With the far-reaching impact of the coronavirus on sport, stalwart Francois Louw shares how he has adapted his routine to accommodate social distancing and staying home, while still keeping physically fit and mentally strong.
- How are you keeping in shape?
I have had to adapt my training in a big way. My regime has always revolved around facilitated training with specific equipment. I now have to make do with what I have lying around from a strength perspective. It’s important for me to keep active, so it is mostly bodyweight exercises.
- What shoes do you train in and why do they suit you?
The PUMA LQDCELL Tension is my favourite pair and suits my workouts at this time. There is an array of styles to suit different activities – from casual, to gym, to trail running or road running. I have the full range, so throwing on a pair to suit my activity is not a problem.
- Have you had to adjust your diet to maintain your ‘fighting’ weight?
I have had to make adjustments as my overall active lifestyle from a pro athlete perspective has been taken down a few notches due to the lockdown. I am obviously not burning off as much as I would be and so have had to mostly adjust quantities consumed.
- How are you staying motivated and positive?
These are challenging times for all. I count my blessings every day and realise that there are people out there who are way worse off than me. This motivates me to be positive and not fall into a dismal slump, but be proactive in any way I can and give joy and support to those close to me.
- What words or message do you live by when faced with challenges?
Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3.
- The past 12 months included winning the World Cup – can you share what this meant/means to you in terms of your childhood dreams, your life goals, and your sense of achievement after the many years of sweat and often times blood?
I don’t know how to describe this. But to say the least, it is the pinnacle of my professional career!
- Where are the boots you wore in the RWC Final?
And what boots they are! My full playing kit, including my PUMA One boots, are neatly stored in a container. I might don the outfit again on 2 November 2020.
- Teamwork, standing together and supporting one another through the tough times are key to winning the RWC final … do you think all of us can learn from this at this challenging time?
At the end of the day, anything you do is about the people. Their character, resilience and belief. If you have those attributes, on top of exceptional abilities or talents, then anything is possible.
- You recently announced that you will retire from the game at the conclusion of the current season. What does ‘life after rugby’ look like for Flo and his family?
I do so with a full heart, filled with amazing memories. What a journey it has been! Next up is a career away from the game. I plan to go into financial services, specifically around financial advisory and wealth management. We are in the process of putting a platform together that will cater for professional athletes and their financial affairs. As a professional athlete, there will eventually be the inevitability of retirement from the sport and these athletes will be faced with the reality that is life outside of the game. We hope to help them prepare for the next step in their lives.
- Types of TV shows you enjoy?
The Spy, Narcos Mexico and Ozark. We have recently got Disney+ and their flagship series, Mandalorian, is fun.
- Any books you would recommend to fans?
When the Lion Feeds by Wilbur Smith. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason.
- Have you been developing new skills?
I have been experimenting with smoking big chunks of meat. Eight hours low and slow. So far, so good!