Locklan Gilbert may have starred as the 2020 Bachelor and competed twice on Australian Survivor, but his latest reality TV show appearance is allowing him to tick off a major lifelong goal - according to his partner Irena Srbinovska.
The 32-year-old adventure guide was recently announced as one of the 17 celebrity recruits set to appear on the 2022 season of SAS Australia.
“He’s wanted to do an SAS course his entire adult life,” Irena tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It’s just something that he’s always wanted to do because he loves pushing his body to its absolute physical limit.”
After winning Locky’s heart on The Bachelor and spending eight months together last year adventuring around Australia, it’s fair to say that she has a good idea of how he’ll go on the military training show.
“I think he'll do really well,” she says. “What I’ve seen of him in his training, I know physically, without a doubt, he can do it. Mentally he's probably stronger than he's ever been.
“I think that he's in a really good place mentally and emotionally in his life at the moment.”
While Irena has been playing an instrumental role in his “full-on” training regime as both his at-home chef and motivator, she admits that it’s come with its struggles.
“It’s actually been difficult watching him because I just want to help him and I can’t,” she adds.
“I go to some of the training to push him a little bit more than his trainer does because I’m not afraid to get him up upset and I know his buttons.”
Irena, 32, also reveals that Locky has been eating “non-stop” while preparing for the series, adopting a diet that’s 80% vegan.
“The other day I said to him, ‘Because of you I have gained so much weight’, because I’m not training but I am eating with him,” she explains.
“He’ll train and come back and be like ‘I’m hungry, but I think I’m going to vomit because the training was so hard’. When you’re 110kg, a big meal is huge. It’s crazy the amount we spend on groceries, but he needs the fuel.”
Despite his intense preparation - including reading SAS Chief Instructor Ant Middleton’s autobiography - Irena admits that there’s one thing that could be Locky’s potential downfall on the show.
“Locky’s biggest thing will be that he is very competitive,” she says. “He does not like to lose, and when he gets so competitive I’m just worried that he might injure himself trying to compete so hard.
“But I said to him, injure yourself all you like because I can look after you. Unlike anyone else there, he’s got his own private nurse at home so he’s very lucky.”
After a whirlwind year post-Bachelor that involved a cross-country move to Western Australia, Irena is now preparing to go back to work as a nurse.
“It's a little bit scary, but I’m very eager,” she confesses. “Locky can’t stand me being at home anymore because every day I’m like, ‘I’ve gotta go back to nursing’. I’m driving him crazy. Hopefully in the next few days or weeks I'll be back in the hospital.”
Having only recently realised the power of her Instagram - where she boasts over 100k followers - Irena now wants to combine her following with her passion for health and wellness and help others.
She’s currently taking part in a new campaign aiming to raise awareness of the signs, symptoms and risks of shingles.
“Shingles is something that affects one in three people and the majority of Australians have also had chickenpox, so it's something that a lot of people can relate to but no one really wants to talk about,” she details.
“When I spoke to Locky about it, he thought it was an STD and I had to say, no, it’s a rash that you get from the reactivation of chickenpox. He had no idea.
“The statistics are actually scary and something as simple as a rash can affect you for the rest of your life, so it's important that we talk about it.”
You can learn more about the campaign at knowshingles.com.au.
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