The campaign amounted to a desperate plea for supporters to “believe” in the team, with the word plastered across TV, print and playing fields alike. So unlikely did a successful season seem that the campaign verged on the comedic, and my mates and I made a pact that if the ’Tahs happened to win the Super Rugby comp that year, we would get a permanent reminder of their triumph inked on our torsos.
In pre-pandemic times, nothing seemed more improbable than a ’Tahs’ victory celebration. Six months later, however, there they were, holding the trophy aloft. And while the accurate boot of Bernard Foley and coaching prowess of Michael Cheika probably had more to do with the turnaround than my ‘believing’, the latter sure made the prospect of another season more bearable. Heck, it was even a little bit fun.
As a man of my word, I now carry the word ‘believe’ under my shirt. After six years of covering and ignoring my self-inflicted disfigurement, what was once a rueful reminder of a great season of footy spent with mates took on a new meaning in 2020.
Amid everyone’s year from hell, I decided to take heed of the ’Tahs’ marketing machine/my own skin and simply . . . believe. And to my surprise, research born from an abundance of free time (read: lockdown boredom) led me to discover that belief, faith and positivity have the scientifically proven capacity to reduce physical pain, boost circulation and reduce the risk of heart attack.
On the back of some sustained belief, it is with great pleasure that I can officially say, after a 10-month pause, welcome back to the Australian edition of Men’s Health. It’s been a long road home and it would be remiss of me at the start of this comeback issue not to extend a huge thank you to everyone for their support during our hiatus – our readers, our friends, our family, our brand partners and the team that worked so hard to bring us back and who believed in what we stand for.
Nobody is going to forget 2020 in a hurry. You don’t need an editor to tell you that it was tough for most, unbearable for some – events unfolding in ways unimaginable only 12 short months ago.
The psychological impact of disaster can long outlast the medical and economic effects, and the events of the past year have only strengthened our commitment to taking a holistic view of health upon our return.
As it did for many, 2020 gave the MH team an opportunity to pause and reflect, while also taking comfort in the very same inspirational stories we’ve compiled over the past 22 years.
At a time when health has never been more important, we were lucky to have a stockpile of home workouts, recipes and, perhaps most importantly, mental health strategies with which to meet some of the challenges our new world continues to dish out.
We never stopped believing Men’s Health would regain its place in the Australian media landscape. We return under new ownership, into a world where health dominates the news cycle.
As a team, we are reinvigorated. As a magazine, we are better positioned than ever to help you become the best man you can be.
When all’s said and done, where would we be without belief? The belief that all will be okay? That we will get through this? That better things are coming? We need to believe in all these things. Otherwise, what would be the point of it all?
To read Chris Hemsworth's full Men's Health cover story make sure to pick up a copy of our March 2021 issue, on sale Thursday February 11.