What do you want to be when you grow up?

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What do you want to do when you grow up?

I don’t remember wanting to be an astronaut or a fireman. I don’t think I had aspirations to be a policeman either. My folks might say something different but the first thing I ever remember wanting to do when I was older was to play football. I loved sport. Football and Athletics were my jam. In part because I was good at it. It gave me a sense of achievement and the self-confidence that I probably wouldn’t have found anywhere else. It gave me a purpose. I loved playing and competing. Showing up week in week out and doing your best. I revelled in the competition and hard work that was required to improve and perform every game or race.

Fast forward to university, and unfortunately, I never made AFL. Back then if you asked me why my answer would have been along the lines of ‘I’m too small, I never got a chance to show how good I was, I was just unlucky’. But, honestly, the long and the short of it was that I wasn’t good enough. I could never have admitted that then, probably because I was still holding on to the dream of making it.

Reality looked something like this. I was 21 and In the third year of my undergraduate degree.
I’d avoided any deep dives during the rest of my ‘career’ discussions at high school and university because as far as I was concerned I was going to play footy. But by that time things were starting to get real. I needed to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life, and soon I’d be a university graduate with no real plans for when he was finished. At the time I was PT’ing at home and working at Rebel sport. I certainly didn’t see either of these as real career options. So I chose the most logical next option. Enrol in a Masters Degree. Why make a decision now when I can postpone it by studying for another two years.

I didn’t make it the two years. At the end of year one, I was done. I’d realised at 8 am on a Monday night during a lecture on chronic diseases that I was in the wrong room. I didn’t want to be doing this course and I didn’t want to be an Exercise Physiologist.

To say I didn’t know what my next step would be was an understatement, but I knew that It wasn’t finishing the course, so I dropped out knowing (hoping) that it would work itself out.

That was November 2014.

It’s now November 2019 and this week Virtus celebrates its 4th birthday. To be honest, at 27 I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. But I do know what I want to be.

I want to be happy. I want to be challenged. I want to be useful. I want to feel fulfilled. I want to be surrounded by people I love and admire. I want to have fun. I want to be appreciated. I want to have freedom. I want to be capable. I want to be healthy. I want to contribute to my community. I want to love and be loved.

Virtus allows me to do all of these things and more. Virtus allows us to do all of these things.

On Sunday at 6pm we celebrate Virtus. Our community and what it allows us to be.

The Virtus Family Dinner is a reminder that it’s ok to not know where you’re going, as long as you can find joy and challenge where you are, spend time with people you love and appreciate the little things, you’re going to be ok.

Find a direction, and start walking. Who knows what you may find along the way.

I appreciate you all.



There’s always a way to rise, my friend,
always a way to advance.
Yet the road that leads to Mount Success does not pass by the way of chance,
but goes through stations of work and strive, through the valley of Persevere.
And the one that succeeds while others fail must be willing to pay most dear.
For there’s always a way to fall my friend,
always a way to slide,
And the ones you find at the foot of the hill,
all sought for an easy ride.
So on and up though the road be tough and the storms come thick and fast.
There is room at the top for the one who tries,
and victory comes at last.
— Alexander Lewis, written in 1902. The book is called, Manhood-making: Studies in the Elemental Principles of Success.