For Rugby Sevens star Stacey Flood, the initial lockdown period in 2020 served as a period of reflection.
“I think it was a good reality check for a lot of people. It was a time to look at your life,” the 25-year-old says.
“I’ve been in the sevens programme full time since I was 18. For me, it was an opportunity to ask myself, am I still enjoying this?
Do I still want to play rugby?”
The Rathmines scrum-half says her answer to both questions was a resounding yes.
“It gave me that clarity that yes, I do still want to play, and I really enjoy it, and it’s something that not everyone gets the opportunity to do.”
Money has also been on the younger player’s mind recently, as she’s fronting a new financial wellbeing programme from LIA, the centre of excellence for the education and development of finance professionals, in partnership with Rugby Players Ireland.
While the average person’s financial life involves earning income over the course of a multi-decade career, professional rugby players follow a different trajectory.
Stacey says the Smart Money Habits programme is a great resource for players like herself who feel like a rookie when it comes to finances.
“Everyone loves spending money,” she says. “But financial wellbeing is really important. That’s why I got involved… I want to be
a bit smarter with my money.”
What shape are you in?
I am getting back into shape, I am going back to playing sevens. We have a stint with the fifteens there, so sevens is a bit different. So I am just trying to get my body back fit and healthy.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
For me, it’s everything in moderation. So, 80% good, 20% not so good. If you start saying to yourself you can’t have X, Y or Z, you’re only going to want those things more. So eat well and build good habits but let yourself have that treat or have that meal that you think you shouldn’t be having. Some people enjoy that glass of wine, the chocolate or the pizza and that’s OK.
What are your guiltiest pleasures?
A glass of red wine on Friday evening.
What would keep you awake at night?
I find it really easy to switch off, I’m lucky in that sense.
And I don’t drink coffee after three o’clock in the day, that helps.
How do you relax?
I play a lot of PlayStation, ‘Call of Duty’ mostly. When you’re playing those games, you can’t think about anything else, which relaxes me a lot. It takes your mind off everything else.
Who are your sporting heroes?
My sister Kim. Growing up, there weren’t a whole lot of women in sport. There was Sonia O’Sullivan, but I wasn’t mad into athletics, I always wanted to play ball sports. Kim played for Dublin and Ireland. I kind of followed in her footsteps and now we play together for the sevens Irish team.
What’s your favourite smell?
On a cold day, it’s probably the smell of my dad’s home