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Interview of Anthony Field by Dr Johnny Petrozzi on “Living is Easy” May 2010

Interview of Anthony Field By Dr Johnny Petrozzi
on “Living is Easy”, May 2010

Listen to the Podcast below

Interview Transcript

JOHN PETROZZI: Hi and welcome to Living is Easy. I’m John Petrozzi.

JOHN PETROZZI: Today, we’re blessed to be talking with child entertainer from the world-renowned group, The Wiggles. Our friend, Anthony Field, has joined us on the telephone today to give us some insight into the life of a hardworking superstar.

Hi, Anthony, and thanks for coming into the chat with us. I know you’re hard work on tour at the moment. I’ve seen it firsthand from touring with you as your chiropractor. How’s it going?

ANTHONY FIELD: Going well, Johnny.

JOHN PETROZZI: Good.

ANTHONY FIELD: Whenever we travel around the world, we always have a chiropractor on hand somewhere, even if it’s once every three days or once a week. Because we have a very energetic show, we’ve got a very energetic cast, very aerobic show, and chiropractic cases on the go, especially. It all started in Australia, really, like The Wiggles did, and when we got into the States and Canada and England, and even Asia, we’ve had chiropractors or massage therapists come to the show.

JOHN PETROZZI: Great.

ANTHONY FIELD: Yeah, it’s fantastic.

JOHN PETROZZI: I was actually amazed to see you, guys, out on tour. You’re also health-conscious. Has that always been a hallmark of The Wiggles?

ANTHONY FIELD: No, not always. When we first started, we used to sing about great things, like fruit salads and drinking water, and getting up and getting out and exercise.

Because we’re on the road, we used to eat a lot of fried foods. For me, personally, I didn’t take care of myself. I used to eat terrible foods, and whenever I had a headache, I’d pop a headache pill, and late nights – really didn’t care for myself on the shows. It’s really hard for me to do. I’d get a bad back all the time from slouching around, sleeping in the wrong position, eating the wrong food, all those things.

From the time I was in my late 20s until mid- to late 30s, I was in a lot of pain the whole time we were doing shows. We really didn’t care for ourselves. I didn’t care for myself. In the last three or four years, I really got my act together.

JOHN PETROZZI: So what turned it around for you, Anthony? What was the impetus to turn around?

ANTHONY FIELD: Well, I think pain is a great motivator. If you’re in a lot of pain, you want it to end. I think, for me, I got lucky and found natural cures for my pain. A lot of that was yourself, John, the advice you gave me, and also, some other doctors and chiropractors in America.

When I got there, I had terrible teeth infections and I was on painkillers. Through orthodox medicine, I got rid of the infections on my teeth and got that all cleaned up. But I was pretty well used to popping pills for pain, and you’re the first guy that said, “Well, why don’t you just sit back for a while and let’s think about where the pain is coming from now, and see if there’s another way. Because every time you pop a pill or headache tablet or something, that damages your kidneys or your liver.”

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s right.

ANTHONY FIELD: But when you’re brought up in a culture of quick fix, “take a pill and it will fix you up,” it’s hard not to do that.

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s right, Anthony. We’ve all seen on the videos that your body has changed a tremendous amount since the days The Wiggles first started and started producing videos. Your body has changed a great deal. What kind of exercise do you do on the road to get fit?

ANTHONY FIELD: Well, one I really do get a chiropractor if I’m on the road to put my spine and then the nerves feeling good. Then I’m eating a pretty well natural diet and I stay away from processed food and I eat bread.

JOHN PETROZZI: I notice that when you’re on tour. Yeah, you only have fruit for breakfast and some coffee.

ANTHONY FIELD: Fruit for breakfast and basically, really natural things – things that come out of the ground or they’re just running around. I mean, I’ll eat some meat; I like to put sauces on it. I stay away from chips, if I can. I eat fish and fruits. So I do that. And I take digestive enzymes to help me digest my food, any processed food I happen to eat.

But the main thing with my fitness is—again, this came from great advice from chiropractors—which was do anti-gravity body exercises or body-weight exercises. For most of my routines, I use a hanging bar, chin-up bar.

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s right.

ANTHONY FIELD: Or Olympic Russian rings, you know, but it’s all body weight stuff. So my own body is the weight that I’m pulling against or up in the air. I don’t do conventional-

JOHN PETROZZI: Pushups and weights and those sorts of things.

ANTHONY FIELD: No. I do everything off the ground, and it has really helped my spine and developed a core.

JOHN PETROZZI: And how have you found that on stage. Because you always do two, sometimes three, shows a day, and day after day, you’ll be doing those shows. How do you find that on stage? Has it helped you?

ANTHONY FIELD: Oh yeah, Johnny. The amazing thing for me is in the last three years—since I’ve been doing the exercises, getting regular adjustments, staying away from really bad food, and not taking any painkillers, and just going to get my back adjusted and things like that, drinking lots of water—I feel better than I did than in my 20s. I’m 45 today and-

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s right. Happy birthday.

