‘We competed in a wheelbarrow race to win our wedding rings – then she lost hers’

Grant Schofield, 54, is a professor of public health at AUT and director of the Human Potential Centre. He co-founded Prekure, which trains health and mental health coaches with his wife, Louise Schofield, 51. The couple also publish the What the Fat? healthy eating books. They live in Tairua and have three sons – Sam, 21, Jackson, 19, and Danny,12, and dog Bluey.

Louise: I was 19 when I met Grant. I was a competitive swimmer and training to be a teacher, so I was too busy to think about boyfriends.

We met on December 23, 1995 at the old Mon Desir bar in Takapuna. Because I was competing, it was unusual for me to go out at night, but a friend persuaded me to. I was attracted to Grant because he was also sporty and drop-dead gorgeous.

He called my parents’ house the next day and my late grandmother, who had Alzheimer’s disease, answered the phone. She said she’d go and get me but then forgot, so poor old Grant was hanging on the line for quite some time.

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He asked me out on Christmas Eve and my mother said I could go as long as I made it to midnight mass. Grant wasn’t religious, but he must have liked me because he came to mass too.

He also turned up at the swimming pool my father managed where I was a lifeguard and tried to impress me with his swimming.

We got married a year later and moved to Australia for 10 years with Grant’s job at a university in Rockhampton. We started our first business together in 2003 and then published the What the Fat? books so we’ve been working together for a long time. I’m the CEO so technically I’m Grant’s boss, which sometimes causes a bit of tension.

But Grant is a straight shooter with no BS. He’s also incredibly principled – he knows what he stands for and will defend that. He has high expectations, sets the bar high and you rise up to it.

The couple (left) live and work together, training health and <a href=mental health coaches.” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

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The couple (left) live and work together, training health and mental health coaches.

Grant’s raw honesty can sometimes be an issue. Whatever he’s thinking comes out and he can’t lie. Grant also can’t do chit-chat so when people come to stay with us, we have a two night rule because after two nights Grant has had enough.

He is hugely intelligent and in an argument will convince you that he’s right, even if he isn’t. But he will apologise later.

I’m the caring, loving side and Grant’s the intelligent, driven visionary. He has the ideas and I say, come on let’s make it happen and do the practical things to turn his ideas into reality.

Our relationship works so well because we enjoy doing things together. We surf, swim and do surf lifesaving. We also walk the dog which is our time to walk and talk. We take turns each morning to make coffee and then drink it in bed. That’s our time to talk before the day gets underway.

I love Grant to bits and look forward to spending the rest of our lives together.

“Louise had gone on ahead and scribbled “Will you marry me?”’ in the sand. I <a href=completely missed it and actually ran over her words.”” style=”width:100%;display:inline-block”/>

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“Louise had gone on ahead and scribbled “Will you marry me?”’ in the sand. I completely missed it and actually ran over her words.”

Grant: I was an out-of-control, 23-year-old PhD student living it up when I met Louise. I wanted to get into triathlons but was a useless swimmer so when my mate at the pub one night told me that Louise was a competitive swimmer, I wanted to meet her and see if she could help me.

I also turned up the swimming pool where Louise worked as a lifeguard to try and impress her. But some guy was swimming the wrong way in my lane and we collided. I ended up having a stand-up argument with him that Louise had to come and sort out. I’m sure she thought I was an idiot.

I’m attracted to athletic women but Louise is also kind and caring – she doesn’t have any enemies and everyone loves her. It’s weird but after our first meeting, my friends told my parents that Louise was the one for me and that we’d end up together.

While living in Australia, we went for a run along the beach. Louise had gone on ahead and scribbled “Will you marry me?”’ in the sand. I completely missed it and actually ran over her words. When I caught up with Louise I said, so what was your time? Later she said to me, did you not see the sign? It was a bit awkward because I obviously screwed up but of course I said yes to her proposal.

We were living near the Gemfields in Queensland, so we competed in a wheelbarrow race to win our wedding rings. We both won our races so ended up with cash and $6000 worth of jewellery. Louise immediately lost her ring though.

Louise cares about other people to a whole other level – she makes me a better person because of it. She also pushes me out of my comfort zone – I’d be hopeless without her making things happen.

My only niggle is that when Louise cooks, she’s messy and always has to use five pans instead of two. And she’ll be trying to cook and do work at the same time so something usually gets burnt. But it would kill me to do Louise’s work day – she fits so much into every day.

We work because we respect what the other person is capable of. Being on a journey through life – having kids, starting a business – you don’t know what to expect. But it just keeps getting better and better.

There’s a quote – choose your hard – I often refer to. That’s what marriage really is – there are thousands of reasons thousands of times to split up but if you work at it, and it is hard, then it does pay off.

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