How Beau and Kara survived their toughest test
BEAU Ryan and Kara Orrell couple lived out their relationship challenges in the public spotlight. But the couple bounced back and say they're stronger than ever.
Beau Ryan, 34, TV personality, Cronulla
I was 16 and at the beach with some friends when I saw this girl walking by. I didn't know who she was but she looked over at me and we locked eyes for a few seconds. She carried on with her friends and jumped in a car.
I didn't think anything of it but a couple of years later, I bumped into her again at a nightclub in Wollongong. She gave me her phone number but you wouldn't believe it, my phone got stolen and I lost all her contact details. Fast forward another year,
I was about 19 and playing footy for Illawarra and was out after a presentation night. I bumped into her again. That was it. I had to go on a date with her, it was fate. That girl was Kara and now we're married with two kids, Remi, 6, and Jesse, 2. We had a few years apart when we were about 23.
Kara went to London to work and travel and I focused on my footy career. I had a lot of setbacks early on and was a bit behind the eight-ball (in terms of my football) but when I made the move to Sydney to play for the Wests Tigers, it really paid off for me. Kara and I eventually came back together and have been a couple ever since.
We have had our challenges throughout our relationship but I love how Kara has put our family first. She's sacrificed so much for me and our kids and I appreciate that, it means a lot to me. I love how she always looks after me. She's extremely loyal, strong and a good role model for our kids, she's much stronger than I am. I'm glad we have a daughter just like her.
Kara has had to sacrifice her career for our family because my work is so unpredictable: late nights, early mornings, different countries and that can be hard. Kara keeps the family grounded and rooted.
She's been with me through it all, especially when I've reinvented myself professionally and personally. I've been lucky with the opportunities I've had, particularly with live television and now, as the host of The Amazing Race. I'm constantly learning and this show is huge for me. I'm so grateful for everything I have in my life.
Kara Orrell, 34, Queensland-raised, Cronulla-based
Having spent my childhood growing up in Burleigh and later Maroochydore, I was always at the beach. So even though
I moved to New South Wales, it makes sense [that] the beach is where I'd meet my husband. I was about 16 when I saw Beau through the crowd. I joked at the time that he was way too good looking, something must be wrong with him.
We kept bumping into each other over the years. One night out, I decided to give him my number. He tells me his 'phone got stolen' and that's why I never heard from him. We joke about it now but back then,
I avoided him for a year. I'd purposefully walk straight past him if I saw him.
I thought, 'What a douche, what a loser'. He'd come over to me and try really hard to talk to me but I wasn't into it.
After a while, my friends kept telling me I should give him a go, he was so keen to take me out on a date. I caved and agreed to go out with him. It was more, 'I'll do it so
I can shut him up'. But what happened on that date was so unexpected.
I started to fall in love with him. I saw this shy, vulnerable and loving side to Beau. He wasn't just the larrikin I, and everybody else, thought he was.
We met so early on in our lives that
I used to think, 'Is he the one?' It took quite a few years to realise we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.
It's been hard sometimes to live life as
a couple in the public eye. Just recently, we got papped all the way to our daughter's school. We do live an open life, which is fine, but when that happens, it's confronting. We have been through a lot together. At our toughest point, we both decided we needed to do the best thing for our relationship and our family and put those things first.
Once we did that, everything in life got better. I pulled back from my career as
a hairdresser, which took the pressure off when I was overwhelmed with trying to juggle life as a mother and a wife. Beau and I probably appreciate each other more now than ever.
We were once so focused on careers, life and friends and didn't spend as much time growing together as a couple as we do now.
Every day we wake up and think, 'How can we be a better couple?'
The Amazing Race premieres on Network 10 tomorrow at 7.30pm.