About three years ago I was sitting in my friends apartment in New York City. It was a fun weekend, in the summer and I was hanging with one of my best friends. I had a birthday about 3 days before blowing into NY & noticed the weather in Ireland was calling for partly sunny skies. I travel for a living, it seemed like a waste of a day to just sit around in Ireland and not get some fitness shots.
Modeling is a bit of a hobby and I enjoy it, and all the more when I can get decent results from my training. I love to eat, and I love to workout. It’s a constant balance and always with a laugh. I just feel so much better when I get my workout in.
I asked my friend Marge, “how would you go about finding a fitness model in Ireland”? She made it seem easy, and it kinda was. I put Irish male fitness model in the search engine, and checked every site I could find as well as on Facebook and other social media. I was in my late forties and was seeking a male to work with about the same age, or within five years. All the models I found were much younger. If there was a 40 something, he wasn’t in sight.
To find the photographer, I googled photographer’s too, & really just wanted someone with experience. Someone local, that knew the weather, and how to get good light out of a cloudy day if that was what we got. I was scheduled to be in Dublin in less than 40 hours. Everything was done through email correspondence and I checked everything online to make sure I wasn’t dealing with a weirdo. To be honest, finding Jim Schofield was about the easiest of the equation. He had pictures online and a work ethic and said he worked on an hourly rate and we’d shoot for 2 hours and he’d pic out unedited pics after the shoot to email back to the US. We did it that way, just that fast.
I told Jim via email what I was looking for and he said (after about a day) he couldn’t find anyone fitting the age bracket. He said he could find flat abs, semi-ripped and a serious athlete, but he was late 30’s. I was late forties and told him and said I didn’t want to look like his mom. Jim said no worries and just do it.
I don’t remember what Jim’s rates were, but it was well worth it, and I never had to worry. He somehow found Brian Ankers.
My plan was to land in Dublin, hit up a nap after being up all night and then get up, shower change and get out the door for the shoot. It got changed a touch with a heinous weather delay getting out of the US and my 3 or 4 hour nap got eaten up. I landed, pulled into the 4 star hotel, The Shelbourne Hotel and went straight to the shower. All I had time for was ironing clothes, doing my hair and then trying not to let anything mess up my “gung ho” vibe.
Meeting Jim was nothing but a riot. I was waiting outside the hotel holding about 4 outfit changes and clothes for myself and whoever I was working with and asked the bellhop to take our pictures. It was a scream! The accent, the vibe and he was on the phone with Brian Ankers, explaining where we’d meet.
Jim decided we’d be working four scenes in Phoenix Park and explained (in the car) I’d be working with Brian Ankers. He said Brian was an ultra marathoner, had set the Irish record that year in running 84 marathons in one year. 84? Say what? Back then, his personal record was 3:07 for a marathon. He also worked two jobs, was happily married and had four kids. We only had 2 hours, because we were working in between two of Brian’s jobs. I thought about getting a tad stressed, but figured it was better to just fake it. Fake it till you make it with any stress, that was where I was headed there. My talents weren’t what Brian’s were in athletics. I had been married before, helped raise two of my former husbands kids, (which is no easy task) and worked only 1 job, and hadn’t run a distance longer than the New York City marathon, or a weekly mileage not exceeding 49 miles a week. I felt a bit underequipped in athletic talent. I was still stoked for the shoot though.
We got to the park and I needed a restroom. This is where the things were a trip. I had walked trying to find a ladies room, but there wasn’t one. There were some people redoing the floors in a cricket house & they said I could go in there and use the one there. I didn’t hesitate and ran in. When I walked out of the bathroom, there was shirt hanging on the wall. It was a soccer styled shirt, short sleeved and had the name Adare on the back. What a trip. My last name is Adair, with a different spelling. Our ancestor’s moved from Ireland in the 1700’s. I decided this was good luck and whoever was outside waiting to work was the best person Ireland had.
Brian was going over the scenes with Jim when I walked up. It was fabulous. The shoot totally rocked. I loved the accent and couldn’t stop laughing. The best thing too, we got a touch of sun. In between scenes Brian talked of his wife and kids. He said he couldn’t do what he did without her support. I didn’t know then, but later I’d meet Jenny and the kids and she’s every bit as fun and pretty as he said. His kids, they are a scream, too.
We worked four scenes with about 4 different outfits and it’s what I like to call “employment nirvana”. Everyone wanted to be there and no one complained. When the shoot was done, Brian invited me and Jim to his next job, a boot camp class. Given I’d been up all night long, I was completely fried. The best compliment was from Jim and Brian, they both said they liked my energy. I’m glad they saw me this way.
Brian went on to win Connemara 100 later that year in 2014. I was published in Oxygen Magazine Australia in a two page spread in August of 2015. I worked another shoot with Brian and Jenny at the Wicklow Mountains up near Glendalough in 2016, with David Clifford Photography. That shoot rocked with the weather. It was sole grade sunny skies and we got good film. I wasn’t on point with my abs, but Brian and Jenny were. We are all still fabulous friends, and I’m grateful for their friendship.
The clothing we used in the first shoot was all Adidas wear and shoes. The second shoot was in New Balance. This was all before I was picked up by Brooks in one of their campaigns, #BrooksEndorsed.
Remember to always laugh, keep the vibe going, & even if you don’t think you got it in you, you do. Thanks for reading my blog and remember to #workhardlaughharder. I know I will be, and you should, too:-).