Our Tough Mudder Mags

It comes as no surprise that our incredible Barefooters are constantly out doing what they love & helping others. Maggie ( or as we like to call her ‘lil mags’) is no exception, her year is filled up with incredible volunteering, fundraising and organising to help others.

She is off on an incredible adventure next year to Ethiopia to help those in need . . so Sal recently sat down with Maggie to hear all about it, and to share it with you!

So Maggie, you volunteer with Red Frogs during Schoolies on the Gold Coast, how many years have you been doing this? And what is involved?

Red Frogs has been going for 20 years and this will be my 7th year of being part of the Red Frog Crew, first three years I was in the hotel chaplaincy team, and for the next four years I have and will be part of the walk home crew. There are five different areas that you can be a part of and they are: Hotel Chaplains, Walk home crew, Red Frog Hotline crew, Support Crew and Entertainment Crew.

Red Frogs

Visiting and hanging out with Schoolies in their hotel rooms to provide a positive peer role-model, cooking more than 50,000 pancakes, walking over 3,000 young people back to their accommodation, answering over 10,000 calls on the Red Frogs 24/7 Hotline, providing positive part entertainment on 5 stages around Australia!

The main question we as RedFrogs get asked is why? why do you pay to do red frogs, and take time off work to look after the schoolies.. for me the answer is: I do it to show them unconditional love no matter what choices they make, no matter what happens to them or their friends, they are our future, our future leaders, teachers, drs. As Red Frogs we are not there to judge the schoolies, we are there to safeguard a generation , to be their best friend in times that they may not have anyone. i know at the end of each schoolies week that I have help make a difference in a least one person’s life.

When Tough Mudder comes around every year we know you’ll be in amongst it! What made you give it a go? What training do you do to be able to complete the course? 

Yes for four years I’ve been getting muddy, climbing walls, going through ice . . . among other things.

Originally I wanted to give Tough Mudder a go as a goal I set myself, to cross the finish line. I knew it would be a challenging obstacle course. For those of you who don’t know what Tough Mudder is: It’s 10-12 miles of mud and 20+ obstacles designed to drag you out of your comfort zone. The ordinary will always be there. Why not try for something extra? With no podiums, winners, or clocks to race against, Tough Mudder isn’t about how fast you can cross the finish line. It’s about pushing yourself.

Maggie completing tough mudder

After my first year I caught the Tough Mudder bug similar to when people catch the travel bug, I found myself wanting to go back for more, though this time it wasn’t just about getting across that finish line, it was about the atmosphere. Tough Mudder has team work and camaraderie even if you start the event as a team of one, that team grows as the people around you become your team as you go through the course everyone helps everyone get through each obstacle.

I also created an opportunity to fundraise for an organisation that is close to my heart.  Each time I create a fundraiser I am blown away by the donations that come in from family and friends who help make a difference to the place I am fundraising for. Next year in May  I have chosen an organisation that has been on my heart for a while to create a fundraiser for a while Grace Centre for Children and Families in Ethiopia. When I mentioned who i was planning on fundraising for, to a few of my friends 7 of them jumped on board and registered to join the team and help me fundraise.

 

And very excitingly you have a trip planned to Ethiopia next year! Tell us more – what will you be doing there?

Yes I am so excited to be heading over to Ethiopia next year, I have wanted to head over to this country for a while so that I could visit Grace Centre for Children and Families, which is who my tough mudder team are fundraising for next year. Just recently, in July, I was offered the amazing opportunity to be the  Australian Sponsorship Coordinator for Grace Centre.

Maggie’s sponsor child holding a teddy she gave him.

Grace Centre is an organisation that focuses on holistically meeting the needs of families at risk in the town of Bahir Dar, in the central north of Ethiopia. We focus of orphan prevention and keeping families together. We achieve this through Child Sponsorship, day care, temporary care, After school care, offering free medical care. We also offer a special needs program, small business , Women’s empowerment and Prison Outreach to connect with children incarcerated with their mothers.

While in Ethiopia I will be using my current qualification in childcare to assist in Grace Centre’s daycare facilities, specifically in areas of best practice, learning through play and hygiene. I will also have the opportunity to meet the children sponsored through Australia, and meet the child I currently sponsor.

