Katie Smith | All Blacks Rugby Life

Life after
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If I can be that personal cheerleader in your life that whispers: “you really can do this” while the rest of the world is provoking doubt… then I’ll consider my job done.

I'm Holli

hey

NAME Katie Smith  

AKA Ben Smith’s Other Half

LIVE Dunedin, New Zealand

ALL ABOUT BEING Loving, friendly, motivated, compassionate, genuine

JANE OF WHAT TRADE/S Teacher

QUALIFICATIONS Bachelor of Physical Education/Major Sport Science, Bachelor of Science/Major Human Nutrition, Bachelor of Education. 

DREAMING OF ONE DAY Inspiring people of all ages to be the best versions of themselves. Pretty broad but that is what really motivates me. 

RUGBY LIFE LOW DOWN I love seeing Ben being so passionate about what he does, living out his dreams and working really hard to achieve his goals. Through Rugby we have been able to make some magical memories as a family, we live in a lovely home and have been able to get a really great start in life. 

I have been incredibly fortunate to have visited some really amazing places, been able to experience some pretty special moments such as the 2015 Rugby World Cup first hand and been spoilt by the rugby union at special functions. I also love the fantastic people we have met and continue to meet along the way. 

RUGBY LIFE LOWS A clear winner here would be injuries. The worry about them and then dealing with the aftermath when they occur. The uncertainty that can surround them and then his disappointment at missing out on something he has worked so hard for, is hard to watch. 

Second to that would be the time he spends away from home. It was always hard to spend so much time apart even before kids. The little gems in life often happen on the daily and experiencing them on your own can be a bit glum. 

With little children of our own that is only magnified. I have an incredible support network with family and friends all around in Dunedin, so I have great help. I just find it really sad that Ben misses out on a lot of the special moments that occur day to day. I know he finds it hard too. 

RUGBY FAN GAL MOMENT Oh this is really tough. We have been so fortunate to have experienced some really cool moments. I think the winner would have to be the 2015 Super Rugby Final when the Highlanders won. Ben has ridden the highs and lows with the Highlanders so to finally win the title was enormous. 

PROUDEST RUGBY HIGHLIGHT This is probably a bit left field, there have been so many proud moments. But the one that nearly got me was after his last All Blacks game in 2017. It was the first time Annabelle had ever been to watch him and the look on both their faces when they saw each other after the game was something else. He then took her around the field with him. I was pretty proud of both of them that day. 

LIFE OF AN ALL BLACK WIFE Haha this one always cracks me up. If only you knew haha, let me assure you it is not all glitz and glam. We are very fortunate in the respect that the New Zealand Rugby Union really looks after us when it comes to games.

They put a very big emphasis on us all being part of the All Black family. So I guess that is quite glam. However, I think it might disappoint people to know the rest of the time I live a very ordinary life. 

We do what every other family does day to day. We have great friends and family that we love to spend time with and usually incorporate our socialising time with play dates with the kids. 

I am often parenting on my own but when Ben is around he is an outstanding Husband, Dad, Son and friend. Life is just a really big balancing act. 

I try to make sure Ben is supported in everything he needs, while making sure the kids are happy, loving and living their life to the max and then squeezing in some time for myself – usually in the form of some exercise. My friends are incredible human beings and we often use our exercise time slots for our catch-ups as well. 

ALL BLACKS GAME DAY VIBES Usually these games are away from home so we stay in a Hotel that is close to where Ben is staying. He isn’t allowed to stay with us the night before a game, so just pops over after he has had his breakfast. 

It is usually a bit of a quiet day, we go and grab a coffee, play with the kids and generally just try and keep things as normal as possible. Ben will eat his lunch with the team before having a nap, which leaves time for the kids and I to meet up with the other partners and kids for lunch and a play. 

We then have some quiet time while the kids have their nap and then catch up with Ben again in the mid afternoon before he begins to get ready for the game. I usually take my Mum with me on the road so that I have an extra set of hands. This is amazing! The rugby union organise some pre game nibbles and drinks at the hotel before the game. Then we bus to the game and its show time. 

HUBBLE BEGINNINGS  I guess I think we are very normal people. Ben is the same awesome guy he was when we met when we were 15 years old. 

He blows my mind with how motivated, determined and dedicated he is and is kind of blissfully unaware of how good he is. Underneath it all, he is just someone who is working hard at something he loves and that makes me really happy. 

However, it wouldn’t actually matter to me what that was. I just love that he gets to do what he is passionate about. As for me, I don’t think I have any reason to get an inflated impression of myself. 

SPORTS TRAINING BUDDIES We have done the odd session with me at home before, but more often we like to compete against each other. Clearly he is a much better athlete than I am but we alter things to make it even. 

For example when he has track sessions, I will get a head start and he has to catch me. We often race each other on the Watt bike and have an ongoing competition up Mount Iron in Wanaka.

SPORTING GOAL I would love to do another Half Ironman Triathlon and get into some other off road multi sport events. 

BALANCING MAMA LIFE In order to be the best version of myself, I  know I need to get out and get active most days. In order to achieve this, I often have to multitask. I use my active time as my time to catch up with friends, often I will take the kids with me in the pram, or snuggle them down into bed and shoot downstairs on my Watt bike while answering emails and messages. 

I have great support in Dunedin and often have family offering to watch the wee ones while I get out for a run or to a Barre class. 

SWAPPING THE BB COURT FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS – WHAT’S YOUR SECRET Start with small goals, be consistent and be ok with making mistakes. 

When you are starting out something new it is really nice to get involved with like-minded people. Whether that is just turning up to the local events and giving it a go, and/or finding yourself some like-minded people to train with. Not only will you make some great new friends, you will quickly learn loads about the sport and quickly begin to achieve your goals. 

PRO ATHLETE LIFE A few years ago I decided to head to USA and train and race full time as a triathlete. This was an incredible experience but to be honest it wasn’t for me. I truly admire full time athletes, it is hard to maintain that passion for your sport when it becomes your job. 

PROUDEST PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT That’s a hard one, I think probably getting second at the age group Half Ironman Nationals in NZ. I had worked really hard for that race and pulled it all together on the day, which I was really happy about. 

CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT My family, friends, food, exercise, phone.

WISE WORDS OF WISDOM I have a few that I really like. 

  • You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough. 
  • I’m too busy watering my own grass to notice if yours is greener. 
  • If you don’t like where you are in life then move, you are not a tree.

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