Questions with Rich - Austin Healey

I will be interviewing a number of current and former pro athletes. The intention here is to find out about their experiences and hopefully give you a little inspiration for whatever journey you’re on.

To kick off this series i caught up with former England Rugby player Austin Healey. Austin played as a utility back for Leicester Tigers, and has represented the England national rugby union team and the British and Irish Lions.

Lets get to it…

 

Richard: Was there a specific sporting event when you were young that kick-started your dream to become an athlete?

Austin: I remember Everton beating Bayern Muncich 3-1 in the cup winners cup semi final 1985 as a 12 year old. I really felt the intensity, heat and noise of the occasion.

Richard: At what age did you realize your dream of becoming a pro was a real possibility?

Austin: Rugby was never professional when I was growing up so the dream was always to just play for England as an amatuer. That changed in 1995 then it was a different game but the dream remained the same despite being paid for it.

Richard: What did it feel like when this realization kicked in?

Austin: It was a calm feeling when I finally got picked probably 2 years later than it should of been for England.

Richard: Tell me about your first professional event, where was it, were you nervous, excited, scared?

Austin: First pro game was for Leicester away to Saracens in 1996. We got changed in a portacabin very plush and pro like!!

Richard: How much of your time is spent training?

Austin: Now not much but back when I was playing every 2nd Fri would be in a hotel then usually a month at least away in the summer.

Richard: What were your favorite and least favorite aspects of your training program?

Austin: I loved everything about training except ice baths which as I said at the time were a waste of time… my body doesnt respond well to being cold

Richard: How do you stay motivated if you’re having a bad day or week?

Austin: I used to go and watch mini rugby on Sunday… seeing the enjoyment on the faces of the kids helped me rediscover why we all play sport.. for fun and love of it

Richard: From your personal opinion, what has been the biggest achievement in your professional career?

Austin: Getting fit from a torn ACL in 3 months was a remarkable achievement and took me away from my family for 6 weeks training in America doing some mindless things

Richard: What specific thing gave you the hunger to keep pushing yourself as an athlete?

Austin: I hate losing

Richard: What do you want to be remembered for?

Austin: Being bloody good and a bit different

 

There you have it. I’d like to thank Austin for his time and if you want to follow him and send a message you can find him on Twitter

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