Our Barefooter Kate Mendel loves her rock climbing.
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.
We titled this BLOG post ‘Jasmine can dance up a storm!’ as we were recently blown away by an Instagram post she put up a little while ago. While it said in the description: hip-hop level 1, we think it was absolutely next level – literally and figuratively.
Click this and tell us what you think? Jasmine Hip-Hop
So we needed to know a bit more about Jasmine, and when we started to dig, we found out just how amazing she is.
Two very different activities that you enjoy doing are dance and soccer. We’ll touch on dance first – how did you get into it and what type of dance do you enjoy most? Is there a recent routine that’s been your favourite?
Two activities I really enjoy that keep me fit and motivated are soccer and dance. I started dance in March 2017 to try and fill the void that soccer had left in my life (I had to take a season off for injury reasons). What started as a casual dance classes at Mad Dance House here and there, quickly escalated to 6+ classes a week (each going for 1 hour, so that’s a lot of hours!).
I mostly do urban hip-hop classes and I absolutely fell in love with how physically demanding it is and to my delight, how mentally stimulating. I was finally doing something again that really took me out of my comfort zone and got me involved with a completely new culture of people. I’m actually doing my first showcase with Mad Dance House this November which I’m very excited for!
For soccer, how long have you played and what draws you back to play each season? What position do you play?
Soccer has been a big part of my personal identity since I was 8 years old. Despite the injuries over the past 16 or so years I keep being drawn back to soccer by the challenges of competition, building team comradery, and the fitness side of training. I’m quite zippy, so I mostly play wing and striker positions where speed is utilised best. Still working on getting those left foot kicks into the back of the net though!
Looking into another side of your interests, you’re currently building a computer from scratch in your spare time. What does that entail exactly?
In my spare time I like to dabble in all sorts of things – I’m very much a ‘finger in every pie’ type of person. At the moment I’ve just finished building my second computer. I decided that I needed to build one that had all of the flashing lights. I think I was 11 the first time I got into the guts of desktop PC, I pulled it apart and was fascinated by how it all came together. I enjoy researching every component and making sure they all come together in the best cost to performance ratio possible.
Putting a machine together is very satisfying, especially when you hit the power button for the first time and everything spins the way it should. Though I’ve certainly had my fair share of components catching fire at some point as well (usually due to something not being seated correctly D’oh!), which makes the ‘power on’ moment so thrilling – you either build it perfectly or it catches fire – so you learn to be more efficient each time. As I’m writing this I can almost smell the last set of fans I short circuited, it can make for a very expensive hobby…
And lastly, travel! Tell us about your recent trip and where you think you’ll be next!
Travelling is something I really want to do more of at this point in my life. I feel like it’s the
only way to step out of your bubble and learn perspective. Most recently I went travelling around Jordan for a week with my father and sister. It’s an amazingly untouched country nestled between Israel, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia. We
spent the most time in Amman, Petra, and the Dead Sea. The country is dotted with massive old castles and sprawling rocky mountains; it looks like a Star Wars movie could be filmed there for how different the terrain is. I’ve been to most of Europe already so next on my list is Japan, I’m incredibly excited for the history and traditional culture there. Just have to make sure I go during summer, I’m pretty defenceless against the cold!
Thanks for that Jasmine! We wish you all the best with your pursuits and hope you DON’T burn the house down with a computer, and DO burn the house down with your dancing!!
Daniel is an extremely active athlete, playing rugby, enjoying swimming and hiking. Now his education and talents take him for a Canadian Adventure, where he is looking forward to both Summer and Winters so he can pursue all of his loves.
When you first came in, you were big into rugby and have since been filling your time with other activities – what would a regular week look like for you?
I like to try and do something on most days through the week. Lately rock climbing has filled the void of rugby and i like to go a couple of times a week. Through the rest of the week I try and do two strength sessions and then either a run or a swim. I do prefer swimming though, especially during the warmer months
You have now graduated from uni and are working full time – give us a bit of a background on your studies and the change over to full time work.
I’ve have just finished studying civil and construction engineering and was lucky enough to get a job through my final two years of uni working 3-4 times a week and taking the odd day off here and there when I needed to. This definitely helped to moving over to full time work and I do much of the same work but i get free afternoons to relax.
