- Category: Track & Field
How did you become involved in your sport and what events do you compete in?
I did little aths when I was young, but wasn't that great. I only started taking athletics seriously after high-school when I went down to my old track. I saw a guy I used to do little aths with down there and asked what event he was doing. He answered hurdles, and so I asked his coach to coach me. Reluctantly he agreed, and we never looked back! I now specialise in 400m hurdles, and I occasionally do the 4 x 400m relay when they need me.
Who is your sporting hero?
Ed Moses. The man dominated the 400m hurdles event for one of the longest winning streaks in history. He was also amazingly interactive and scientific with his approach to the event. He studied himself and the sport and as a result was at the top of the world for a number of years. Amazing!
Age you started in your sport?
As I said, I did little aths, starting around 6 years old. I did heaps of sports though, and didn't really specialise until I was 18 years old.
Height, weight, age?
187cm, 78kg, 30.
Ba. Exercise Science (maj. Psychology), Dip Health Science (Remedial Massage), Level 1 coaching (sprints and hurdles), midway through a Grad. Dip. Arts (Philosophy), and I still have my pen licence.
What motivates you to continue in your sport?
I love hurdling. 400m hurdles to me is the perfect combination of technical skill and really raw fitness. Athletics to me is the purest of sports, it constantly surprises and challenges me and I love that. The one goal that I have set and I am yet to attain is to be on the start line for an Olympic Games.
What motivated you to start your sport?
One of my friends refers to me as an 'opportunity maximiser'. With my passion for things that are real, pure and challenging, I guess I was always going to end up in athletics. However, I really think that it was the right thing at the right time. I had no idea I would be competing for Australia and I didn't think much about the Olympics. I just loved running and competing and getting better. Luckily I have amazingly supportive parents and great friends, they made the journey easy!
What is your current business/job?
I work in the Physical Therapies department at the Australian Institute of Sport. I work as a soft tissue therapist and work on other elite athletes in Canberra and treat them the same as I get treatment myself. It's the perfect combination for me as I am here training anyway, and I absolutely love my job! Most days I am at the AIS from around 8am until 7pm. This does get a little less during competition period when we reduce the number of sessions and increase the intensity.
Who do you race for club/state and what is your competitive history?
I compete for Queanbeayan Athletic Club. I pretty much went straight into 400m hurdles 12 years ago so didn't change events but here is a brief summary:
Under 20 National Champion 1999
Open National Champion 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011
World University Games Gold Medallist 4 x 400 (400mH 5th)
Commonwealth Games Finalist 2006
World Championships Semi-Finalist 2009
Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist 2010 4 x 400m (400mH 6th)
Burnie Gift Winner 2012
People that have inspired you both in sport and life?
Matt Beckenham (coach), Steve Hooker, Ed Moses, my brother in law Nathan, Carl Jung, Derrick Carter, every single one of my beautiful friends.
Great experiences that have happened in your life?
Getting through high school without killing myself, seeing Daft Punk live, falling in love, discovering spanish chorizo, winning a Commonwealth Games Gold with 4 of my best mates, moving to Canberra to train, playing a 5 hour DJ set with Jamie Stevens from Infusion, doing a full 'giant' for the first time in gymnastics, watching my parents only communicate through body language and facial expressions after my Mum had a stroke, treating my first client and making them pain-free, and every time I serve myself a bowl of ice cream.
Your interests and hobbies?
Music, cooking, wine, music, fashion, design, old books, coffee, music, natural lifestyles, cat photos with funny captions, collecting loudspeakers, films, typing letters, music, Sunday dinners, anything that makes me smile.
One tip or quote that continues to inspire you?
If you can't beat them, wear a headband.
Family Background(where did you grow up) and Current Family
I was born in Mackay, in North Queensland where my Dad worked on the sugar cane fields and Mum was a kindergarten teacher. We moved to Melbourne when I was 6 and I grew up there with my older brother, Tim, and older sis Jacqui. I moved Canberra in 2004 which is where I currently live, whilst the rest of the fams are still in Melbourne town.
What is your happiest memory?
I once had a phone call from a my doctor congratulating me that I was pregnant with my partner. As I didn't have a partner at the time, I was terrified and confused. He then realised his mistake and told me that he was after a Brendan Collins and that he had called the wrong number. Needless to say I was pretty happy.
Who did you idolize growing up?
Michael Jordan, N.W.A, Kelly Slater, Chris Edwards, my brother Tim, and anyone who could successfully pick up girls.
