Posted by Sonja in Mar 09,2014 with No Comments
I live by Kaizen – a Japanese philosophy. It’s about continuous self-improvement. You imagine being watched by a video 24/7 to help you get better each day and make good decisions.
When you walk out together as a rugby team, you look at each other with a desperate kind of dependence and mutual support which is so intense it leaves a mark. The contact element, the pressure, and putting your body on the line for each other create a unique feeling.
I hate any kind of waste: opportunities, potential, the environment, food. Knowing how great things could be but watching them go in the opposite direction frustrates the hell out of me.
My pride at winning the 2003 Rugby World Cup grows every year. Initially there was an enormous buzz, then it fades away and you wonder what it all means. But 10 years on the memory just gets better and better.
I’ve never watched a replay of the final. Things never look as good on video and I don’t want to taint things by seeing the trivial moments.
I love Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. There’s something about those old-school, heroic, one-man-against-the-world movies.
Living in the south of France feels like cheating. I’m lying in the sun in December when my friends are back home in the cold [Wilkinson plays for Toulon] and I get a tingle down my spine as if I shouldn’t be doing it.
Music is my freedom. I play guitar in a band with Carl Hayman and other teammates. We invade one of the boys’ garages, shut ourselves in and bash about for a while. Sadly, when Luke Rooney left Toulon we lost a guitarist.
My wife and I walk every day. We visit a new beach, eat a pancake by the sea in the afternoon or have a drink at the port – just to feel the sun on our faces.
The best coaches are always positive, like my kicking coach Dave Alred. Working in a positive environment frees you up. You can’t be limited by fear.
Starting a business is like entering a brave new world. I set up a clothing company [Fineside] with my brother and the lessons of sport are no different in business: just good relationships and hard work.
My obsession to win has, in the past, made my life hell. My whole self-worth was caught up in that for a while but I’ve learnt to maintain perspective.
My earliest memory is of my family all together after junior rugby games. I’d run around on the pitch with my brother Sparks [Mark], my dad was the coach and Mum was supporting us. We were a good team.
Sport is in the Wilkinson blood. I was going through my paternal granddad’s photo album and saw a photo of a great-great-great uncle who worked in the army as a physical training instructor. It was like looking at a photo of me.
I like making bread at home. Nothing beats the smell.
Jonny Wilkinson supports Gillette’s “Great Start” programme for the next generation of coaches. Applications for grants reopen in 2014 (facebook.com/GilletteUK)Share on Facebook