We are so excited to see what Lil Mags gets up to over the next year – and to see her compete again at Tough Mudder! Our Barefooters are truly incredible. To read more of our Barefooter stories, click here.

To book in to see one of our team, click here.

Brothers Reid ‘Hard Way Round’

For those of you that haven’t heard (and I admit that would be pretty difficult as I haven’t stopped talking about it!) I ‘MC’d’ the Brothers Reid homecoming party last Friday on the roof top at Brisbane State High. We chose this incredible  location with views over the city as it was our high school and an appropriate landing place for the boys after 2 and half years on dirt. That’s right, 2.5 years overlanding round the world on DR650s raising money and awareness for Mental Health research at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.  Brothers Reid are 2 brothers; Dylan and Lawson Reid, both engineers and friends of mine that set out to find a silver lining on their trip around the world.

The stats:

  • 100,000km,
  • 50 countries,
  • 938 days
  • 6 continents
  • No arguments (with each other anyway)
  • Just a couple of broken bones

As for the dollar stats – as of right now (Monday afternoon) I think it is around:

  • $75,000 raised for QIMR
  • >$110,000 worth of media attention for QIMR and
  • A $75,000 scholarship for QIMR
  • And the boys are officially broke and need to find jobs

So that was enough for the journalist from the Courier Mail to call this adventure “not just a self indulgent joy ride” – and the boys breathed a collective sigh of relief “we’ve gotten away with it” they said sarcastically.

There is so much more to this trip than the stats, and in fact I think the boys avoid the stats when talking about it as they are true overlanders at heart… the rest of us are happy to hear the stories… as it is difficult to even comprehend embarking on such a journey.

Friday night was a great way for the boys to officially end their trip – talks from Dr Michael Breakspear (the lead researcher where the Brothers Reid money is going) and the boys were fantastic, topped off by the fact we had 3 bikes there – 1 setup ready to ride, 1 set up in camp mode (complete with jocks ‘drying’ on the handlebars) and 1 new 2018 DR650 from Olivers Motorcycles to compare the shininess (or lack thereof to ‘Bent and Buoyant’ as the bikes are now affectionately called). And really we were lucky to pull it all together on time (we had 3 hours to set up but managed to have it all come down to the wire in the end 😊 )

This is part of my introduction speech of the night that I thought you would enjoy to read:

“I’d like to set the scene of what happened just before these guys left Brisbane 2.5 years ago.

It was March 2015 – a Friday night – We were all at the Archive bar down the road here in west end for the send off. A big group of friends and family just like tonight, 2 big shiny new DR650s in the pub and  the boys with their eyes falling out of their heads tired trying to get everything done last minute – they were about to embark on the Hard way round. Overlanding round the world East to West over 6 continents, 50 countries and 100,000km. 

Laws was still in his 20s and getting away with being the baby bro and Dyl had only broken 4 bones in his body and Dylan gets up to explain some of the reasoning behind planning this epic adventure: he says: we lost Heidi in 2011 to suicide and people kept telling us it would get better, or that there’d be some kind of silver lining. And I can say for sure, even now almost 4 years later there isn’t. So we’re going to go make our silver lining and see if we have an epiphany on the the way. Who knows, if we don’t have one we might just need go for another lap.

Then he said one of the most brothers reid things ever: I don’t know why everyone’s congratulating us, we haven’t even done anything yet. 

At that moment I knew they would make it. What I wanted to first acknowledge is what in my opinion brothers reid have really done. . . they have made a significant step in making mental health ok to talk about.  By sharing their story of Heidi over and over again they have made an incredible way for the rest of us to open up dialogue on this very difficult subject. Over the past 2.5 years I have had countless conversations with people about mental health because I could say: I’ve got 2 ratbag mates riding round the world on dirt bikes raising money and awareness for mental health and from there the conversation would just flow. So thank you, you made it ok to talk about.”

