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I didn’t play any sports in school except for PE. After giving birth to two boys, who were born in Japan, I did try some aerobic exercise from a VHS. I soon gave up and decided that exercise was a chore and believed that dieting alone was enough to keep my weight low. After moving to New Zealand I started to pick up exercising again as I’ve had a bit more time when the boys are little older and have started school. I mostly did YouTube based workouts and it includes HIIT, yoga, mobility, all the good stuff. One day, as I found myself getting a bit fitter after about 3 years doing YouTube workouts, I decided to try running. I started at 2km running only once or twice a week. Then after a few months I found myself preferring to actually get out of the door and run more over the YouTube videos. I have never looked back since then. I now run mostly and lift weights as a supplement.

I enjoy running and lifting but I love running the most. For me, running and lifting weights are not about burning calories or wanting to be a smaller size anymore. It’s about feeling good, to have a positive mindset and developing strength that would carry me through old age. Running gives me the satisfaction that is incomparable to other types of physical activity. Running simply makes me happy. I can just be. I think about my breathing, do a body check or day dream about the next race and so on. Running is me time. Even when they are days when the run sucks, or the weather is just awful, or your body is not as cooperative as you would like, it never fails to give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. When I had a bad run, there’s always another day to look forward to.

I broke my third metatarsal on my right foot in March from missing a step at home. It was an unfortunate accident that stopped me from running for 12 weeks. I had to wear a moon boot and not allowed to do any weight bearing exercises. Naturally I was upset not being able to run and worried about my fitness going downhill which cannot be helped. I am ever so lucky and thankful that my partner has been instrumental in supporting me both physically and emotionally. I focused on the things I could do such as upper body and core workouts. During the later stage of my recovery when I’m allowed to do weight bearing exercises but no running yet, I rented an elliptical machine. I’m very glad for it because I could get a really nice lower body workout as well as cardio without the impact.

We have a special needs son who requires constant supervision. Thankfully I manage to fit most of my run training when both boys are in school as that is the most practical time. My partner, who has been working a lot from home also likes to keep active so we always communicate and let each other know what our daily plans are. This way I am able to fit my training needs and my partner gets his exercise time too. Being in constant communication has been key.


Being active to me now is more about feeling good physically and mentally. It’s not about burning calories anymore or weighing less. I’m more aware now of the benefits to being strong as we age. Strength training to me is like providing a protective shield to our aging body that can be vulnerable if it’s not taken care of.

The benefits are numerous. Feeling confident in my own skin, being stronger and fitter than when I was younger. I have better understanding about fitness and strength and act upon them. My children witness what I enjoy and who knows what they’ll do in future. I’m excited for what I’m capable of in 10 or 20 years’ time!

  • Carly


    "Going to the gym and being physically active makes me feel alive and motivated"

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  • Aynslee


    "The rush you get from being active, and achieving your physical goals, is unmeasurable"

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  • Catarina


    "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"

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  • Courtney


    "I like getting fit, competing and winning medals. I like to have big strong muscles"

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  • Sarah


    "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"

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  • Jo


    "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"

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  • Trinity


    “I don't like sitting around and being bored. I love participating in team sport and putting goals in place to achieve.”

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  • Sirtori


    “Never give up, keep pushing even when times are hard, and love yourself. Find your passion and grow because your only competition is yourself”

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  • Colleen


    “Being active is important to me. I want to live a healthy life and movement is a big part of that”

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  • Annmaree


    "For me, sport and physical activity has offered me opportunities to make friends for life and memories I will never forget"

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  • Jess


    "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"

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  • Dawn


    "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"

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  • Linda


    “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!”

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  • Tracey


    “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”

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  • Rae


    “I feel a lot happier when I'm active. A run or a swim will always clear my head”

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  • Pele


    “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”

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  • Marie


    “By valuing ME more, I started to recognise myself and all of my qualities. Now I’m proud of who I am”

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  • Jess


    “I find I am generally a better human being and can give more when I keep active”

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  • Dianne


    “Being active amazes me at what my body can achieve, after all I have put it through. It amazes me how it can heal”

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  • Katrina


    "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"

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  • Anne


    “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”

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  • Erin


    “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”

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  • Tracy


    “Running is an outlet for me and I feel as though I am in control when it’s just me and my running shoes”

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  • Anne


    “I was proud that I was determined enough to start from scratch and have had lots of fun playing in local competitions”

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  • Carla


    "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"

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  • Hiraina


    “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”

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  • Dayna


    “Overall regular physical activity makes me more positive and happier”

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  • Amiria


    “I feel alive and ready for anything”

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  • Hannah


    “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”

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  • Dion


    "Just by putting your shoes on and getting out there, you’re being active and doing great things for your wellbeing."

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  • Hazel


    "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."

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  • Kirsty


    "Exercise makes me feel incredible! It makes me feel strong capable and grounded."

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  • Petra


    "...there is more to life than the aesthetic of your body."

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  • Wendy


    "I am so damn proud of what my body and brain can do for me. It brings me so much joy."

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  • Wati


    "Feeling confident in my own skin, being stronger and fitter than when I was younger."

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Our goal is to create a community of women and girls who share their stories and offer advice to support and inspire one another to get active. If you would like to share your physical activity journey, please contact us at info@thisisme.org.nz