Jack Wilson’s vision is to inspire, educate and encourage our Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people all around the world to achieve their goals and believe anything is possible. Luminosity Youth Summit is hosting Jack as a keynote speaker at this year’s Summit. FOCUS chatted with Jack about his greatest challenges, childhood and his heritage …
Take us back to your childhood; what’s your heritage, and where did you grow up?
I was born and bred in Cairns, Far North Queensland. My father’s side is Aboriginal from the Mount Isa/Cloncurry region (Kalkadoon tribe) North West QLD, and my mother’s side is Welsh/English, as she was born in Sydney.
I was a very fortunate child, with great role models like my father, who played football and was constantly exercising around us, which was very humbling. But I was the youngest of three boys, which had me tormented and bullied by my older brothers and made me a first grade mummy’s boy. I was also a chubby kid, which didn’t help the situation either.
Did you have any struggles as a teenager/young adult?
Sure did. I explored temptations and crossroads as I came to my late high school years, where I dropped out of school at the age of 15 – leaping into the real world and tackling an apprenticeship. My mother and father split up around this time, which was confusing for me. This led to going out partying, staying out late, becoming a rat bag. I had no understanding what I was doing, nor did I have an understanding of what life was all about.
This lifestyle clouded and isolated me from what I loved in life, which was family, fitness, health.
How did you overcome this?
In 2013 I was fortunate to be selected in a squad of 12 Indigenous men and women to travel to New York and run a marathon to raise awareness around Indigenous health. We had seven months between that moment and running 42 kilometres in the USA. At this moment, I knew I had to step up with pride, change my lifestyle and give this opportunity 150%.
Going cold turkey, making sacrifices and going all in on this opportunity changed my mind set, created positive lifestyle habits and got me to New York to smash the Marathon in 3 hours 14 minutes. I believed anything was possible at this point.
What inspired you to compete on the show Australian Ninja Warrior, and how did you prepare both mentally and physically?
It helped me to continue my journey to inspire Indigenous/Non-Indigenous people of all ages, shapes and sizes to believe anything is possible in this life, but most importantly be yourself in the pursuit of happiness.
I prepared with a pure work ethic six – seven days a week, impeccable body weight, strength training and high volumes of cardiovascular training. For example, I did hill sprints, stair sprints, sand sprints, plyometric explosive leg training. Something that is essential for anything you’re working for in life is meditation, visualisation, manifestation and affirmation. These mental practices are very powerful to make something a reality (law of attraction).
Luminosity Youth Summit 2018 PORT MACQUARIE NSW, 25 – 27 JULY 2018.