Meet David Annandale. In 2010/2011 he walked 4,000+kms from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific as a personal challenge after facing 7 long years of bad luck, trauma and personal grief. From his daughter’s cancer diagnoses, his wife’s open heart surgery and losing his mother on the day of his father’s funeral – Dave and his family certainly had an emotionally tough run.
“Walking relieves stress and that’s exactly what I needed at the time”, says Dave. “It was quite an adventure but walking is so good for you. It’s a weight bearing exercise which is great for anyone to do and boosts your overall health. It made sense for me to do the walk after what had been going in our lives”.
An Escape from Bad News
Starting off at 15km a day then making his way to walking 30km of his challenge daily, Western Australia born David Annandale used his adventure as a way to clear his head from the ongoing bad news him and his family had been receiving. “I don’t really know how I did it to be honest”, he chuckles. “I just kept looking at the horizon. I’d see one hill and think ‘get over that hill’, then another. One hill at a time. It’s determination. One foot after another and you tell yourself you just have to keep moving; it’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it but I couldn’t have done with without my wife. She followed behind me in the caravan and there was a few times when I nearly did give up but she kept encouraging me”.
Indian Pacific Thermos
After retiring from his day job, the idea to set himself this challenge struck when he was at Scarborough Beach in Perth. He partially filled his thermos with water from the Indian Ocean in front of him and set a mission to top it up with water from the Pacific.
Dave's 4 Things You Need in Life
Now, nearly five years later he reflects on the amazing journey. “There was four things I thought about when I walked which motivated me – the things you need in life”, he says.
1. Health, because you can’t have the rest without it!
2. Someone to love and somebody to love you back,
3. Something to look forward too,
4. And something to do, because that’s what keeps you going.
I was 65 years old when I did the walk and next year I’ll be 70. I couldn’t have done it when I was younger because I didn’t have the mindset”.
Pushing through extreme wet weather and stormy conditions, Dave admits it was hard but it was the blisters that proved to be the biggest challenge! “Walking 30km a day takes its toll on your feet and the blisters become a struggle. At the half way mark too, the vehicle broke down and the blisters where really horrible – especially because I wear orthotics too. But you just learn to cope with it”.
Finish Line with No Fanfare
On the 2nd of June Dave, with the encouragement and support of his wife Jan, completed his mentally enduring, soul searching challenge. It was a moment he would never forget, nor would his family. “It was 2.30pm and we were at Casey’s beach in Bateman’s Bay. There was no fireworks or anything like that, it was actually a little bit of an anticlimax because I had been walking for so long. It had become such a big part of my day, I could have kept going! It didn’t hit me until we were driving back, that sense of accomplishment”, admits Dave.
Learning to Walk Again
“Funny thing is though, when I got home I sat down on a chair and it slipped from underneath me and I fell backwards. I ended up having to get back surgery. No falls the entire walk and then I get home and that happens! I also had a stroke last year too and had to learn how to walk all over again. Things happen in life that can change everything in a heartbeat, and that’s why you have to enjoy it while you can”.
Inspiring His Children
As Dave reminisces about his positively inspiring journey, he sheds light on just how wonderful it is his own personal challenge has inspired the people around him he loves so dearly. “We’ve just got back from Canberra with my son and I was showing him my marks I had made at every 30km. That’s when the sense of accomplishment really kicks in…and knowing I’ve set something up for my children too. My son has started doing walks and mountain climbs, it’s in his blood and its great watching them strive for something too”.
Recently the man behind the ultimate mission purchased a StarStrider SS248 Treadmill with his wife Jan and they kindly agreed to give some insight into the product and their fitness goals for 2015 in the hope of inspiring others to get out there and follow their own health and well-being dreams. Here’s what they had to say.
1. What are your 2015 fitness goals?
Well, my daughter is about to have a baby and with her tumour and cancer diagnoses wasn’t meant to be able to carry, so it’s a miracle. I suppose that will be keeping me on my toes!
2. How do you plan to achieve your fitness goals this year?
I’m 70 next year so it gets harder, but you just have to keep moving. We are in the middle of driving to Albany at the moment and have been fishing this morning. It’s great just getting outdoors and I walk every day out in the fresh air.
3. We know you love walking, but why did you decide to look for a treadmill in the first place?
It was for my wife as her cardiologist recommended it. She’s asthmatic too, so has trouble walking outside so it made sense to opt for a treadmill.
4. How was the buying process? Did you look at many treadmills online or in stores?
We had purchased stuff from Orbit Fitness before so just went into the store and Gavin helped us straight away. We had a treadmill about 20 years ago, but this was the first treadmill purchase since.
5. What was your first impressions of the SS248 StarStrider Treadmill?
It’s perfect for someone like my wife to use and really convenient.
6. Was it easy to setup? Where in your home have you got this bad boy parked?
We bought this one off the floor so it was already set up. Orbit delivered it and we have it parked in the TV room.
7. It’s been a few weeks since you’ve been using the machine – has it been easy getting to know the features?
Yes, it’s very easy to use – especially for my wife who doesn’t know how to turn a computer on!
8. What’s your favourite workout setting?
My wife has had open heart surgery and 3 knee constructions on the one knee so she only needed it for a casual stroll. It does more than this, but this is her favourite setting.
9. How many times a week are you working on this machine?
Jan uses it every day for half an hour, but has just gone up to using it an hour daily.
10. How do you like to keep motivated during your treadmill workout? Do you watch TV or listen to music?
We have it set up in the TV room as my wife likes to watch the news whilst she walks. It takes the monogamy out of doing the same thing. I mix my walks up too and do my ‘golf ball golf course walk’ every now and then which makes it more exciting. I’ve collected and given away over 6,000 golf balls over the years!
11. What was the main reason you chose this particular treadmill model?
We were just looking at the basic model because my wife doesn’t need to run but Gavin was really helpful. There was the next model up that was on the showroom floor all set up and he gave it to us for the same price. We didn’t mind that it had already been run on, had a few more gizmos and was already set up so it was convenient.
12. Is there anything about the treadmill you are unhappy with or would like to see improved?
Nope, my wife is very happy with it – she loves it!
13. Would you recommend the SS248 treadmill?
14. How many Thermos' out of five do you give it for the following?
a. Value for money 5/5
b. Range of features 5/5
c. Ease of use 5/5
d. Product build quality 5/5
e. Customer service 5/5
The StarStrider SS248 Treadmill
A huge thank you to Dave and Jan for helping us piece this story together.