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Living A Better Second Half With Tom Johnson Ex-England Rugby Player

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Welcome to the Hair Life Podcast with me Nathan  Plumridge.    28 years ago I was a confused teenager who had no real idea of what I wanted to do as 
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In this episode Nathan Plumridge talks to Tom Johnson, Ex-England Rugby Player about his career and the transition to the second half of life as a coach now he no longer plays.


  • My happiest times were when we were playing rugby for the craic, giving it a go. The reason we did it was to find out our boundaries and what we could do, then we started to bring it into focus on areas of risk and reward, where we can dominate games and where we can give ourselves the best chance of winning games rather than putting ourselves under the cosh needlessly.
  • I have huge imposter syndrome, even when I played in the first test for England, and I saw these huge South Africans come running out the tunnel and I’m sitting there cracking myself: What on Earth?! I used to run around at Oxford Brookes University drinking lots of booze having a great craic and now I’m on this international field! Facing the Haka from New Zealand was a tick off the bucket list though, and then nearly beating them on my last game, it was an amazing thing to be part of.
  • When I was in rugby I had my head in the sand a bit and thought it would never end. Coming out of it, there’s a huge amount of anxiety – for professional sports people in general – and worry about what the future entails. In the last six months or so I started thinking about how much I wanted to be present and enjoy the now and look forward to the future rather than getting everything lined up and pushed away from the future, pretending it wasn’t going to happen. I want to be fiercely independent and be able to look after myself, my family and those around me. What we decide to do now and tomorrow is going to have a direct impact on that future. By nailing down what that future looks like you can start to plan and really enjoy the now.
  • You can link this thought to business, or homework, or whatever, if you’ve got a big meeting and you haven’t prepared you’re going to have to try and blame it. But if you’re prepped and up to speed you go in there confidently, exuding confidence, come across really well and nail the pitch/meeting. It’s the same with getting enough sleep, you set yourself up for a great day ahead. If you wake up tired you start off on a negative path where everything’s an effort. The link between mental health and sleep is undeniable, good quality and consistent sleep can put you in the right frame of mind to help you overcome.


‘You really find out a lot about yourself when you play in a team.’
‘Coaches have to give an awful lot of thought about their pre-match speech, their half-time speech and things need to adjust on the fly depending on how that first half has gone.’
‘The future is coming for everyone, can you be prepared for it and can you enjoy that journey all the way up to your deathbed? We can do something about how the last six months of your life is going to look like now.’
‘Enjoyment comes in the here and the now, not achieving goals.’


After graduating from Oxford (Brookes!) With a degree in Sports Science, Tom was about to follow his family’s traditional military path by joining the Parachute Regiment. By chance just before embarking upon his officer training, he was scouted by Coventry RFC whilst playing for Reading in the then National League 3 South. Two successful years at Coventry then led to a move to Exeter Chiefs, where he played professionally for 10 years, even earning a few England Caps along the way. Tom is a bit of a rarity in that he didn’t follow the traditional academy route into professional rugby – up until the age of 18 he even played scrum half! A professional rugby career allowed Tom to experience some of the world’s best training facilities and nutritional plans all whilst teaching him the importance of keeping yourself as fit and healthy as possible, for both body and mind. And so, in 2017, upon retiring from professional rugby, Tom Johnson Lifestyle was founded, as a way to help others on their very own health and wellbeing journey.

Tom practises what he preaches, he loves nothing more than a good workout session in the gym and constantly amazes people with his insatiable appetite – this is a man who eats 4 eggs for breakfast each day. Often found conjuring up a DIY creation for his daughters, browsing Netflix, playing golf or sending memes to former teammates.




Welcome and thank you for reading this, I’m Nathan Plumridge salon owner and Hair Stylist. I’ve been in the industry for nearly 30 years and have been a salon owner for 23 of them. I have been fortunate enough to work and learn with some of the biggest names in the industry and this has given me the experience and drive to now be here with you sharing my experiences.


Instagram is @nathan.hairlife 

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Welcome to the Hair Life Podcast with me Nathan  Plumridge.    28 years ago I was a confused teena 
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