ANTHONY FIELD: Thanks, Johnny. And also, it fixes your moods, too. I’m a lot happier than I was five to six years ago.

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s great. And how do you cope with stress on the road? It’s a grueling schedule that you, guys, run. It’s long days, early mornings, late nights, and a lot of activities during the day. How do you cope with jet lag when you get to the venues and when you get home? What do you do to relax during the show times?

ANTHONY FIELD: Well, jet lag is a big thing. I mean, it really is (I don’t imagine it), I’m sure it’s a real thing. Because we do so many flights to England, and then at daylight, we would be doing shows-

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s huge.

ANTHONY FIELD: -so a local GP actually advised me when I’m flying to keep up the electrolytes, like take electrolyte supplements when I’m flying, because your body loses so much. So I do that.

So first, when we get into a new country, we’ll have a chiropractor come along. After maybe 30 hours in a plane, the best thing you can do is—because you’ve probably been sleeping or sitting in a funny position-

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s right.

ANTHONY FIELD: -so we get a chiropractor to put our spine back into place.

JOHN PETROZZI: And I’ve seen The Wiggles crew dancers do some warm-ups before a show. Is that just to get the body warm and supple? Have you found that it’s reduced the amount of injuries that the dancers have been getting?

ANTHONY FIELD: Maybe about five to six years ago, the whole cast had shin splints, very sore shins and sometimes, pulled muscles, sore muscles and hamstring going, things like that. So we’ve brought in a regime that everybody warms up half an hour before the show. We also, through the advice of Dr. James Stoxen in Chicago, we got everybody into these shoes the whole day that sort of stabilise your heels; they get it on during flights. That has reduced shin splints.

Also, after every show, believe it or not, we have a hot spa, and everybody, including The Wiggle guys has to go in the hot spa, put their legs in the hot spa for a minute. You’ll hear a lot of screaming, but it’s reduced so many injuries and soreness.

JOHN PETROZZI: It’s great, isn’t it? I bet that the regime that you, guys, use to keep fit and healthy, including hot spas and stretching and having chiropractors and massage therapists and nutritionists, and those sorts of things onboard, I bet that you, guys, will put the Australian Sporting Association to the test as well, wouldn’t you? Because you, guys, do a lot of the things that elite athletes would do.

ANTHONY FIELD: Yeah. It’s funny, I don’t think people would look at The Wiggles and go, you know, they kind of see the show and go, “Well, it’s amazing.” But you wouldn’t give it a second thought, “How did that happen?” It really isn’t an accident; it’s what I call “professionalism.” It’s realising our main job. Six months a year, we’re on the road or on a tour, and if we don’t look after ourselves, we won’t function.

You’re right. We got a lot of advice from friends actually from the Australian Cricket Association. We had a trainer once who came from there. We’ve had a nutritionist coming in and saying, “Okay, when you’re in America, do this,” which they do. So yeah, I kind of try and keep the standard up for our dancers and ourselves. You know, if I see someone drinking Coca Cola or something, I say, “Look, you got try and be an elite athlete. Try and keep that diet and what you put in your body, like what an elite athlete would do.”

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s great. How do you cope with homesickness, Anthony? Because you’ve got three kids now and a lovely wife at home, how do you cope with homesickness?

ANTHONY FIELD: Well, I try and communicate all the time. We chat over the computer. It really helps to keep in contact. I really try not to dwell on too much on what’s at home, because if I do, the more I will really fall into homesickness. So I think about my children, I think my wife all the time, but I try not to dwell too much about what I’m missing out on because, you know, you’d go crazy. So I try to look at the positive things or “Okay, what can I do while I’m here? I can buy a fairy dress for my daughter” or something. So I try to be positive.

JOHN PETROZZI: In regards to children, how important do you think it is for the kids to get out there and exercise?

ANTHONY FIELD: Well, I think kids will naturally go out and play; I’m talking about the younger children who just go and run around. But maybe, as they get older, they’ll probably want to sit in front of a computer or play PlayStation or whatever, so I really do think that parents are going to have to motivate their children to go out and kick a ball around, go dancing or something.

I think the most important thing at home, though, is diet – staying away from too many processed or sugary foods, because they can really mess the child’s immune system up. It can really play havoc with their health if you’re not putting the right picture, so to speak, in a child. I think children, if they’re on a good diet, will have so much energy; they’ll want to go out and run around.

JOHN PETROZZI: Speaking of diets, I remember you telling me some time ago that when you’re at uni, you used to be a fruitarian.

ANTHONY FIELD: Yeah, I did that for a couple of years.

JOHN PETROZZI: What was that like?

ANTHONY FIELD: I had a lot of energy. It was very extreme, you know, you couldn’t go out and eat with anybody. I had to bring my fruit along.

