Megan Gale has the kind of fame that means she should feel out of reach.
She’s been the focus of the bright – and at times brutal – lens that is the public eye for long enough to be blinded by the scrutiny.
But after all these years, all these stories and the intense focus from a celebrity-obsessed culture, Gale has stood firm, her reputation surviving our penchant for cutting short tall poppies.
And yet despite the fame, attention and headlines in her name, Megan Gale doesn’t really feel out of reach.
As I chat to the 41-year-old in light of the unveiling of her wax figure for Madame Tussauds in Sydney, her easy laugh and genuine excitement about the morning’s big reveal suggests that after all this time, even Gale can find some things a little “surreal”.
"It's quite surreal, seeing the wax figure unveiled. I had seen images of it beforehand, but it was nothing compared to seeing it in real life. It's not just like looking in the mirror, you can do a full 360 degree lap around yourself," she says.
It's for reasons like this, perhaps, that her reputation as one of our golden girls hasn't faded. Australians like charm, but they like humility more. Gale brings both in spades. Add this to her willingness to share the parts of herself that don't feature on her highlights reel and huzzah - here arrives an accessibly real celebrity who is far more than just her job.
Take, for instance, her most recent feature with InStyle, where the mum-of-one revealed she had miscarried in her second pregnancy. Women need women to share, and it's important that occasionally those with the most airtime at their disposal do exactly that.
It does mean, however, that everyone is watching her next pregnancy a little closer - Gale included.
"The pregnancy is going well," she tells Mamamia.
"In some ways it is different to my first [pregnancy] because of the experience of going through a miscarriage. I was very conscious to not put a lot of pressure on myself or Shaun or us or as a couple [to fall pregnant again] and let it happen organically. We very were lucky that it happened so quickly.
"But there is a little bit of a difference. With my first pregnancy, I knew there were complications but I didn't worry about it as much. With this pregnancy, I have been waiting for every scan and waiting on the edge of my seat for each one to pass," she says.
Gale and her long-term AFL playing partner Shaun Hampson welcomed their son River into the world back in 2014. And although the 41-year-old admits she's a little more well-versed in the risks this time around, she's trying not to be consumed by the thought of worst case scenario.
Listen: Swimmer Libby Trickett opens up about her own miscarriage experience. (Post continues after audio.)
"I try not to let nerves and stress play a role in it all, but you can't help but wonder - what if it happens again? Shaun spoke about it as a couple and we agreed, whatever will be will be."
One thing is she is relieved about, though, is having it out in the open.
"I wasn't nervous announcing it. On the one hand you're very happy to be at the point where you're safe and secure enough to be able to announce it," she says.
"When you're in the public eye, you want to let people know what's going on rather than have people speculate. To go under that scrutiny before you're ready is a little bit unfair."
At this stage, she says, everything is "absolutely flying".
Professionally, the word on the street is that Gale is very, very easy to work with. Just ask celebrity-to-the-stars Lana Wilkinson, and she will tell you Gale is an "absolute delight".
"She is and one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. She’s really one of the nicest people in the world," Wilkinson told Mamamia.
So when it comes to staying grounded and sharing her innate fears, does she check herself? Does she make a conscious effort to stay unaffected by the eye, the fawning and the glamour of the industry?
"I don't make a conscious effort, no. All credit must go to my upbringing and my parents. They taught me that just because you have success doesn't make you any different to anyone else and to always to be respectful because you're always part of a team. I do try to remember that.
"It's not like I have had to make an effort but if I didn't, my God — my family would give me a good talking to.
"What I do isn't that extraordinary."
And that attitude? That's the reason she's still on our radar - not to mention having wax figures carved to the curve of her cheekbones - after all these years.
Longevity in the industry is uncommon, and it can't be a coincidence that of all people, Megan Gale is the one to outlast them all.
Too much noise and not enough time?