We’ve chatted lots about what is next – a Canadian Adventure! Tell us a bit about where you are going and what brought you to buy the one way ticket!
I always wanted to try a working holiday or student exchange to experience something different and always found Canada appealing from photos and stories from my friends and family. The hardest part about going was actually picking a place to live but I will be staying in Banff mainly due to the the range of ski resorts through the winter and the appeal of hiking and the national parks in the summer. Really looking forward to a Canadian Adventure.
Daniel has been a Barefooter for quite some time. Enjoying what Physiotherapy can offer in relation to ‘tune-ups’ and keeping his body performing at his Peak. If you would like to benefit from a tailored Physiotherapy Plan to support your body and your sport, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. More details can be found HERE.
We love hearing from our Barefooters and the incredibly cool things they do in their lives. It makes what we do so much more enjoyable (and entertaining!). Jason is a great example of someone who really leans in to life and enjoys all aspects. Read on for all about Brisbane’s dance scene – Jason is a great person to ask all about it and some fun facts about him!
Jason you are a very committed dancer – what type of dance to you do? Tell us about it (what made you choose to dance, what you love about it)
I dance a number of different street Latin dance styles primarily Salsa, Cha Cha Cha and Bachata. My favourite dance style is Salsa. Street Latin is quite different to what you would probably imagine when you think of Latin or ballroom and see on TV shows like Dancing with the Stars.
I’ve always been interested in dance but never actually took any classes until my brother asked me to come to a free “come and try” salsa class when I was about 25. I was instantly hooked and quite quickly went from dancing once a week to five or six nights a week in only a few short months.
Dancing has so many positive aspects about it. For starters, it is a very social activity as it is a couple dance so you get to meet many interesting people. At the same time, you are exercising and getting a work out but it doesn’t feel like a hard core gym session!!
No matter where you go in the world you can always find a club, social event, class or other dance event on that will allow you to get out and about and meet new people in different countries. I’ve danced throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as been lucky enough to have travelled to USA and a number of other countries through Europe on organised dance tours.
We often see people dancing in the square in Brisbane City – is that ever you? Does Brisbane have a good dancing community?
Yes, Brisbane Square is one of the events that I attend from time to time. This event in particular is really good, due to it being outdoors and visible to the public. It attracts a big crowd every week and also exposes non-dancers to the Brisbane dance scene. The Brisbane dance community is still relatively small but it has grown significantly in the last few years. In fact, you can go out and social dance or take classes almost every night of the week now, something which was not possible a few years ago.
Some other great regular dance events are Thursday nights at Cloudland which has a live Salsa band, and Sunday nights at Jade Budda. In addition, there are plenty of other events organised by dance schools and passionate individuals which change from week to week.
The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast scenes are also really growing at the moment, and there is a lot of travel between these locations for classes and social dance nights.
During the week you help run your family business – what type of work do you do and what’s it like working as a family?
We run a small business which imports timber from New Zealand. I look after a lot of the admin and logistical side of the business. It’s great working in a family business as it offers a lot of flexibility and freedom. This is something which I really appreciate when trying to get away for class or other dance events that I constantly have going on.
Working in the timber industry is something that I never imagined I would be doing as a kid, however as the family business was expanding an opportunity opened up to join. I couldn’t be happier with the opportunities and work/life balance that have come my way.
What are 5 fun facts about you that you’d love to share.
- I used to play football (soccer) for about 20 years both outdoor and indoor. This is something that was a very big part of my life and spent a lot of time doing. I met a lot of great people and travelled all around the world playing and training at some amazing venues and football clubs.
- I met my girlfriend out at a social dance night. (Something which I was not expecting but was pleasantly surprised). Yes, it is possible to meet your someone special in the dance scene and I know quite a few people who have met and married from dancing.
- I am a bit of a nerd and have a love for all things tech as well as drones 😊 I try to get out every couple of weeks to do some drone flying as well.
- I love to travel and in my early twenties I took a year off to live in London. I had a great time and would recommend that experience to anyone thinking about it.
- I am currently learning Spanish and hopefully one day will be able to master this as a second language 😊