As an ex-professional rugby player, Rudi Keil understands the connection between mind, body and spirit for performance and wellbeing. He's also passionate about good nutrition and in 2008 he set up B MOVED to offer an holistic approach to health for private clients, including several superyacht owners.
Having spent time on board, Rudi also took an interest in the wellbeing of crewmembers, and developed a service tailored specifically to the needs of crew at sea and ashore.
Now a popular figure on the yachting circuit, we asked Rudi to share his story and what shaped his passion for promoting health.
How did you get involved in professional sport?
I was blessed to be exposed to a large variety of sports at a very young age. My father was a professional ice hockey player from Austria and was also very enthusiastic about skiing, tennis and football. My mother was also an accomplished tennis, hockey and netball player, so we grew up around sporting activities, whether it was Mum or Dad or playing our own games around the house.
In South Africa we also have the advantage of excellent weather and schools that provide a range of sport as extra murals - not unlike the UK where sports and inter-school competitions are very big. This progresses to provincial teams and later to national teams. I was fortunate enough to play provincial cricket, tennis and football and fom the age of 13 I was also a keen rower.
This is where I got my first introduction to the psychology of professional sport - it was this training and the importance of one's mindset in rowing that gave me an insight into what lay ahead.
Being South African, was rugby inevitable or was your chosen sport a tough choice?
Oh no, it was not at all inevitable! I actually detested rugby and on numerous occasions insulted rugby and its players for being barbaric and less skilled then footballers like Pele, who was my hero at that time. The choice wasn’t tough after I saw the first XV play at King Edward VII School, where I realized there was a LOT more to this beautiful game than I knew at the time.
At a professional level is it difficult to transfer between different sports?
In my humble opinion professionalism is a state of mind as well as an approach and attitude. So the particular sport is less relevant in terms of playing at a professional level.
When you first started out, was there as much emphasis as now on the role of nutrition for optimum performance?
When I was rowing at the age of 15 I was introduced to Wayne Diesel who worked on my nutrition but when I started playing professional rugby at the age of 19 the role of nutrition wasn't really a focus. It was part of my own keenness for optimum performance that led me to follow that route.
At what point in your career did you feel at the top of your game and what factors made the difference for you?
With my philosophy on both sport and life it's hard to identify a specific point. Back then, and still now, I pursue new ways of achieving the highest performance expected of a professional or individual, which pushes me physically and mentally. So the feeling of being 'at the top of my game” is continuous and attention to correct nutrition and quality supplementation is a big part of it.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned so far?
Wow, Sam that’s an open-ended question and I don’t think you have enough storage on your main server! The philosopher in me woud say that the acquisition of knowledge is only worthwhile when it's put into practice. It's also true that we never stop learning.
When did you start B MOVED and what is your vision for the company?
I started B MOVED in 2008 while I was still playing professional rugby for Sale Sharks Manchester. The concept is to address body, mind and spirit, which are all connected, and the vision is literally to 'MOVE' people to become the best of themselves. It's an holistic approch to fiteness and wellness so we offer a wide range of services incuding: performance training, personal training (ashore and for yacht charters), corporate wellness programs, nutritional advice, supplementation, rehabilitation and massage.
How did you get involved with yachting and training yacht crew?
As you know, the yachting industry is a very unique environment that demands the highest standards and quality of service. This is something that I pride myself on and it underpins everything we do at B MOVED. I was blessed through reputation and 'word of mouth' to be recommended by yacht owners and had th opportunity to work on board during charters. The crew environment became a bit of a case study for me and, having experienced it first hand, I decided there was a need for a service tailored specifically to the needs of crewmembers.
What is your philosophy on the best ways to stay fit and healthy?
The best way to stay fit and healthy, in my humble opinion, is to address it in a holistic way. Start with small consistant steps and be gentle with yourself. Depending on the results you want, you increase the intensity and take bigger steps.
What are the most common health or fitness questions you get from clients?
This is a very wide subject! Generally people want quick fixes and one step solutions for health and fitness. In terms of nutrition, common concerns are around sugar and wheat, which are often misunderstood. On the fitness side, the most common subject concerns misunderstandigs around cardiovascular or cardio work.
What are the most significant trends changing the way we view our health?
If you don’t mind me using the word movements instead of trends, as trends come and go, then the biggest and the most significant movement is towards eating more whole foods and less processed foods.
What would you change if you could?
If I could change something, it would be education for health, wellness and optimal living, at grass roots level. I believe that every person should be equipped with basic, correct knowledge of how to take care of their bodies. We can still eat the naughty things now and then, but we need to understand what is good and not good for us, and how to counterbalance those naughty times. We only have one body and we need to look after it - preferably in fun ways too!
Which is your favourite yacht and why?
As you know, I really don’t like to single out or pass judgement on anyone or anything, but I do have a soft spot for the motor yacht Silver Angel. The setting and layout work well with the services I provide when I'm working on board.
Which three objects would you take to your desert island?
How strict are your parameters for these three objects? Would a fully stocked 70 meter superyacht, expedition helicopter and constant internet connection be within the rules? Haha... if not, I'd take a water purifier, a book of Bear Grill's survival tips and a natural mosquito repellent.
What is your motto?
Address everything with an optimistic, happy excitement and enthusiasm!