Star from inspiring documentary YOU and ME - Barney Miller is in Auckland and takes time out to speak to Get Frank

YOU and ME follows the extraordinary true story of David (Barney) Miller, an active, life loving guy who became a quadriplegic 17 years ago as an emerging Pro Surfer when the car he was a passenger in got driven into a tree at over 120kms an hour. Told by doctors he would never breathe independently or be able to use his right arm or legs again, Barney has defied all medical assessments through grit, self-belief, hard work and sheer guts. 

One of the people that supports Barney is Kate Southwell, who he meets and falls in love with. She’s a girl with her own demons in her past that she needs to face but Miller exposes her dream of being a singer. What soon becomes apparent through watching the documentary is that the help goes two ways, bringing out the best in each other.

 

1. What’s the best thing about having a doco made about you? Are you recognised in Aussie now outside of where you live?

It has been a really cool experience. From us baring it all, it has given people the courage to also be brave and tell us their stories. It’s still a bit weird being recognised but it also great opportunity to meet and talk to people we normally wouldn’t have gotten the chance to.

2. Sometimes people who have been through a life altering accident like you have, say that it has made them a better person, does this apply to you and if yes why?

Definitely. As much as times have sucked and it’s been really hard, I actually wouldn’t change anything. I have grown so much as a person and met the most amazing people. I don’t take life for granted and am grateful for every moment now.

It’s so easy to play the victim and be bitter but what’s the point of it? To be miserable? No way, I would much rather spend my energy on bettering myself and enjoying what I have rather than what I don’t.

3. What would you tell your 17 year old self?

Its okay to talk about your feelings.

There’s that saying about farts haha ‘Its better out then in.’

Well same goes for your emotions. The more stuff you bottle up inside the worst it will make you feel until you can’t handle it any longer and you explode and unfortunately for too many that can be fatal.

4. You and Kate seem like a match made in heaven – does spending so much time together ever get difficult from a relationship perspective and what do you do when you need space from each other?

Yeah of course, just like any relationship you have your moments of frustration. Especially when you live in each others pockets or are just really tired. But we have found really good balance in making sure we do things for ourselves.

For me, it’s surfing and just hanging with the boys and for Kate (Kada) she will lock herself in the studio and write. But mostly, we love hanging with each other. She is my best friend.

5. I have to ask this as every guy will want to know… is sex an option?

I am proud to say that everything is all in order and good to go. Haha!

6. Getting back surfing for the first time must have been an incredible experience – were you apprehensive at all?

It was time. I had been out of it for way too long and for my own sanity I needed to face that fear of it being different but as soon as I did it was scary but also the exact same rush I use to get. The ocean is powerful like that.

7. You are great mates with Mick Fanning – what’s he really like?

What you see is what you get with Mick. He is genuine and he knows how to have a good time but it’s his dedication to himself as not only an athlete but as a person that makes him the champion that he is in and out of the water.

8. What do you do to chill?

A day at the beach or hanging with friends is always a good time but with spending so much time in my chair sitting, I like to stretch out on the couch and binge watch some Netflix.

It’s also a good way for me to switch off my brain from all the training of trying to tell my body to move.

9. What’s on your music playlist right now?

Kada’s new tracks of course haha but depending on the mood, when I am training it’s strange but I like to listen to classical music as it helps calm my body but nothing tops the good old tunes from the 80s like Poison and Metallica.

10. How do you feel about the Aussie Rugby Team right now? Do you want to become an honorary Kiwi so you can support the All Blacks?

No comment haha!

You guys played well but its always fun to have a little rivalry between us, so I’ll have to knock back the offer and stand by my country.

 
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