Being a professional boxer meant you not only had to be physically tough - mental resilient was just as important. During my career, in order to prepare myself for the brutality of a 12 round fight, I had to undertake exhausting training sessions, isolated training camps and lonely nights where I was eating very little to make weight. These activites were not fun, glamours or for the faint-hearted. It taught me valuable lessons about mindfulness that I still incorporate into my life today.
What does mindfulness mean to Will?
To me, mindfulness means being comfortable in my own head and present in my surroundings. Giving 100% of my attention to the people around me and always living in the moment.
How important is mental health and how has this changed throughout your career?
Mental health is so important, not only in elite sport but in life in general. I view my mind like a muscle, arguably the most important muscle in the body. It needs to be trained, rested and maintained. I can admit that I am no longer the ruthless competitor that I once was. I was at the peak of my mental performance when I was between the ages of 21-27. I had no distratctions and was 100% focussed to win each and every fight. I was able to push myself both physically and mentally, beyond my comfort zone, in order to get the job done.
Nowdays my mindset is different. I don't have to undertake the brutal training anymore, i don't have have to try to make weight and I don't have fight. I now train to stay healthy and happy and to keep my mind clear and focused. That’s not to say I don’t have the same competitive instinct or mental toughness – I just use it in a different way.
How to get motivated to workout in winter?
The winter months can be tough, especially for us Melbournians. Dragging your self out of bed on those cold wet mornings is more of a challenge than the actual work at the gym. One thing I can suggest before you hit the snooze button is to remind your self of why you are going to the gym in first place, think about the results you’re chasing and remind yourself of the feeling of satisfaction you always have once you complete your work out. You know its not so bad once your up and moving!
Does your diet change in winter?
During my boxing career, my diet remained pretty much the same. High protein, low carbs, low good fats, and a lot of water. Even now I still follow a similar diet, I just eat a lot more. Occasionaly I’ll mix up the types of food I eat but still follow the same nutritional principles.