From triathlons and ultra-running, to surfing and Thai boxing, I've always done a lot of sport and pushed the boundaries of my own fitness. But, like many people who also tried to enjoy their twenties, I assumed because I was fit, I was also healthy.
Well, this mistake certainly caught up with me, and by the time I’d reached my thirties my health was quickly deteriorating. And it was bad; I was in and out of hospital, broken both physically and mentally.
I discovered I was developing an autoimmune condition made worse by the excesses of a poor diet and lifestyle, the symptoms of which were stopping me from leading a normal life.
Gutted, I wondered if I had missed the boat, and that this was just the way things would have to be.
Well, fortunately I was wrong about that. But it took some effort to fix.
That started with serious adjustments to my diet and lifestyle, and soon after a re-evaluation of the importance of social connectedness, happiness and positive thinking. For me, it was a revelation in holistic thinking and behaviour, and it changed my life.
Then the coffee thing happened.
I have always loved coffee and knew, vaguely at least, it had some health benefits, but it was only after a surfing accident in Thailand that things really changed.
Suffering with a black eye and whiplash after a bone crusher of a wave took me out, I took some downtime to recover, and after visiting a local healer (the amazing Mr Tendon), I stumbled across a speciality coffee shop in Seminyak. It was there that I tried single origin coffees from across the whole of Indonesia.
Truly, my mind was blown. How could coffee be this good? And who knew that baristas put so much love and care into their craft?
Intrigued, I had to learn more, and ever since I’ve sought to master the art of roasting and brewing my own coffees. And the more I learned, the more I realised coffee could be so much more than what most people make of it - but like my approach to fixing my health, it meant taking a different approach to extract the true potential.
Thus Exhale was born; a coffee company that seeks to do more - especially for the health of people and the environments that sustain them.
And for those wondering, since beginning my own health journey, I’ve not only started my dream company and fulfilled my duties as a dad and a husband, I’ve also swum the Thames Marathon, completed an Iron Man and ran multiple ultramarathons.
Exhale is my attempt at inspiring other people to live an active, outdoors and healthy lifestyle. Embrace it, and you’ll be capable of anything.
Exhale is a small business with big ambitions to promote health, sustainability and fairness in the coffee supply chain. To do this means taking a family mentality to work. Already a dad of two kids, and husband to co-founder, Kirsty, my extended Exhale family also includes Kaspar, Laura, Tabby, Helen, Tom and Alex - and we’re growing.
Together, we combine our passions and skills to bring you the healthiest coffee imaginable, sourced responsibly, and with a true love of the craft.
We also thrive on good company, and love hearing from customers. Get in touch to ask us anything, or to share your own stories of coffee-fuelled adventures.