Put simply, we're AWESOME!
On a serious note, we met each other in our late teens/early 20's (a long, long time ago!) and from the get go were smitten. In the first few years together a lot was thrown at us testing our relationship but which in turn made for a stronger bond. Dave was in and out of hospital for operations and due to some complications ended up in quite a serious situation with two blood clots in his lungs, not once did Sabrina leave his side, refusing to leave the hospital and sleeping on a chair next to the bed. From these experiences an unbreakable bond was formed, fully supportive of each other, trusting each other explicitly. Many challenges have been overcome since with an unwavering acknowledgement of each others skills, abilities and knowledge.
Living what some would say a very comfortable lifestyle in the UK having bought a house, both with great careers, two cats, a mad house rabbit and four cars we decided to experience what else the world had to offer and go travelling. Starting off driving around Europe for six months as a tester we knew this was are calling and decided to head further afield taking in the sights, sounds and particularly the smells of India, Asia and finally Australia. When we landed at Perth Airport in April 2006 little did we know that this was eventually to become home (Australia not the airport!).
Of course we had some pre-requisite ideas on Australia, having been brought up with Neighbours and Home & Away, we thought that 1. Australia was always hot and sunny and 2. it was filled with beach loving, blond surfers, We were not aware that Australia is creeping up as one of the top countries for obesity. We quickly adopted the laid back and friendly lifestyle with afternoon coffees, and regular lunches, drinking socially on a regular basis. Everyone here is so friendly, you could go anywhere on your own and start up a random conversation with a stranger. The summers meant beer in the sun, and eating out was no longer saved for special occasions but pretty much happened every weekend. A carrot cake or muffin would compliment a coffee and in the end also complimented the waist line.
I would never say we were fat, but we were never quite slender, and adopting a relaxed attitude to our health and fitness also assisted with the weight gain, drinking and smoking (Sabrina not Dave) didn't really help, and the thought of going for a run was like an impossible dream.
We continued to deceive ourselves when we moved to the Island for 2 years, we had all our meals catered for, and the only time that you really purchased food, was from the staff store (which was usually the unhealthily choice), the benefits of not thinking about your daily meals is you never really planned a meal, however you never really knew what or how the food was cooked. The job we were doing was physically demanding with some long gruelling hours, and to be honest, this is probably what stopped us from becoming overweight.
Moving back to Melbourne was a life lesson to remember, as after deciding to join a gym we discovered Dave was at a high risk of having a stroke, his blood pressure was to the extreme, that we needed to do something and fast, since both Dave's parents had suffered from a stroke, there was no doubt that Dave was a real risk. Dave would not fit into the typical 'risk' category of having a stroke, he was not overweight nor inactive, and this was even more of a wake up call. The first thing to change, of course was the food eliminating additional salt on food. Making these small changes has now lead to a more healthier lifestyle now, with no added salt in any of our food, take-aways are a rare, as food is always prepared fresh, nothing is bought prepared, so we now always know what we have in our food. This does not mean that we do not have our treats (homemade cakes and muffins were still a major influence in our lives).
Smoking still dominated Sabrina's life, even going to the gym, she would still have a cigarette. The thought of giving up was unheard especially with 90% of our friends smoking. It was an excuse and sadly Sabrina actually enjoyed having a cigarette, it was a social habit that also enabled having breaks during work. At some stage, not even 100% sure why, but the decision was made to go see the doctors about the prescribed drug Champix, although dubious there was no harm in trying. The side affects were not pleasant, but the thought of starting again and never really knowing if it would have worked, and maybe some sort of stubbornness may have helped. It did actually work! The day that Sabrina stopped in April 2011, she lit up a cigarette, and then just stopped, put it out and never had one since. We are still not sure if it is all in her head, or something can seriously change your whole mind set and addiction just by taking a tablet. In a way it is really quote thought provoking, but we can't really complain, and we would never go back.
As with a lot of people, our weight went up and down as well as our health, and not always for the right reasons. It was easy to allow the weight to start creeping on, and it was also easy to lie to ourselves about our overall health and wellbeing. Sabrina lost a lot of weight through emotional stress (and not eating enough), and the reality is that of course the weight will come back on. Giving up smoking, and making more conscious choices to living a more active lifestyle, the next logical step would be to sign up for our first ever half marathon. Having a clear goal, helped to keep everything in preoperative, but it was scary. The thought of running 5km round Albert Park Lake was like having a nightmare, so competing in 21km was just gut retching. This was the first time we got sponsorship for an event, and the support and encouragement from family and friends really helped mentally and physically to get through the run. With gritted teeth and determination, the first ever half marathon was done (it wasn't easy, but it was definitely an achievement).
The next step was signing up for Tough Mudder, it was its own challenge by itself, but having our own little team and with some encouragement we got through it together. It was so much fun, there something about running around in a load of mud that was just so naughty (all those times as a child when you used to get in trouble for getting dirty), but yet here we were, having paid for the privilege to run around in mud, and the best thing is, you got rewarded with a beer at the end! The atmosphere and camaraderie were just amazing, even when you had someones hand on your arse, there really wasn't anything like it.
Not really sure what happened to us in the last couple of years, but since adopting an Australian Healthier Lifestyle, in the last couple of years we have done.
We have been through the ups and downs of health, but have been lucky that we have had nothing too serious to deal with. We will always be trying to lead a healthier life and we will always have our slip ups, but since our new approach to health and fitness, we can honestly say that our diets have improved as well as our health. Dave's blood pressure has now been reduced, Sabrina is no longer smoking, Dave became a personal training and both are addicted to obstacle racing. We both would say that being in our ??? (lets just say not in our twenties anymore), that we are are now healthier then we were in our teens, and the question we have to ask ourselves is, if we stayed in the UK - would we be living this healthier lifestyle, and to be honest, I don't think we would be. By making Australia home, and embracing this healthy life, we want the rest of Australia to embrace it too. If we can do it, anyone can.
What does the logo mean?
It comes from the ogham Symbol D. D is for Duir the celtic tree of Oak. The Oak is associated with strength, resilience and self-confidence, and is wide spread through the British Isles. It is one of the strongest and powerful trees.
When we discovered this, we felt that is symbolises everything we need to be to conquer physically and mentally this 24 hour challenge an reasons why we are doing it.
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