You probably have an idea of what the life of a pro-rugby player is all about with all the free kit, gym memberships, travel, great nutritional advice and healthcare and even being ‘recognised’. However, this week I’ll tell you about what really goes on in my rugby career and how it affects my personal life, the sacrifices I make, but also the opportunities that are presented to me.
Rugby plays a big part in my life and any decision I make is mostly influenced by how it will affect my rugby career.
You could say I take my work home with me, and by that I mean: I have to watch my diet, watch video analysis of my game, do extra training where necessary, etc.
This can be quite awkward at times in my relationship, as most times we have to make separate meals because I have to stick to a strict diet. Our training hours can change at short notice, which can sometimes affect personal plans, and weekends together simply do not exist!
I can be quite irritable and impatient at times. This can be due to many factors, e.g., fatigue, a frustrating training session, a loss, diet, or injury. Luckily, my other half is very patient with me (most of the time)!
I had a great opportunity offered to me back in 2005 to come to the UK to play professionally and 7 years later I’m still here playing! I have really come to learn to love the British way of life, and I’ve also been very fortunate enough to travel and to experience different club and game culture in the UK and Ireland.
I’ve made some lifelong friends through rugby over the years, but, as they say ‘there is no place like home’, so I do miss my family and friends back in New Zealand.
Another thing that I want to mention is that focus and determination is important for me to be able to get through the ‘down times’ like missing my home comforts back in NZ (and my mum’s cooking)!
I have to keep reminding myself that because of the nature surrounding the sport nowadays, and knowing that positions and player contracts are very competitive (and few and far between), that rugby is a short career, and so therefore the sacrifices are a small price to pay all things considered and shouldn’t be taken for granted. I am so thankful to have had such a great opportunity to play professionally, and I never take it for granted.
I would encourage anyone that would like to pursue rugby, or any professional sport for that matter, to be as committed as I have been and to make sure you surround yourself with positive people who will encourage and support you – through the good and bad times. These people are my motivators for success.
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