function optimaly when i am in awareness of this centre. 

We find a place outside that helps us find our place inside. That inside place, becomes so calm, that i can be anywhere, and be aware…

Christ in me, the hope of glory…

Scripture: 

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Key thought: 

Make His opinion my opinion. His truth, my truth. His view of me, my view of me.

#1000kPrayerWalk – Day 9


If you have an idea, go for it.

I’m probably not the first person to start a walking challenge. But it’s my challenge. I thought of it, i started it and i’m owning it. No matter what. I am the one benefitting and suffering from my own decisions. 

I think we often make decisions based on whah our friends or family would do. And if an idea is slightly different, we hesitate to implement it. But we never push the boundaries. We always just perform the status quo…our achievements are mediocre because we don’t take any risks in the way we do things. I’m not discounting wise counsil. And i’m not encouraging stupidity. I just thibk that some great ideas have died silently in the attic of conformity… 

Maybe this is my challenge to you today. Think of something wild and out of the ordinary.. 

Now do it…:-) 

I would rather try something new and fail, than regret doing nothing. Because doing nothing, is doing somehing.

Scripture: 

James 4:14

14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

Key thought: Take a risk. Live a little…

#1000kPrayerWalk – Day 8

Started my morning with this thought :

TODAY, WILL BE A GREAT DAY…


Today i plan to walk 16km. That would bring me to 80 in 8 days. With 20 to go for ny first goal to be reached in my journey to 1000 k’s in 100 days.

How do you eat an elephant? Bit by bit, little by little…step by step….

Our mental attitude so hard to maintain. Of we don’t have a heart attitude that awakens it daily.

I woke at 5am to have a quick toilet break, and had to make a decision….will i slide into the warm bed, next to my warm wife :-)….or, will i seize the day – 


So i made a coffee – and it’s a Launch…My heart saved me. I spoke the words – TODAY, will be a great day. My mind and body simply had no choice. 

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