JOHN PETROZZI: So, exactly, you just ate fruit the whole time?

ANTHONY FIELD: Yeah. I ate plenty of watermelon, apples, oranges, and I did occasionally have rice, but that was it. I had no dairy products. It was very extreme, probably too extreme. But I didn’t feel unhealthy and I didn’t suffer any malnutrition.

JOHN PETROZZI: So what did you do when you went to parties? Pack your watermelon.

ANTHONY FIELD: Yeah. Well, I just took a watermelon.

JOHN PETROZZI: Oh, that’s great.

ANTHONY FIELD: It was crazy.

JOHN PETROZZI: Do you think the songs that you, guys, sing and the dances that you teach young kids help them to get closer towards achieving a healthy life?

ANTHONY FIELD: I mean, we try and encourage them. Maybe we need to educate mom and dad as well, because-

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s where it starts, isn’t it?

ANTHONY FIELD: -you know, we sing about fruit salad, yummy, yummy, yummy, hoping Mom and Dad will provide a fruit salad for the young one, instead of just going out and buying a bag of lollies. When I went through early childhood teaching as a preschool teacher at the university, they told us that the greatest teachers of children are the parents, not the school. It really goes back to the parents.

JOHN PETROZZI: It’s so true, isn’t it?

ANTHONY FIELD: Yeah, it really is.

JOHN PETROZZI: So Anthony, what’s next for you? You’re 45. So what’s next, because you’ve got such a hectic lifestyle?

ANTHONY FIELD: Yeah, I thought I really would like to put together a book of the exercises, and basically, how I’ve gotten myself healthy. I’d like to do that, to just maybe offer some advice to people who are over 40 who are finding it to be hard, because I was finding it hard. I’m feeling it so much easier now.

JOHN PETROZZI: I’m sure it’s still a challenge.

ANTHONY FIELD: It is, but I’m now loving life, you know, I go to a chiropractor, eat good food, exercise, I can pick my children. You know, a couple of years ago, I couldn’t even pick my children up without getting a bad back.

JOHN PETROZZI: That’s right. I remember that.

ANTHONY FIELD: Yeah. Now, I can juggle the three of them.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yeah. Fantastic. It is that age group, 40 and beyond, that the lifestyle that they lead is hectic – they leave home early, work hard during the day, get home late, eat possibly poor diets, maybe don’t exercise as much, get stressed out – they’re the hallmarks and it’s almost a recipe for disaster. So if you can produce a book like that, I’m sure that it would be a bestseller.

ANTHONY FIELD: Yeah. Absolutely, Johnny. But I don’t know if it’s going to be a bestseller or not, because that’s always in the hands of the [gods]. But it’s a worthy thing to do, I’m sure, because all of my peers—the guys I went to school with or guys I was in bands with before—a lot of them are really sluggish in the daytime and they’re suffering from a lot of pain from bad backs or are very overweight, high blood pressure and things like that. You really can [cheer] it.

JOHN PETROZZI: You can. That’s right. I’m happy you can say that. So what inspires you to do things that you do? What gets you out of bed in the mornings to tackle the day? What’s your life purpose, do you feel?

ANTHONY FIELD: I don’t really know what my life purpose is, but I think I’m an entertainer and that’s what I can do anytime.

JOHN PETROZZI: You’re obviously chasing your dreams, though.

ANTHONY FIELD: Yeah. I don’t know. That’s a good question, Johnny, because I’m, I don’t know, oh, I got dreams. My dreams: as far as my professional life, is always to do better and better and better; my homelife to be better and better and better. Now, I’m really enjoying life.

JOHN PETROZZI: Fantastic. Do you have any advice for sort of young go-getters out there who want to make something for themselves?

ANTHONY FIELD: I think, you know, whatever you want to do, aim at getting healthy. I always say, “Just go ahead and find out the answers for yourself.” Ask the people who you admire or people you perceive who got the answers, ask them and then write your own line. Get educated about everything.

JOHN PETROZZI: Yup. That’s great advice, Anthony.

ANTHONY FIELD: Yeah. But I think my phone’s about to die.

JOHN PETROZZI: No way. Now we’re all done. Well, thanks for joining us on the radio today. It’s been a great pleasure. Hope you enjoyed chatting with us, and happy birthday as well.

ANTHONY FIELD: Thanks, Johnny. God bless, mate. It’s nice talking to you.

JOHN PETROZZI: Thanks, Anthony.

ANTHONY FIELD: Bye.

JOHN PETROZZI: Bye.

Thanks for joining us. You’ve been listening to Living is Easy. I’m John Petrozzi. Until next time, stay well and stay happy.

About Debbie Wessman (11 Posts)

Debbie Wessman is the Communications Director at Team Doctors Chiropractic Treatment and Training Center. A former educator, she received a B.A. degree in English and Dance Education from Western Michigan University. Debbie resides in the Chicagoland area with her Husband and Children.


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