Sports and Gym ReKavary

I grew up playing rugby union and then found my passion with rugby league, the impact on your body takes its toll after years of senior grade footy (see below video). When my body was too broken to head out with the boys following a tough game, I’d often get a traditional bobo (Fijian Massage) from my father to ease the aches and pains. Alternatively, I stayed at the club and joined the boys for a heavy drinking session and a night out to which the alcohol may have helped temporarily, but was always worse for wear the next day as it wasn’t just my body that was hit by a train, but also my head.

I also experienced my worst on-field injury due to a night out prior to the last game of our representative season, practically heading straight from the night clubs to the airport intoxicated with an hour or two broken sleep on the flight and team bus before taking to the field and requiring an ACL reconstruction for my stupidity. As if I didn’t learn my lesson, once I was able to walk it didn’t stop, by going out and drinking which delayed the recovery process. I’ve also experienced the negative impacts of drinking with relationships, finances, work and personal wellbeing. It wasn’t until living and playing footy in Fiji I realised the benefits of drinking kava with team mates on a Saturday night. It was a totally different environment and benefits versus alcohol were multifaceted.

So long as the kava session didn’t go on too late, I’d have a good sleep waking up without the same aches and pains. There was no memory loss, hangover, worry checking your bank account, regretful behaviour or violence which can be common place with a group of young intoxicated footy players. Drinking kava, ‘talanoa’ (conversing and sharing stories) and often singing with one another I couldn’t recommend enough for team culture, recovery and personal wellbeing of players. Having experience it on both sides the difference and flow on effects are like night and day.

Although I’m not big on the gym, when I do go for a workout it’s often after a month long absence and my muscles are sore through a lack of conditioning, kava helps ease the muscle recovery.

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