We partied into the night and you’ll be happy to hear we managed to pack up in much less time than it took to set up. With the bikes on display in full authenticity all the boys clothes were in bags or ‘drying’ on their bikes, which had to be left under State High until Monday morning… Dylan had the foresight to grab his bag of clothes off the bike, Laws didn’t… so spent all weekend in the same outfit. Suffice to say he’s adjusting well to ‘normality’.

Enjoy the photos and check Brothers Reid out on facebook if you’d like to watch videos and find out more.

Standing Desks

With recent reports about the hazards of prolonged sitting, standing desks are increasing in popularity. Standing desks have shown to be particularly beneficial for people with lower back, hip or pelvis pain and even improve return to work outcomes. However many people report more discomfort and fatigue in their legs with a standing desk and certain health conditions (such as varicose veins) are better suited to sitting.

It is important to note that sitting at work still has a role to play. In fact, a 2 minute walk every 20 minutes can be enough to reduce glucose levels in the body and hence reverse some of the negative health effects of sitting. If you want to learn more about ideal sitting posture see our previous blog here

To help you navigate the standing desk world, we have put together our top tips below.

  1. Ensure you are standing in a good position
    While a standing desk may seem like the answer to certain aches and pains, it will be no better for your musculoskeletal health if you are not in a good position. Ever stood at a concert for a few hours and felt worse afterwards? If you are going to spend extra time standing during the day, it is important to take the time to identify your ideal position.Fatigue at a standing desk is shown to be higher in those who slouch. Similarly, we know that standing too upright can also cause certain muscle and joint problems. So how do you know what the right position is? Well your body will actually tell you! Below are some good general guidelines to follow
  • Maintain a neutral spine. This means maintaining your 4 natural curves. This position minimises stress on your spine and helps prevent injury and will look slightly different for different people
  • Keep your head upright and in line with your shoulders
  • Shoulders should be relaxed back and down –  the muscles on top of your shoulders should be soft
  • Don’t ‘lock’ lock your knees out – you should keep a gentle bend in them
  • Avoid leaning backwards or forwards – your lower back muscles should be soft and relaxed


  1. Introduce gradually

Just as you wouldn’t go from doing no running training, to suddenly doing a marathon, it is important to gradually increase your body’s tolerance for standing. If you are not used to standing all day, suddenly changing from 8 hours of sitting a day to 8 hours of standing can cause a variety of issues. It is recommended to start with just 5-10 minutes of standing at a time and build up to 20-30 minute blocks. When beginning, total standing time in the day should aim to be no more than 2 hours. Compression stocking, inner soles and supportive shoes have been shown to help alleviate feelings of leg fatigue.

  1. Pick the right desk

There are lots of different options and brands on the market, so it can be difficult to tell which desk is right for you. Key things to look for are:

  • Easy to move up and down (if its too difficult or requires a lot of physical exertion, then you either won’t move your desk often enough or you may hurt yourself moving it)
  • “Set and forget” – programmable sitting and standing height. This allows you to take the time to set up the correct height for your body once, then easily move between sitting and standing set-ups without having to re-check your posture each time
  • 10 year motor warranty
  • Can rise to more than 1200mm
  • Large enough to comfortably fit monitor, keyboard and forearms on
  1. Your best position is your next position!

Ultimately, the best option for you is to regularly change position. This is why if you are going to invest in a standing desk, it is important to get one that can easily change from sitting to standing and back again. Likewise, it is important to ‘move around’ in your standing position – this includes having a foot rest to alternate legs with for different posture options.

If a standing desk does not seem right for you (or you’re just not ready to take the plunge yet), then looking for ways to move more during the day is a really good starting point. This includes having ‘walk and talk’ meetings, a central printing station that you have to get up and walk to or taking the stairs (instead of the elevator) as much as possible. All are great ways to move more and keep your body happier!

  1. See your physiotherapist

Every body is different and the demands of every job are different too. That is why seeing your physiotherapist for a thorough assessment of your nerves, muscles, joints, posture and physical work demands is the best way to get personalised, specific treatment and advice for you. You do not need to have any symptoms to have as assessment. It’s like getting your car serviced to prevent a breakdown! If there is any strain building up in your body, we can help teach you how to reduce the strain and prevent it becoming a more significant problem.

Want to learn more, or book in for an appointment? Click here.