Were you always one of the better athletes growing up?
I suppose I was a fair 'jock', yes. I played almost every sport and I did pretty well. Hopefully I wasn't a jerk, though. I didn't like jerks.
What is one thing you would share with the children wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Believe in what you enjoy, no matter what level you compete at. If you love it, keep doing it. But don't be a jerk.
How has being involved/playing your sport changed your life?
I don't know whether sport has shaped me more so or that I have shaped my life around my sport. As much as I usually leave my track issues on the track and have a great life outside athletics, it still has been the main focus of my life for the past 8-10 years. It has taught me persistence and patience most of all. It has also given me an huge appreciation for talented people but also for those who just work their arses off to get where they want to go.
Who has been your biggest supporter?
My parents for sure. Closely followed by my sister, Jacqui. She is always messaging me after races (even overseas) and wishing me good luck beforehand. A great supportive family has meant the world to me.
Who has been your best coach?
I have only had two. They both served their purpose, but my current coach Matt Beckenham has been the most dedicated and successful person I've dealt with in my athletic career. Having said that, who on earth would answer that question with anyone other than their current coach??
Sporting Background(sports you grew up playing) and list of achievements/results?
I played a bit of representative basketball from 15-17, but otherwise just played school sport without many big achievements. In order of my favourite sports to play, though:
4. Football (AFL)
6. Cross Country ....395. Swimming
Favourite Foods/Diet you follow?
I don't follow a particular 'diet', but I guess you develop habits over time. I try and eat food that is as close as possible to the ground or animal it came from. I also try to eat as many colours at every meal when I can. That usually applies to vegetables, herbs and spices though, not jelly beans. I also try to make sure I eat ice cream every day (note: research is inconclusive as to whether this makes me run faster)
Your typical training split and favourite thing to train?
Ummm... Split? As in split shorts? I usually go for my 2XU splitties. If not, a pair my coach gave me from the 2000 Sydney Olympics gets a good run. Favourite session is 6 x 150m off 6 mins. I just love running fast off the bend!
Worst injury you have suffered?
What is the ultimate prize in your sport?
What do you find to be the toughest aspect of your sport?
Staying positive and being patient when things are working the way you expect them too. Also, hearing your favourite DJ is playing in town when you can't go really sucks.
What is your favourite movie?
What one lesson did you take from your parents?
Do your taxes. (unsuccessful lesson)
How do you deal with temptation?
'Temptation'? You mean 'opportunity'? I make the most of all opportunities.
What is your favourite music/band/song?
Holy Crap.Music: Detroit House/Scouse House Band: Muse Song: The Man With the Red Face - Laurent Garnier
What is your biggest fear?
That one day I will wake up and all the coffee in the world be gone.
Do you believe "never giving up" is the difference between making it and not making it in any sport?
No. Sometimes some people probably should give up if what they expect they will get simply won't happen. Giving up doesn't make for very good stories though, does it?
Have you ever failed at anything? If yes how did you overcome this?
I fail everyday. The word 'fail' has a horrible stigma associated with it. As cliche as it sounds, it really is just an opportunity to learn. So often I see people way too caught up in their failed objectives. Working out what went wrong and how to change the outcome is half the challenge and fun of being an athlete. Success tastes a lot sweeter when you approach it from this angle.
What inspired you to succeed?
I just love the opportunities that are brought with success. From travelling around the world and meeting new people, to the reaching of an athletic goal and making a new one that is higher or different than the last. I suffer from a very serious condition called the FOMO disease (Fear Of Missing Out)
What did you want to be as a kid growing up?
Living in a caravan in Summer Bay with Pippa from Home and Away looking after me.
Your future goals in your sports, and goals when you finish your sport?
Olympic team this year, and making an Olympic final. After this year, I want to move back to Melbourne and to do further education on movement medicine. I see there so much potential in movement as a way of being healthy and pain-free and I plan to study more clinical, as well as Eastern and alternative ways in healing the body this way.
If you could have dinner with 5 people who would they be?
My five mates Steve Hooker, Adam Miller, Shane Kelly, Matty McCauliff, and Benn Harradine.
What is one item you cannot live without?
People you would like to thank?(Sponsors, Coaches, Family or Friends)
I thank these people every day... But an official thanks to my amazing sponsors 2XU, Oakley, and Mizuno. Great people, and event better products.
Any further comments
I don't like soggy sandwiches.
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