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15 Things I Learned in Australia

atlanta australia crossfit dr. danny mobility physical therapy Sep 05, 2014


I recently spent two weeks teaching the CrossFit Movement and Mobility Trainer Course in Australia. I’m thrilled that Kelly and Juliet Starrett trust me enough to teach this course internationally. We taught close to 300 attendees. These people ranged from CrossFit coaches and personal trainers to electricians and retired teachers just trying to learn how to take care of their bodies.

I learned some fascinating things about the Australian culture during my time there. They are a very friendly group of people and I felt very welcome everywhere I went. I especially felt very welcome with my adopted Australian family. My co-instructor for this course, Sean McBride, deserves a special thank you for letting me into his wonderful and very fun family. My experience was not the typical tourist experience. Because of this I learned some fascinating things about Australia. 

Here are my top 15 things I learned in the land of Oz. 
1.     They have phenomenal coffee. Even their “bad” coffee is still pretty damn good. 

2.     They have the greatest breakfast I’ve ever been exposed to. I would either go with the big brekky or the bacon egg roll!

3.     They are lazy talkers. I was told this by a very funny man named Lindsey, but everyone just calls him Lins. They will shorten anything they can, i.e breakfast is brekky, a football game is called a footy and vegetables are called veg.

4.     People in Brisbane apparently think the people in Sydney are soft. It’s kind of like how people in Texas think people that live in New York City are soft.

5.     They have a popular motto “Harden the fuck up!” which as a fan on timely cursing I absolutely loved.

6.     If you see a spider in Australia, you just kill it. Apparently they have some pretty legit spiders in Australia.

7.     They don’t have as many Kangaroos as I was told I would see before I left. I can thank the Discovery Channel for that bit of poor information.

8.     It’s an incredibly safe country. Being a man that lives in a borderline safe area in Atlanta, I keep my head on a swivel when I’m outside. It was nice to walk around at night and not have to be hyper-vigilant.

9.     It’s a continent but it has a population that’s only a couple million more than the greater Los Angeles area; approximately 19 million in greater Los Angeles and 23 million in Australia. I found this stat pretty crazy. I have much more respect for their strong Olympic program after learning this.

10.  College education is a fraction of the cost that we typically pay. When I told an Australian physical therapist that most American PTs come out of school with $100-150K in loans he almost passed out.

11.  They drive on the wrong side of the road. Seriously, I never got used to this and would occasionally get a gut-wrenching feeling when making right turns against traffic.

12.  Their meat of choice is lamb. I think I ate lamb once in my life before this trip. I ate a decent amount of lamb during my two weeks and I’m proud to say I’ve found yet another animal that I’m a big fan of eating!

13.  Rugby is a game loved by Australians. They have multiple variations of the game is it’s absolutely confusing. It would be like us having 4 variations of American football. I did get the opportunity to go to a footy (rugby match). Those guys are big and hit like a mack truck, much respect to these athletes.

14.  They have tiny highways compared to the US. The major highways in Australia are two lanes. Ironically, traffic isn’t that bad. They also have phenomenal public transportation; listen up Atlanta!

15.  Last, but not least, they use their Physical Therapists the right way. We could learn a lot from the Australians in this respect. Also, following rule number 3 they just call them Physios. More on this in my next blog post!

 -Dr. Danny, PT, DPT

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