Winner of Channel 5's 'Unbreakable' finds love in Cheshire
Today he tells Charlie Kennedy how he has swapped his life of wrestling alligators and ski-racing to becoming a windows salesman in Cheshire, all in the name of love.
“As an athlete, you need to keep working hard to get the results in life. I’ve learnt this applies to any career; when things get tough, you need to remind yourself to keep persevering. You never give up.”
These are the words that have kept Angus, 30, from Knutsford, committed to his job at Everest Home Improvements and knocking doors in rain and snow for a living.
“I find it tough,” he said. “I miss being close to my passion, to be able to wake up and go skiing for a living, but I now get to wake up next to the love of my life instead and I’m a big believer in sticking to your decisions and making your way no matter what it is you are doing.”
Angus moved back to England after spending 11 years living in Verbier, Switzerland, in order to progress with his partner Rose, (name has been changed) who is studying at University.
“We had been dating for well over a year and the long distance was starting to grate on us so I decided to move back in order to set up a life together.”
Angus, who spends a lot of his free time at Total fitness in Altrincham, has been used to getting his kicks from tribal stick fighting and training with the navy seals filmed on ‘Unbreakable’ in 2007.
He decided to sign up for the show, presented by leading British explorer Benedict Allen, when his friend suggested it to him in a bar one night.
“It sounded right up my street, to push yourself to breaking point is something I always strive for to get results and I suppose I wanted the challenge of competing against other people and trying to win.”
Even though he never actually reached breaking point, there were times on the show when he felt close to breaking.
“It’s mentally and physically very difficult to endure physical pain like having open blisters all over your feet and then running six miles after a morning of fitness training on an empty stomach. The tests were set up to try and break you physically and then mentally.
“Once you have endured the initial physical aspect of getting used to the pain, it’s then up to you mentally to go the distance and fight through the burn. You just have to stay strong and remember you are never going to die on television!”
The hardest task on the series for Angus, or ‘Gus’ as friends call him, was in the Sahara Desert, recovering from sun stroke on an IV drip ready for the next task.
“We had been buried in the sand and had to endure the heat unprotected for an hour. After that they pulled us out and that’s when I started vomiting. I was more worried about not being well enough to take part in the next task, but I was fine in the end.”
Even though there was no reward for him winning the show, Angus would relive the experience in a heartbeat.
“If they made another programme, I’d do it and try and win again! I made some great friends on the show who I still keep in touch with, it was a once in a lifetime experience and I will never forget it.”
Sitting in Booths cafe in Knutsford and wearing a ‘British Free Style Team’ jumper, with a chocolate protein shake in his hand, it is not difficult to spot the athlete. I ask him what he wants from life and he sits for a few moments looking lost for words.
“I want to go to bed at night happy that I’m achieving something and progressing. I’d like to have a family one day but aside from that I’m happy. I have my health, I feel fit, and I keep active. I take part in sports, actually, I’ve just started playing rugby for Holmes Chapel.”
Just as I am about to ask him why he plays for the rivals and not for his home team Knutsford, he beats me to it raising his voice a little. “It’s not that I don’t like Knutsford,” he said, “but I joined Holmes Chapel before I moved to Knutsford so it’s not like I’m a traitor.” The words of a true Scotsman.
Angus, whose home town is the small mining village Lesmahagow in Lanarkshire, enjoys running most mornings in Tatton park and mountain biking.
“It’s great to be able to walk out your front door and five minutes later you’re surrounded by deer and country land in Tatton. Or to drive 45 minutes to the Lakes and walk up a mountain. Rose and I recently received our motorbike licences so it’s fun going for a ride, weather permitting!”
Angus has a cheeky look in his eyes as he nods his head over to the right of where we are sitting. I look over and see a shining silver Honda CBR motorbike sitting outside.
“She keeps the fire in my belly,” he said. “And Rose when she’s racing me, but don’t tell her Dad I said that.”
With the interview coming to a close, I ask him one final question about whether he regrets moving away from the snowy mountains.
“I never have regrets. It’s a new chapter and I’m alive.”