I take part in yoga and Pilates classes which help to strengthen my muscles and improve my flexibility and I join in walking/running competitions to stay active. The Hamilton Tramping Club is how I do my main physical activity. I just love the outdoors and getting to hang out with like-minded people and explore our beautiful country! I also get to see places I’ve never been to before. I do all these activities because they are fun.
Whenever I see other women and girls out there getting active I know that they're enjoying it for whatever reason, and that in itself inspires me. I believe in just getting out there and doing what you love to do, even if it’s a walk along the beach, or whatever small thing. I would encourage other women and girls to join a group of like-minded people and share your experiences together. Don't let other people keep you from moving. Stay active, as you will definitely feel better for it. I know you will love it too!
My main barrier to keeping physically active was my illness. Chronic Kidney Disease is a silent killer and I didn't know I had it until I was diagnosed in 2009. Thinking back now, it’s no wonder I was feeling exhausted at work and at home. I just didn't have enough energy to get out and stay active every day. I did my best to stay active by taking short walks around the lake, walking to work and back, and by climbing the Hakarimatas (slowly). In 2015 my twin brother donated one of his kidneys to me and I had my kidney transplant. Everything changed after that.
After gaining my strength back, I got a new lease on life. I decided to join in running/walking competitions and any fun events that were available. My family and friends were worried about this new change in me. They would say things like "slow down, are you sure you want to do this?” or “I think you won't be able to cope with it.” Their comments made me even more determined to just go for it. I know they meant well, but this was what I always wanted. I was itching to get out and do what I love to do and not be seen as a couch potato.
I have been able to overcome these barriers through my self-determination and my belief in God. I didn't want to waste my time doing nothing except for working and being with family. Physical activity makes me feel good mentally, spiritually and physically, and it's vital in terms of health. I always enjoy getting out there and having fun. I like the thrill of it and knowing my body feels great after good exercise. I am happy when I stay active, it’s like my happy place. My family and close friends support me in anything that I do. I also like my family to see that I’m a good role model and I hope that my grandson will follow my footsteps.
I'm thankful for my kidney transplant and that God is always with me. I’m thankful for my family and awesome friends, and I’m thankful for being alive! Life is too precious, so make the most of it while you can.
"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."