I grew up surrounded by acres of green and endless amounts of imagination. “Why” and “what if” were the constant questions as a child. Although I had a passion for the arts, I was a boy at heart that rebelled against my feminine side and joined the Naval Reserve Cadets as a teenager. I was addicted to the adventure, the survival skills and discipline that allowed me to have a focus and I really felt a difference in my mentality and confidence.
I went on to study acting full time and had my first break in Underbelly, A Tale of Two Cities and later worked in the US as a model and actor. It was the best times for me but I felt like I was only fulfilling one half of my personality. I made my way back home last year and signed up with WINK Models so I could juggle all genres of my career.
When the opportunity to film this documentary in Papua New Guinea came up I don’t think I quite knew what I was up for. A natural lover of nature was no asset to what was ahead. It was 148km of the most difficult terrain and altitudes of 2700m above sea level. I knew no amount of fitness and durability would get me through this. Some of the others went into full on work out regimes and diets but because of my training with the Reserve I knew it was a matter of will power and focus. I was thankful I had that opportunity and an understanding of inner strength, a skill I think is crucial to the success of any athlete. I knew, after this I would be an athlete of our history.
Admittedly, I didn’t have much understanding of the significance of Kokoda and the severity of the conditions, the history and the freedom the Papua New Guineans allowed our country to have. Once I started researching and talking to veterans I met along the way they told me about the cannibalism, the torrential rain, the practically vertical inclines and the parasites that can be fatal among all the other elements.
But once there, something happened, I felt my inside switch over to a survival mode. Everything was extreme – hunger, heat, rain, exhaustion – but I was about to make a moment in history and be filmed for the first time ever on this particular original war time trek. Each morning and evening I would keep my yoga routine in check and stretch out those tired muscles and jelly legs. Yoga was a balance for the harsh conditions I put my body through during those long hours of non-stop trekking.
It was not the most glamorous experience, but one that I will never forget and a moment in time I can be truly proud of.
The most rewarding part was meeting Charlie Lynn a veteran and trek leader, a super hero in my eyes. He was surprised at the lack of understanding and appreciation we younger generations have. This signified something I wanted to focus on more, educate my peers on the natural history of this special country that many of us take for granted.
Returning with a new perspective, a new understanding and appreciation of being an Australian my whole lifestyle had changed. My modelling work with the support of WINK Models became second nature and it allowed me to have more endurance than ever, especially in this industry that tests every part of your make up.
Since getting back into a routine I was so conscious of portions of food and not being greedy, my nutrition and staying hydrated. I also found that that inner voice that says “you can” was the one I started listening to more and more.
The most valuable gift of all was that, along with physically, I became stronger on the inside.
WINK Model and actress, Ayeshah Rose is uniquely qualified and has worked professionally in Australia and America. After studying acting for three years at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Ayeshah has gone on to work commercially and has acted in numerous tv series.