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Sean McEvoy: Me and my health

Belfast barista Sean McEvoy (38) was a late ‘convert’ to rugby, having only joined the newly formed gay rugby team, the Ulster Titans, 18 months ago. He lives in the city and manages Clements’ coffee shop in Stranmillis. Sean has a partner

Do you get eight hours sleep a night?

No, I don’t. I find that I get by on about six hours a night. My parents tended to be late night people as well. It depends on the shifts I’m doing at the café – I could be on from 7am if it’s an early shift or maybe midnight if it’s an evening shift as we open late nights.

Early bird or night owl?

A night owl, absolutely. I’m not really grumpy in the morning, but I tend to be in better form at night. When I’m working in Clements I do have to be ‘on form’ first thing for the customers coming in through the doors.

Do you have a high pain threshold?

I do. Through various injuries I’ve acquired over the years I realised that I had — others might have squealed earlier at them. I used to be a chef and hot pots and plates never seemed to bother me at all.

The worst thing that ever happened me was after the first game of rugby I played; I got a trapped nerve in my shoulder. I needed two months of physio to ease the pain and to untrap the nerve.

Have you ever experienced depression?


Old wives tales or as the doctor ordered?

Probably as the doctor ordered. My brother and my sister-in-law, his wife, are both GPs so I’ve a 24-hour hotline to medical help.

Last time you were feeling under the weather — what did you do?

If I wasn’t feeling well, I would take vitamin supplements and try to reassess my life and see if I needed to take time off, maybe up my sleep and try to readdress the balance.

Do you calorie count?

Not really. I’m quite aware of what foods are good and what are bad. I’ve had my catering business four or five years now and I’m quite aware of trends in eating. There are so many cooking shows on TV, celebrity chefs and so on. People are much more aware of food today compared to five years ago.

Do you eat your 5 a day?

Yes, definitely. What I tend to do is make up a smoothie in the morning. I try to get as many different types as possible into one smoothie. I usually eat salad or vegetables with my dinner. If I’m eating out, I would try and pick salad as a starter.

Do you exercise?

Yes, of course. With the rugby team we practice two nights a week and then again on Saturday afternoons. One out of three would be a fitness type session instead of doing rugby skills all the time. We do a mixture of running, press-ups, sit-ups and different things to test our agility and flexibility. I go swimming, I find it very relaxing.

Do you believe in the mid-life crisis?

Not anymore. People’s lifestyles have changed and I think it’s become a bit of a myth. People are much more aware of the work-life balance nowadays and know that it’s important to treat yourself whereas before people just worked and did nothing else and that led them to having a mid-life crisis when they realised they hadn’t done anything else with their life.

Organic or ready meals?

Organic. Well, as long as it’s fresh. It’s not always possible to get organic food and it’s not always better either. I’m very good at reading labels to find out just exactly what is in a product.

Is sex vital to overall wellbeing?

Not necessarily. It can be a good reflection on how you’re feeling, but it’s not necessary.

Best advice ever received?

To be yourself. My parents always said that to me and I have to say I’m happy with who I am at the minute. When you’re a teenager, you just want to belong. You’re very easily influenced. My parents told me to be individual.

Gráinne McCarry

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph