Jayde 4WD

Jayde – weekend adventurer and all round legend :)

Jayde is a hilarious pocket rocket that does some pretty cool things on the weekend. We love hearing all her stories so asked her to share a bit about her life with us. Questions by Sal

1 – Superstar Jayde! You have some sweet adventurous weekends… can you explain what VMR is and what you do in it?

VMR stands for Volunteer Marine Rescue, and our base is in Southport next to the SeaWorld Resort. I find the easiest way to describe what we do is like RACQ, but for boats. We provide towing to people who have broken down or run out of fuel or cannot return to their boat ramps due to any issues with their boats. We have also been involved in searches for missing people in co-ordinance with the Water Police. I’ve been with the organisation for about 10 years now and joined as I wanted to acquire more life skills. When I was growing up, our family had boats and I’ve always enjoyed being out on the water. The organisation is amazing as you learn so much through all their training modules about the waterways, how to operate a boat and lead a crew, and obviously about the boats themselves. About 8 years ago, VMR and the QLD ambulance Service joined forces for to create a role in the service for First Responders. The role was set out to provide a higher level of care until paramedics were able to arrive on scene. Obviously being out on the water, an ambulance cannot get to you quicker than on road, so these crew members are able to be dispatched for immediate care and then another crew transports the ambulance personnel to the scene of the accident. About 5 years ago, I joined the First Responder group and haven’t looked back since. I have also worked my way up to a VMR crew ranking of inshore skipper which meanss I can take a boat out with a crew on my own.  The knowledge and extra skills I have learned through both organisations have been paramount and I am thankful to be part of 2 awesome communities.

Jayde VMR

2 – Still on weekends and adventures, we know you’re a 4WDing maddog – can you tell us about a recent trip you did? (Where did you go, who did you go with and some highlights)

My first big annual trip last year was out through the Simpson Desert. 3 weeks on the road, 6300kms and the most amazing experiences. The family I travelled with have done the desert crossing about 8 times, so I have complete trust and faith in the awesome people I travel with. I started out from Brisbane and met up with everyone in Birdsville. We were in the desert for about 4 days before arriving into Kulgera (first and last pub in SA). Hot showers and a meal that we didn’t need to cook was very welcomed! From there I split from the group and headed out to Ayers Rock to go and experience all its magnificence. It was a very humbling experience to have it put into perspective just how tiny and fleeting we are in this world when you see this massive rock in the middle of nowhere. I met back up with the group and we then ventured north through Boggy Hole, Palm Valley, Hermannsburg and into Alice Springs. We spent 2 nights there and I visited the National Transport Hall of Fame. I work for a transport company so it’s amazing to see the heritage that logistics and trucks have in our country. From Alice Springs we headed up to Boulia then down through Bladensburg National Park and Winton into Longreach where I spent 2 days in the Stockman’s Hall of Fame. Another extremely humbling experience that makes you proud to be an Australian. From there it was homeward bound sadly. On our last day of travel, we witnessed 2 drover runs of cattle and after the extraordinary journey we had just completed, I had to fight back tears. After a big trip like that, it definitely takes you a week to get your headspace back to civilisation! Camping for me is an opportunity to leave behind the hustle of life, nothing beats a campfire and being surrounded by quality and likeminded people.

Jayde 4WD

3 – Now there is a special 4-legged creature in your life – Tell us about Chloe – what kind of dog is she, and what do you two get up to together?

I adopted Chloe 3 years ago from the QLD Staffy and Amstaff Rescue. She is 6 and a half years old and we believe an Amstaff X Bull Arab. She is the sweetest, gentlest dog and the biggest sook. She loves people and would lick you to death if she was given the chance! She loves camping with me, car rides and going on trips out to the beach, Bunnings or the pet shop (more cuddles). She has gotten me through some very dark days and knows exactly how to cheer me up when I need it. I promised her a life of love and adventure and I spoil her rotten – I always joke that she eats better than I do (which is true!). She always makes me laugh with her goofy antics, she loves to rough house with the cat and is always up for snuggles. She has the most amazing eyes, which I have found to be the most expressive as well. She’s taught me patience, a depth of love I didn’t know existed and to live in the moment. Nothing beats waking up to the wagging tail and her smiley, loveable face every morning!

Jayde doggo

Shellie – recharging the Energizer bunny :)

Shellie is a superstar – an incredible human who brings laughter and fun to everywhere she is. We have always admired her and even more after watching her learn to take care of herself fully over the last year and becoming an advocate for true self care. Here’s to recharging batteries! Questions by Caitlin

You have travelled to some interesting and stunning places. Tell us more about some of your favourite destinations and where to next!

Choosing my favourite destination is a hard one! I am definitely going back to Egypt because it’s an amazing country and I didn’t get to see all of it, but I really loved the tiny town of Chefchaouen in Morocco. It’s a beautiful town with lovely people and the 6 hour bus trip from Casablanca to Chefchaouen is a chance to see the countryside fly by!  The next big trip I’m planning is a long one covering South Korea and Japan.

Until recently, you were balancing a full time office job and coaching group boxing sessions. That requires some serious commitment! What makes you passionate about coaching?

Coaching was definitely one of my happy places, despite the very early mornings! One of my favourite things about coaching was creating programs that people loved to hate! 😊 I loved getting to know the clients – what exercises they loved/dreaded, and what kind of formats they responded to.

You’ve recently been on a journey of self-care – can you tell us more about what you’ve learned and what changes you’ve made as a result

I’ll try and be as concise as possible with this one, but there’s so much to it! The most important thing I’ve learned – that I thought I already knew, but didn’t – is that checking in with your health (mental and physical) needs to be part of your daily routine regardless of how good you feel. It’s shockingly easy when there’s a lot going on in life to slip down from feeling great and on top of everything, to being unable to handle anything. I jot down (in my awesome wellbeing battery journal! plug!) what my battery level is each day, how much water I drank and how many steps I did. This gives me a clear picture of what is happening in my day, and I can see when I need to slow down to recover from work or physical stress – or when I can push myself more. I started doing this in May last year when my battery was in the red every day, and I still do it every day now that I’m green most days! It’s actually what keeps my battery more full – without knowing where I am today, I can’t make decisions that are beneficial to my tomorrow.

The biggest mental hurdle though, was making peace with resting and going back to basics. Accepting that some days all I can do is go for a long walk, and knowing that other days I can complete a 45 min hiit sesh. The word ‘balance’ gets thrown around a lot, but it absolutely is the key, and listening to my body and my mind about what I really need that day is the biggest change I’ve made 🙂

Barefooter Evelyn – Dentistry, Pilates, Travel and her Puppy

Barefooter Kate Mendel loves her Rock Climbing!

Our Barefooter Kate Mendel loves her rock climbing.

Katie Abbott, a Proud Dog Mum who also loves shredding trails on her Mountain-bike.

Katie Abbott recently started telling us about what she got up to in her spare time.  When we started to dig a little deeper, we found a very Proud Dog Mum who has the most incredible little guy Nero who does the most amazing things.  On top of this, Katie is also quite an avid mountain-biker, which she came to a bit by accident.  So we asked a few more questions and then couldn’t help but put this article together to share her story:

You are the Proud Dog Mum of Nero who you compete in Agility with – can you tell us what Agility is and what Nero participates in?

Nero is my rescue Jack Russell cross who, when I got him, had seemingly endless energy to burn. I needed a way to exhaust not only his crazy fit little body, but his mind too. I did some research and it looked like Agility fit the bill perfectly – I was surprised to find that it wasn’t just for the fast working breed dogs but for dogs of any size and breed. Also, I’m possibly a little competitive with just about anything (I can make yoga competitive), so finding something that was fun, made Nero think, kept us both active and competitive to boot, was a dream come true! It’s true, I am a Proud Dog Mum.

