After four and a half years shooting 50 interviews, 500 hours of footage across 2 continents, cinema audiences will be inspired by the incredible on screen and behind the scenes story of YOU and ME a new feature documentary that follows the the extraordinary true story of Barney Miller, an active, life loving guy who became a quadriplegic 17 years ago as an emerging Pro Surfer when the car he was a passenger in, hit a tree at over 120kms an hour. Told by doctors he would never breathe independently or be able to use his right arm or legs again, Barney has defied all medical assessments through grit, self-belief, hard work and sheer guts.
When Barney meets and falls in love with Kate, a girl with her own dreams of being a singer, he makes it his mission to only ask Kate to marry him when he can kneel down to propose, stand at the altar and dance at their wedding together.
With the help and support of loved ones, the innovative work of Neurophysics Functional Performance trainer Ken Ware and close friends including 3X World Champion surfer Mick Fanning, Barney is back surfing, fundraising for others with spinal injury through the Barney Miller Surf Classic, and the Wings for Life World Run and is working towards his ultimate goal – to walk, run and surf standing up again.
As a proud fellow ambassador for The Wings For Life World Run I thought I’d take this time to celebrate the courage, determination and sheer strength these two have been through. Their story is incredibly inspiring and I can’t wait to run along side them on May 8th to help raise money for spinal injury research.
YOU and Me will hit cinemas across Australia and New Zealand on April 26 2016.
Where are you and what are you doing right now?
We just celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary so we have been in Byron for a few days relaxing & recharging for the the next few months. We have been staying with our best friends & spent the afternoon at Gaia Retreat & Spa having holistic healing treatments.
2. Your determination to defy all medical assessments and be able walk again is truly an incredible story. What motivates you to strive for progress and not give up when the going gets tough?
I think the motivation to push beyond my limits has always been engrained in me since I was a kid because I have always been an athlete. So it’s like my competitive nature was prepping me for the biggest challenge of my life. Whenever I find I am doubting myself though I take a breathe & try to think of all the amazing progress I have made & remind myself that it’s ok to not always be on my best game. I also believe it’s through those hard moments that I am able to appreciate the good days so much more.
3. How important is food and nutrition in your daily life, and the affect it has on your recovery and state of mind?
I’m not going to lie I am quite a plain eater and I have a mega sweet tooth but I do love juicing & smoothies so even if I don’t like to eat it i will blend it in our Blendtec or NutriBullet. Haha I have noticed such a huge difference in energy & mental clarity when I am getting in my green smoothies & superfoods verse if I am eating poorly & on the run I am very quick to feel flat. Kate is a natural remedy guru & has a real passion for holistic & nutritional medicine, so my palate has definately become a lot more adventurous. I don’t like taking painkillers so she has been making me an anti-inflammatory drink called Golden Milk which is made up of Almond or coconut milk, tumeric, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon & raw honey to taste. Its so good. Lately we have been learning a lot about gut health & how it is the the root of health so our other regular favourites are fresh coconut water, kombucha, apple cider vinegar & bone broth.
4. What are you most grateful for?
Barney – Life, health & being surrounded by good people & our dogs.
Kate- For love & the ability to open my heart to new experiences everyday & live our dreams together.
5. Kate, what inspires you about Barney?
His love for life & taking advantage of every opportunity given to him. Also that he is taking his own experiences of healing to help others. It’s not just his journey but the worlds. I am so honoured to share my life with him & learn from his courage & willpower.
6. Barney, how does Kate inspire you?
Her love, her soul it’s just amazing. Watching her do what she’s done even with her own hardships through life is something I really admire. She’s the strongest person I know. Watching her in her element in the music studio blows me away & seeing hard work pay off of a goal she set to be a singer is something I definitely feed off.
7. What are you hoping your film “You and Me” will do for other people?
We hope that after people see the film, that it will give them hope & realise the inner strength that we all have inside us to conquer any obstacle & hardship that we will face in our lives. It’s never to late to try & although it’s super clichè to never underestimate the power of self belief & surrounding yourself with a strong support network.
8. Do you both have any daily mantras that keep you positive and focused?
We start & finish everyday with 5 things we are grateful for. It is the perfect way to acknowledge all of the great things we have going on in our day to day lives & that helps us to focus on keeping positive.
9. The ocean is an incredible thing. How has this been a healing aspect of your recovery process?
It’s been the biggest healer for me. I have always known the power of the ocean since I was young but it wasn’t until I was away from it for so long after my accident & then got back in that I experienced the true healing it gives.
10. If you could give one piece of advice to those who have had major medical setbacks in their life and are struggling to find strength, what would it be?
Learn to trust yourself. Don’t let anybody else’s opinion professional or not set your limitations on what you can or cannot do. Every individuals situation is unique & cannot be treated as a statistic. I have seen too many ‘miracles’ to overlook that now & know that we are all capable of so much more than even we allow ourselves to do.
11. What’s next for you both?
Barney – my priority will remain with my therapy & continuing to mentor anyone who wants help. I also have my charity surf event The Barney Miller Classic where we raise money for a different Individual each year who has suffered a spinal injury. It’s coming upto it’s 17th year August 13/14 so I will be focusing on getting that ready also.
Kate – I wrote & recorded a few tracks for the film which will also be part of my new album. So for the next few months my main focus will be creating music & working on a live show to tour with the album release later in the year.