RIL’s Tom Home sat down and chatted with Charlie Beckett from Jersey Reds. From homemade burgers to home workouts, Charlie discusses how he has been coping with lockdown and his thoughts on getting back to rugby.

Rugby Inside Line – First and foremost, how has lockdown affected your diet and training?

Charlie Beckett – Lockdown has affected my training more than my diet. Obviously, it’s taken some getting used to having to train alone when I am so used to training as part of a big group but I’m very fortunate that at home we have a good set of weights, a Wattbike and a rowing machine, which have all made training a lot easier. I also live very close to the local rugby club, which is ideal for my running sessions and from a skills point of view, my sister Sarah, is also a professional rugby player, so it’s been great being able to do skills sessions with her. Diet wise, I would say the biggest change I have made is my volume of food. Even though I am still training a lot, my session aren’t as long as team sessions would be and because of that, I have had to eat less to make sure I don’t get too heavy.

RIL – Have you found that not following the professionalised routines of a Championship club has affected you?

Charlie Beckett – It’s been strange not following a routine. Since the age of 16, I have had a professional rugby club tell me where to be, what time to be there, what to do once I’m there and what to wear while I’m doing it. Without sounding dramatic, you almost become institutionalized to it in some ways, so to suddenly have no routine or schedule to follow at all has been odd to say the least. I have managed it by still setting an alarm and getting up at 7:30 every morning and having my own routine of training first thing, having breakfast, training again, having lunch, and then having my afternoon to do as I like. That sense of routine is familiar to me and, I feel, keeps me from wasting my day and lets me get my training done while still having time in the afternoon for anything else I fancy doing.

RIL – Have you undertaken any activities/hobbies that you didn’t previously find yourself doing before lockdown?

Charlie Beckett – I haven’t started any new hobbies in lockdown, but I have spent more time doing things I already enjoyed that I wasn’t doing as much before. I have read a lot more and been out walking a lot more, which I really enjoy. I have also been able to do more media work, which I really enjoy and the one new thing I have done is I have started my own Instagram live show called, ‘Isolation Conversations’. It’s essentially a live podcast where I chat to people about how they’re handling lockdown, their career in sports and plenty of other things.

RIL – When you’re not doing some form of training, how do you keep yourself physically and mentally active?

Charlie Beckett – When I’m not training, I keep myself physically active through a lot of walking, as I said earlier, and mentally through reading and my media work, whether that be social media or writing my column for Talking Rugby Union. I’ve also been partaking in a lot of webinars on zoom to try and expand my network and my understanding of transferable skills we have as professional athletes. I have also of course been watching my fair share of Netflix – I’m currently binge watching Suits and I’m deep into the seventh season!

RIL – What is the best thing about having a break from rugby?

Charlie Beckett – The best thing about a break from rugby is the extra time I’ve had to spend with my family and girlfriend, which I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Also, the chance my body has had to heal. All the little niggles that I’ve amassed over the past few seasons have had a long old rest to heal up this past ten weeks and I haven’t felt this fresh since I was about 15! However, I am very tired of this break from rugby now though and as soon as it’s safe to do so, I cannot wait to get back to it!

RIL – What meal have you mastered during lockdown?

Charlie Beckett – During lockdown, I have mastered the home-made burger. I love a burger and have dabbled in making them myself before with mixed results (some so awful that Gordon Ramsay may have called me an ‘idiot sandwich’). However, over the past few months I have changed my recipe slightly, honed my craft, and, I think, perfected it. Throw them on the BBQ for a few minutes each side, top them with some cheese and salad, a dollop of mayo, whack them in a nice toasted bun and… bon appetite!

RIL – What is your pet peeve in lockdown and why?

Charlie Beckett – My pet peeve in lockdown has been seeing people not abide to the rules. I know 99% of people have been doing a great job and staying home, being sensible with their outings, and staying two metres apart when they do go out but it’s the 1% that are letting everyone else down. We are all in this together and all have to do our part to protect the NHS, get through this and keep people safe, so when I see people not doing that, it infuriates me deeply.

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