Love Stories: Sam Wood and Snezana Markoski

Having watched Sam Wood fall in love with Snezana Markoski (Snez) on The Bachelor Season 3 in Australia and then continue to follow their relationship journey further via Instagram updates (and, let’s be honest, the weekly glossies), I was dying to get Sam in for our Love Stories series. I almost got the chance last week when attending a boxing session with Codral (Sam’s the ambassador for the brand), but unfortunately he had to run off straight after the class to attend television commitments.

One week later, and as luck would have it, I had another event with Sam – this time to launch his new 28 by Sam Wood App. And this time I came more prepared, making sure I pre-scheduled some interview time with him straight after being put through the paces using one of the 28 by Sam Wood App workout sessions.

After getting my breath back, I grabbed Sam at the first opportunity – pulling him aside to chat all things relationship. While articles in our Love Stories series normally kick off with how the couple first met and initial dates – I’m guessing most people know all this, so we’re skipping ahead to get to some of the more intimate tales…

When was the first time with Snez that you thought “this is it”? Did you realise it pretty early on?
Yeah I did. It’s a far more complicated situation than you can prepare for, but I had really strong feelings early on. The first date we had on the show was a group date and there was just something really special about Snez that, even in such a strange situation, I knew I wanted to get to know her better. From there, it accelerated really, really fast. The hardest thing was feeling like that and still being on a show where you have to be really respectful to the other girls. All I wanted to do was spend more time with her – except you can’t really do that! So that was a weird balance, but all’s well that ends well, that’s for sure. Fast forward 3 years!

How was the transition from being on the show to a normal everyday couple?
I don’t feel like we were a normal everyday couple early on, only because you’re so recognisable and you haven’t had any adaptation. Literally, you go from walking down the street and nobody knowing who you are to ads being on TV, buses, billboards, trams – and all of a sudden everyone is pointing and saying “hi” and “oh my god, I saw you [on TV] last night!” So it’s this crazy rollercoaster that you can’t really prepare yourself for.

The best thing was that we’d been through it together – so we supported each other. In one of these most unique experiences you can have in your life, we had both gone through it together – so we laughed about the same things, we both acknowledged how ridiculous it was… like what are the chances! [Going into the show] we were both realists thinking: ‘I hope to meet someone, but really – what are the chances that I meet someone I want to spend the rest of my life with?’ We still pinch ourselves. We now have two beautiful girls, we’re getting married soon… who would have thought. It’s mad! Madness. My Dad thinks it’s hilarious, my friends are like “Oh my God! How on earth did this pan out the way it did?” It’s crazy.

After the show, can you talk me through your first date together?
We craved normality. As much as I said before that you’re in that bubble with paparazzi and all that kind of stuff, so it’s not really normal – you just want to sit around on the couch in your daggy trackies and watch a movie. If you go out, everyone knows who you are – so you just really want to spend quality time with your friends and family who knew you before the show because that normalises everything.

It was dinners introducing Snez to my friends and family and vice versa, but we couldn’t have made it more complicated! Snez was on the other side of Australia with a daughter, I’m from Tassie but live in Melbourne with a business there… if we wanted to challenge ourselves, we certainly did that! But I think if it’s meant to work out, it does and it has.

What’s been your most romantic date for the two of you?
We’ve done some pretty special stuff. We got engaged in Tasmania down at Coles Bay – Wine Glass Bay. I said to Snez I wanted to take her down [to Tasmania] to meet my family and then surprised her with two nights in Coles Bay and proposed to her… that was a pretty romantic, special date! We hiked up to the lookout and I proposed to her at the lookout and then we stayed at Sapphire – an incredible resort down there.

We’ve also been to Rome together, to Scotland, in 7 days the girls are taking me to Macedonia for the first time. Snez’s family still have a tiny little house there and her parents are going over to get the water running – it’s pretty basic – and we’re going to stay there for a week and then head to Greece for a week. I can’t wait! The girls and everything, we’re all going – it’s going to be a circus. A 30 hour flight with Willow… that could be interesting, but she’s so beautiful – she’s pretty good!

Can you talk me through an everyday weekend for the two of you?
We’re pretty normal. Fitness is a big part – there’s always things happening in that space. But we’re parents – so it’s driving Evie to friends’ places or cheerleading or soccer, it’s going for walks with Willow and Evie and our dog, it’s bike rides along the foreshore in Melbourne, it’s catching up with friends and family, or going back to Tassie – now especially with Willow – take her down to see Granddad, or take the girls over to see their grandparents in Perth… I know that doesn’t sound sexy or anything, but we’re normal. We really are. We don’t crave the spotlight or anything like that. We totally think we’ve been blessed to have the situation that we have and to have met the way we have – but we don’t go to lots of events, it’s not really our thing! Boring perhaps, some people might call it, but we’re pretty normal!

You mentioned fitness is a big part. Does Snez help with the app business?
She’s really good, actually. Obviously all the workouts that I write, she tries them at home and gives me feedback. She’s an amazing cook, so she’s always in the kitchen. Evie actually cooks a lot too – she’s very creative. All the healthy bliss balls and snacks, she’s always cooking them in the school holidays and making up little batches on the weekend. She shares her Pinterest board with me with new recipes she’s found that we could add to the menu! She’s very creative.

For those who don’t know about the app, can you give us a quick rundown on what it’s all about?
The app is a really exciting evolution of the 28 Program that we’ve had so far – we’ve only been a website up to this point in time. We launched the program on the first of February 2015 always with the intention to bring an app, and things went fairly crazy, fairly quickly. I think nearly 130,000 people have done the program now in just over 2 years – we’re even getting people coming in from overseas, so it’s super, super exciting.

I’ve been a personal trainer now for 18 years, I’ve got a personal training studio down in Melbourne with 30 trainers – it’s what I’ve always done well before the Bachelor. But after the Bachelor, things started happening with people emailing me: “Sam, are you going to open a Woodshed in Sydney or Queensland?” or “Can you send me a workout?” or “Can you write me a program?” or “Can you send me some recipes?” – so that was the evolution of the 28 Program. It was all about getting people in shape from the comfort of their own home.

People want consistency rather than volume, they want convenience, they want sustainability. The pillars of the program are workouts that are quick, easy at different levels that can all be done in half an hour with little to no equipment. We’ve also got a team of nutritionists and chefs who have created these amazing eating plans. We also just did a partnership with I Quit Sugar – so we own all the I Quit Sugar recipes.

And then the most important part is the motivation, connection, mindfulness. The app is all about having a personal trainer in your pocket. It allows you to track your progress, there will be competitions, there will be a place where you can share your before and after snaps. It really is exciting, we feel that this is launching into the next chapter of what’s been, without doubt, the busiest three years of our lives.

Well, if the class today is anything to go by – I think the app is definitely going to be just as successful as the online program. Just before you go, are there any sneak peeks into the wedding you can let us in on?
Small, intimate – friends and family in Australia at the end of this year. We can’t wait, it’s going to be beautiful. Snez is in full wedding mode, so it’s amazing she came today – she’s got such a tight schedule! But no, she’s got everything organised and we’re just really excited.

Click here to download the 28 By Sam Wood app and here to visit the 28 By Sam Wood online portal.

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