Doug Walters the famous cricketer stopped smoking. People are asking did he still quit? Watch this video to find out.
Michael: So it’s really great to see you again, Doug, after all this time. And how long is it since you stopped smoking?
Doug: Well, on the 3 March this month it was 13 years, believe it or not.
Michael: Wow. Exactly 13 years.
Doug: 13 years. 2009. Yes. Time flies when you’re having fun, they say totally.
Michael: In my head, I keep on thinking it’s about ten years, but you add another three years. That’s a lot, isn’t it?
Doug: It certainly is. Yeah. The good thing about it is I’m still alive.
Doug: If I hadn’t come across you, I may not have been.
Michael: Yeah, exactly right. And I remember about a year after you quit, I think I met you at the Great Northern and I think we had lunch there and I kept on thinking to myself, you look a bit younger. And I couldn’t work out what it was. But in hindsight, I now understand that it was your skin had improved dramatically in that year since you quit.
Doug: Okay. Well, I don’t see that, of course.
Michael: Yeah. Do you remember much of the programme back then? I mean, 13 years ago is when it was kind of in its infancy when I kind of just created it. So a lot has changed since then. But do you remember much about that?
Doug: I remember quite a lot, all of it, really. But I was just hoping that I’d hurry up and finish the job so I could get downstairs and have a smoke. I still had them in my jacket, and my cigarettes and my lighter were still there.
Doug: Strangely enough, when I got downstairs I thought, well, no, I don’t really feel like a cigarette. I’ll wait, I get up to the bus stop, which was a few blocks away.
Doug: I got to the bus stop and thought, no, I don’t feel like when I wait till I get home. Now I got home and I still didn’t feel like when I said I’ll wait until tomorrow. Well, tomorrow hasn’t come was really the easiest thing ever done in my life.
Michael: Yeah. It’s incredible, isn’t it? Obviously, there are various different responses people have when they go to stop smoking. And in a way, yours is kind of like a dream experience. I reflect on that sometimes. And I think that a lot of the things that we teach now, we’ve put a lot of the theory side, we put it into videos and then we teach people really slowly everything because I found it was kind of overwhelming to talk about everything in the 1 hour. But then the way you talk about it, you talk exactly like you exactly got it in terms of feeling using the feeling sense. Like I didn’t feel like one. And that’s what we teach using the feeling sense. And I reflect on that. And I think sometimes maybe because you have such a great kind of kinesthetic awareness, like a body-mind awareness with your natural sporting ability, which in a sense is kind of you’re able to feel what was going on and realise, actually, I don’t feel like one.
Doug: Well, that’s exactly right. And I haven’t felt like one to this day. I still don’t mind the smell of cigarette smoke, but it’s sort of smelling differently every year now.
Michael: It’s more like a kind of incense or something, isn’t it? Aromatic, smoky? I actually don’t mind the smell of it either, but it doesn’t give me a craving. Strangely, I don’t get cravings anymore.
Doug: No. Well, that was sort of the first thing I’d done of the morning was have a coffee and then a cigarette. The last thing I’d done at night was the same coffee and cigarette and went to bed. And, of course, I went through a lot of cigarettes during the course of the day.
Michael: Yeah. I tell people your story about how you used to get jackets specially made with four internal pockets to carry the four packets of cigarettes.
Doug: Yeah. Outside pockets. But I wouldn’t go anywhere. And I work for a cigarette company, of course, but I wouldn’t go anywhere. Even if I went out at night. I’d still take five packets of 20 cigarettes in my pockets and I just didn’t have enough pockets in the end.
Michael: Something else I reflect upon is that you’ve been so much of a supporter of me and this programme, often over the years of referred people, and you sent me a text message and say, look after this person and you’re constantly wanting to help people stop smoking. I know that you’re regenerated and the person you really are and patient, but also wonder, was there more to that? Did you have a kind in your mind? Did you make up your mind that you wanted to help people quit?
Doug: Was that something that you did not purposefully? I get a lot of phone calls about who did I go and see what how come I gave away cigarettes? And I said, well, that was easy. I’ll give you the product number. Of course, that was you. I just referred them. But if anyone was asking for any sort of information, I certainly would come forward and say, I can fix your problem, I think, yeah.
Michael: Because you spent so many years giving cigarettes out and I thought maybe it was kind of like just reversing that process.
Doug: Yeah, not really. I mean, I didn’t smoke until I joined. I got called up to do national service training.
Doug: And I was working for the cigarette company at the time. And every 40 minutes we had to sit down on the parade ground and they called it a smoker. Everyone in the end was smoking my cigarettes.
Doug: I got up to the canteen one night and went over a beer. I said, hey, give me one of those things. So that’s where I started. And I started one or two a day to a packet, overnight to two packets to two and a half packets and I was smoking all my allowance and buying more at the canteen.
Michael: Wow. Yeah. What’s your life like now?
Doug: I know that you still got the little dogs, yes and one of them just about jumped up yeah, we still got two dogs and they’re great.
Michael: Yeah. Because I know when you first quit one of the things is that you keep up with the dogs.
Doug: Remember that yeah well, I don’t know whether I can keep up with the dogs now even though I have quit a long time ago.
Michael: Yeah. I don’t know how old you are but you certainly seem well.
Doug: Yeah. No, I’m feeling great, really. 76, 76 trombones in the big parade they say.
Michael: Yeah. Well, it’s been really great to kind of just actually talk and catch up because we’ve only exchanged like, text or a quick phone call here and there but it’s really great to see that you’re doing so well and I really appreciate that you’ve kind of been a great supporter of me over the years and helping so many people inspiring so many people to stop smoking I think you’ve probably helped more people just by inspiration as well as helping inspire cricketers as well. We just don’t know how much impact you’ve had but I think it’s probably enormous well.
Doug: Whatever I’ve done it’s been my pleasure, Michael.
Yeah, really great. Well, thanks so much for having this chat and I look forward to our next chat in a little while.
Doug: Okay. My pleasure. Bye.