Agility is an obstacle course for dogs and the owners are needed to show the dog which obstacle is next, what speed to take and where the course is going. The courses are made up of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, A-frames, dog walks and see-saws and, depending on the difficulty level, there can be between 15-25 obstacles on a course. The fastest round without making any mistakes is the winner! There are 5 height categories, so thankfully (for them) the big dogs compete separately to the little dogs. Each height category has the same course but the main difference is the height of the jumps. In the ‘mini’ category, Nero competes against other small dogs such as poodles, cocker spaniels, shetland sheepdogs, jack russells, fox terriers and small breed mixes. Teeny tiny dogs such as chihuahua’s compete in the ‘toy’ category all the way up to ex-racing greyhounds compete in the ‘maxi’ category, and everything in between.

Nero has been competing for a couple of years now and he definitely loves being out on the course, going fast and doing his thing with me. Not only is agility fun for both Nero and I, but also it’s been a place where I’ve met so many like-minded, dog-loving, agility-mad Proud Dog Mum Friends.


As a relatively new Queenslander can you tell us what about Brisbane you like and why you chose to live here?

I’ve lived in QLD for 3 years now and it is most definitely feels like home. Going back 5 years, my fiance, Michael and I started a long distance relationship. We met in Paris while on holidays and although we lived in different cities, we were glad we were in the same country! Fast forward 2 years and 100 flights each (yes, EACH) later, the time had come for someone to move. I hadn’t planned to move to Brisbane and was hoping Michael would move to Sydney but we stumbled across an amazing apartment in an awesome location. It was way too nice to have as an investment we planned, so the search was on to find a job up here… which took 3 days. It was just meant to be!

It wasn’t long after I started living here and still flying back to Sydney to see my family, that I realised that landing at Brisbane Airport felt like I was coming home. For me, it’s who I live near that makes the place awesome – so the reason I like Brisbane is because I like the people here. It’s really as simple as that. Yes Brisbane has so many qualities that I love (except the humidity), but the people of Brisbane are what make it so special.


On the weekend we know you can be found on the Mountain biking tracks – how did you get into it, do we have good tracks in Brisbane and how often do you and the trees have a disagreement?

When I wake up on a perfect weekend morning the first thing I want to do is get into the water for a surf. Mother nature doesn’t always provide amazing waves and getting into a wetsuit on a cold morning isn’t so appealing, so another activity was needed to help keep me active and outside. I can’t train Nero 24×7 and he needs rest days too, so I thought maybe biking was an option. I wasn’t super keen at first because the last things I wanted to do were to loose control at speed and get scared. But I bought a bike anyway.

I bought a bike that was good enough to handle the mtb tracks, but not pricey enough that I HAD to go for a ride every weekend to make it worth it. It was a purple bike too – winning!

It was as simple as, after my very first mtb lesson, I was hooked. I was determined to get better, feel that adrenaline rush again and get fit while being outdoors. Honestly, it didn’t bother me too much when I had altercations with trees (sorry Sal!) as I had done equestrian sports for 10 years and competed to 2** level in eventing. While riding horses I had learned that stacks are inevitable and it’s getting back on the horse (now bike) is what makes you learn and grow.

Brisbane has some amazing mountain bike tracks that are specifically for mountain bikes and where bush-walkers aren’t allowed. There are tracks at a few different spots that I’ve been to and they’re beautifully maintained, graded for difficulty and constantly added to to keep things interesting. The places I like to get on the trails are Gap Creek Reserve in Kenmore and also Daisy Hill Conservation Park in Logan. Next on the list of places to check out is the Hidden Vale Adventure Park out past Ipswich.

I now far prefer mountain biking to surfing and am contemplating upgrading my bike to  a super fancy dual suspension bike. I just hope they come in purple.


If you liked Katie’s Proud Dog Mum story, and would like to submit something about yourself – we’d love to hear from you. Click here and shoot us a web mail.