I once read a quote that said, ‘You can’t imagine how amazing it feels to stand on the start line of a race you never thought you’d enter’, and that saying has become a thread throughout my running career. I started running in 2016, with my first event being the Manawatu Striders 10km in Palmerston North. My goal was to run 7km without stopping but I got to the 7km mark and felt like I could keep going, so I did! I managed to run the entire 10km without stopping. It was a small start but it definitely felt like a huge accomplishment for me because I didn’t see myself as a ‘runner’. I never thought I’d enter any running events at all – I only started running because I wanted to get fitter.
As any mum will know, there are tons of barriers to overcome like lack of time, family commitments, and of course there’s menopause to deal with! I’ve also had endless injuries so I’m used to doing lots of rehab, and on top of this, I’ve always been heavily loaded with self-doubt. Overcoming that has been a challenge and a journey in itself, but I try to be really persistent, persevere and keep on quietly pushing through.
When it comes to physical activity, I try to think outside the box of what ‘success’ actually is. It’s not necessarily getting a personal best in a race – although that’s nice, and more power to you if you do – but just completing it can be enough. It doesn’t have to be big, and your achievements are totally personal to you.
I stay motivated by keeping fit to be around for my son, and to be a good example for him. I find it helps to have a consistent goal to be aiming for, and it helps to keep my mental health in check. You’ve got to do it for your future self!
A few years ago I decided I wanted to do an ultramarathon. I liked the idea of doing a 50km event before I turned 50, which is coming up soon! I’m currently training for the 50km at Tarawera Ultra in 2023, which is taking up most of my focus. The training has been brilliant though for pushing me to get my trainers on and get out the door. I’ve also linked into groups such as Life in Motion and 261 Fearless, which are easy and social ways to get outside with people who love running.
I’m not your average ultrarunner – I’m more of a ‘back of the pack’ runner, but we all know that’s where the party is! So I hope I can inspire other women to give running a go, regardless of body size, shape, or ability. Anyone who runs is a runner – it’s not an elite club! Just by putting your shoes on and getting out there, you’re being active and doing great things for your wellbeing.
I’d tell other women to believe in themselves! Don’t look at what other people are doing and compare yourself, just ‘do you’ – do your own thing, be your own person because you’re unique and that’s your superpower.
"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."