'Australian Survivor': The Joke That Started Tarzan's Career As A Lime Farmer
It's only been eight years since Mark 'Tarzan' Herlaar became a lime farmer and the idea popped up in a rather unusual way.
Speaking to 10 daily over the phone ahead of the 'Australian Survivor: All Stars' premiere, Tarzan explained that it was "a bit of a funny thing that turned into a job".
"My son who lives here on the farm with us, he used to drink Coronas and he was buying limes to put in them and he told me he was paying $2 each for them and I said, ‘That’s just not good enough, is it?’"
To save spending money on lime wedges for frosty beers, the Herlaars planted a few lime trees and were surprised to see that "they grew quite well" on their property in Toowoomba.
"I then just sort of said to him as a bit of a joke, 'Let’s put in a thousand of them, just for fun', so we did," he explained. "Next thing we put in three thousand more, so we ended up with four and... so I just went ‘sh*t, we might as well be lime farmers’.
"So that’s what we’ve been doing for the last eight years," Tarzan said.
The business of lime farming has helped keep Tarzan in tip-top shape for his return to 'Australian Survivor' without the need for any extreme preparation for the competition.
"I’m not like a lot of them [contestants] where they spend quite a bit of time in the gym and training, I just work around the farm," he said, explaining that he and his mate -- also in his fifties -- compete while doing tasks around the orchard.
"We challenge each other just to see how quickly we can get the sprinklers in or out or the fastest to get under a tree," he told 10 daily.
Tarzan also made use of the swimming pool on his farm to do a bit of cold water immersion training and make sure he was ready for any kind of shock to the system that 'All Stars' threw at him.
"When I was asked to come and play we were pretty much in winter, the weather was cold, must have been down to minus two in the morning," he explained. "But I thought, 'what I really need to do is to stop myself from baulking at the post'.
"Every morning, I’d get up at about six o'clock and I’d just get down to the swimming pool, jump in and then I’d run on the spot for about a minute in the water," he explained.
Tarzan's chilly morning swims were about as far as he went preparing for 'All Stars' strategically, explaining that he treats the experience a little differently from other competitors.
"I think a lot of people continually think of it as a game, and it is a game," he mused. "But for my entertainment, for my enjoyment of it, I treat it as if its exactly as though we’ve been now deserted on an island and we basically have to survive.
"And so I really immerse myself in every aspect of the game whether its the food or the sleeping conditions or getting on or not getting on with the other players.
"So I treat it as though this thing has really happened and that I may never see my family again," Tarzan said.
It's a completely different mindset from strategic players like Dirty Harry or the Golden God but for Tarzan, it helps give him "really good clarity".
"It’s an appreciation of where I’m at at the time."