Growing up, I enjoyed riding my bike and did this a lot with my brothers, friends and neighbours. I also played turf hockey for ten years and gave soccer and badminton a go when I was at school.
Like a lot of women, when I left school my physical activity stopped for a few years. Eventually, though, I got into running mountain biking and I started Bootcamp-style workouts in 2012. This kind of activity slowly progressed into conquering a few half marathons and trail marathons.
I became a mother in 2016 and stayed active with trail walking throughout pregnancy. I got straight back into trail running when it felt right – which for me, was 3 months post-partum. I managed to complete my first Ultra Marathon (62km) in February of 2018.
I am not an elite or fast runner – I’m definitely your middle of the pack enthusiast! Ten years prior to my first Ultra, I would have never thought it was possible for a normal human to be capable of such distances and I wasn't a runner back then, I had no idea I would do anything like that. I’m currently building up to complete the Tarawera Ultramarathon, which is a102km trail run. I'm pretty scared but excited to see what the day brings. The farthest I have ever run is 62km…
I get active to stay in shape and because I love pushing myself and I like to picture myself as a good role model for my family. Being physically active makes me feel like I have achieved something and I love being outdoors. I especially love to be out in the forest, the air is so clean and fresh and welcoming. There is so much beauty to see and it’s great to share the experience with people. I love trail running and mountain biking because it fills my soul and I feel happy after being out enjoying myself for a few hours.
Although being active is important to me, I do face a number of challenges when it comes to actually getting out there and moving. Of course, being a new mum and all the things that come with that like being over tired and not eating healthy foods, can make being physically active (and finding the motivation to get out there) difficult. There are other things like the cost of equipment (shoes, socks, bike stuff) it all adds up and can sometimes create barriers.
I’ve found, however, that if I actually go out and exercise when I’m feeling tired, I always feel better and re-energized afterward, which is a feeling I hold onto when the thoughts of ‘not being able to be bothered’ creep in! I also remind myself that it’s not about having flash gear or coaches that matters. I work within a budget and I make do with what I have.
Quite often when you can't be bothered or you're feeling sluggish and tired you can surprise yourself on how well you'll do, just get out the door breathe in some fresh air and take some time for YOU, because you deserve to be HAPPY and HEALTHY!
"Going to the gym and being physically active makes me feel alive and motivated"
"The rush you get from being active, and achieving your physical goals, is unmeasurable"
"I love the feeling when you're all sweaty, tired and out of breath because you know you've tried your best and pushed yourself as far as you could"
"I like getting fit, competing and winning medals. I like to have big strong muscles"
"So often as a mum you are doing things for other people, so being physically active makes me feel good in that I’m doing something positive for myself"
"I enjoy the social aspect of being physically active, when it’s not too serious and it’s just about learning new skills or getting out of the house and having fun"
“I don't like sitting around and being bored. I love participating in team sport and putting goals in place to achieve.”
“Never give up, keep pushing even when times are hard, and love yourself. Find your passion and grow because your only competition is yourself”
“Being active is important to me. I want to live a healthy life and movement is a big part of that”
"For me, sport and physical activity has offered me opportunities to make friends for life and memories I will never forget"
"I’m now convinced that I am not in competition with anyone and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks anyway. I know I’m never going to win races but as long as I am trying my best to be a better me than I was yesterday then I am winning at life"
"Not being the one sitting on the sidelines watching and being able to role model how to stay healthy and fit to my children so that they grow up believing being active is a part of everyday life and sharing all these wonderful adventures with them, it makes my heart sing"
“Quite often when you can’t be bothered or you’re feeling sluggish and tired you can surprise yourself on how well you’ll do. Just get out the door, breathe in some fresh air and take some time for YOU, because you deserve to be HAPPY and HEALTHY!”
“Start out with small steps and milestones like walking around the block without stopping, going to that first group fitness class or jumping in the water for the first time in 10 years or so”
“I feel a lot happier when I'm active. A run or a swim will always clear my head”
“You have got to have a positive attitude and just get out there. Keep moving, stay focused, because life is way too short to waste your time not doing what you love to do. Just do it”
“By valuing ME more, I started to recognise myself and all of my qualities. Now I’m proud of who I am”
“I find I am generally a better human being and can give more when I keep active”
“Being active amazes me at what my body can achieve, after all I have put it through. It amazes me how it can heal”
"Find something that you enjoy doing and make the time to do it. You’re not being selfish; you’re looking after yourself. The best time to start is today"
“Running and working out are my antidote to the everyday stresses of life. When I’m not active I find it harder to switch off and view things in perspective. Sweating through activity means I don’t sweat the small things in life”
“Being active makes me feel like I’m using my body for good. It makes me feel powerful, positive, sweaty, glorious, achy in a good way, and hopeful for the future”
“Running is an outlet for me and I feel as though I am in control when it’s just me and my running shoes”
“I was proud that I was determined enough to start from scratch and have had lots of fun playing in local competitions”
"I didn’t want to be the parent that only ever watched my kids run around and kick a ball – I wanted to be a part of what they were doing"
“Happy is a very well-known word but yet can be described in many ways. To me happy means doing the things you love while not being forced to do them. Sport and keeping physically active are my happy place”
“Overall regular physical activity makes me more positive and happier”
“I feel alive and ready for anything”
“Active, healthy lifestyles aren’t defined by how often you run or go to the gym. Exercise can look like what you want it to be and what fits into your life”
"Just by putting your shoes on and getting out there, you’re being active and doing great things for your wellbeing."
"There’s so much reward to be had by overcoming fear and achieving things you never thought you could – so go for it – and link up with other likeminded women along the way."
"Exercise makes me feel incredible! It makes me feel strong capable and grounded."
"...there is more to life than the aesthetic of your body."
"I am so damn proud of what my body and brain can do for me. It brings me so much joy."
"Feeling confident in my own skin, being stronger and fitter than when I was younger."