I turned 30 at the weekend... I know, I know, you wouldn’t think so would you?
A mate of mine always says: “You can’t buy experience” – I think he’s right too.
There are a few things about the game I know now, that I wish I did when I started playing.
Probably the best thing I have learned since I made my debut at Leicester back in 2002, and not far
off 200 games of professional rugby later, was to learn to live with defeat.
Victories are easy to enjoy and I have been lucky enough to have won plenty more games than I
have lost in my career.
But losing and making mistakes used to really eat away at me.
As I have got older, I have learned to deal with the bad days a whole lot better. It does me no good
to dwell on mistakes and things that have gone wrong for me personally or, as a team.
The more I have learned to apply that adage, the easier I have found it to move on to the next game
instead of focusing on the past.
If that was something that turning 30 has taught me in rugby, something I have learned off the pitch
is never to go anywhere near the main square in the centre of Bruges if you want to pay less than £5
for a cup of tea.
My wife Katie took me for a weekend in Belgium to celebrate my birthday having left our three kids
with the grandparents.
We had a cracking time and it was superb to have a few days away from it all, especially after the
disappointing defeat at Worcester on the Friday night.
It's good to get away occasionally during the season because it breaks the routine of training and playing.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. But a short break every so often during a long campaign really
refreshes both the mind and body.
Read more from Sam Vesty on LivingRugby.