It is time for a catch up with one of our brilliant brand directors, Dan Norton. Dan is not only a director of Ambitions, but Englands rugby sevens all time highest try scorer. We spoke to Dan about his rugby career throughout the pandemic and his ambitions throughout his career and life.
How was the lockdown for you? How did you keep busy?
Lockdown was tough, rewind back to March 2020 just before the first lockdown in the UK, we were at the mid-season point of the HSBC World rugby sevens series. As lockdown hit we were hopeful of returning after just a few months to training as we were prepping for the Olympics in Tokyo 2020. Fast forward a few months and the magnitude of the pandemic had hit home. The Games were finally postponed and our rugby contracts ended in August 2020. We were jobless with just the hope that in 2021 we would get an opportunity to play in the postponed games.
At that time, there were many sleepless nights as the unknown of the coming months made it hard to focus, but also the reality of not having a job and potentially not being able to provide for my family was daunting.
Lockdown initially offered some solace from travelling the world and some time at home with the family, the opportunity to rest my body and mind and recharge before the final push in my career was refreshing. The only downside was the dream of playing in the games in 2021, just without knowing how to get there.
As I sit here now, preparing for my second Olympics games in the past year and the ups and downs of professional sport has prepared me to enjoy the moment and push myself. There are some frustrations to how the last year played out, but the opportunity at a shot at another game is something that gives me the strength and drive to be the best version of myself.
What is your ambition?
My Ambition is split in two. The first is to play in a second Olympic games, to be able to medal again would be an incredibly proud moment, knowing that there are 12 other teams wanting the same goal but at the same time dreaming of it helps push me day to day.
My second ambition is to make my children and family/ friends proud. I have an amazing opportunity to travel the world and play a sport I love, so being able to show my children my personal records gives me the energy and focus to inspire them when they grow up.
What is your most ambitious moment?
My most ambitious moment was when I was thrust onto the rugby field at the age of 20 as a new coming to the sport of rugby 7s, in a cup final in-front of 40k fans singing and dancing on a bank holiday weekend in Twickenham stadium vs the great New Zealand 7s team as we were trailing with 2 minutes to go. I luckily came on and scored a try to take the game to extra time. We went on to win in extra time scoring the golden try after trailing 17-0.
What do you think is the most ambitious thing you could do in the 5 minutes it takes to cook ambitions pasta?
The most ambitious thing I can do in 5 minutes is complete a Bronco fitness test. A savage rugby fitness test generally done in pre season to see how fit players are.
Lastly, but not least, what is your favourite ambitions flavour/do you add anything to it to make it extra tasty?
My favourite flavour is Chicken, playing rugby protein is key in my diet to help me build lean muscle but also to help my body to recover. I like adding Spinach to as it's a great way to add more vegetables to my diet.
Thank you Dan for the great interview!