Where were you on September 4 2010?   This one question will be with all of us for ever. There is a long list of negative words to describe the ordeal and five years on the impact is still wide felt, just this weekend I took down a light shade that tinkled each time we walked past it, unlocking a memory of the aftershocks, and having me still reach for my phone to see how everyone is.

On the flip side this month marks my five year anniversary of leaving my safe, rewarding government job and stepping out into the unknown   I was working at one of the welfare centres set up in a high school hall to support East Christchurch in the after math of the 7.1.    It was the first big aftershock I had felt at work – it was the Wednesday following.    We all scrambled under an old trestle table,  I was with a youth who grabbed my hand under the desk.     He had been with me at a seminar a few weeks earlier where I dressed up in my PJ’s to show Youth that wearing what you liked was not the best for job interviews,  we then did an exercise on following your dreams.    As we lay on the wooden floor with the lights waving around, he grabbed my hand as I was shaking “Miss, is this job following your dreams”    He was quoting me back what I had taught them about Walt Disney.

   “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” Walt Disney.

I remember hitting my head on the table as I came up and that I inappropriately starting laughing – not because of the earthquakes, but because I knew he was right, I was also chuffed he had listened.   Still till this day I can’t remember his name, but he certainly was a piece of the puzzle that led me to do what I love every day.      It was a moment that had a big impact.

We forget that technology was not such a big part of our lives.    I began using Facebook and Twitter a whole lot more, who knows I might have anyway but I believe that my increase and presence of Social Media helped me not to smoke or drink in the tough times!   It was a great distraction and way of keeping connected and communicate with all walks of life.   Being awake so much also meant that I googled a lot!   If only I had blogged – what wonderful memories I would have to look back on.

I did however find this quote that I discovered the first week of September 2010.

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

It is the mantra that I draw strength from on the hard days,  in the beginning I would read it during the long nights when I became afraid of being alone,  which eventually became a fear of the dark.    In the morning when getting ready to face the day was challenging.    It was there for me during the horrific days, the guilt ridden days, the overwhelming days.    Now  I read it as the balance of our lives is returning,   There are days of celebration,  days of connectedness  and recently Riwai and I both looked at each other and were able to say there are days of elation and happiness.

Over the past year those days have turned into weeks and those weeks are turning into months.    We know that soon we will just be people full of happiness that have normal ups and downs.  We will be able to say  “Yes we were in Christchurch in 2010 & 2011.  We survived,  We lived through the horror and we gained strength, courage and confidence because of it.

I went to high school for only four years, my tertiary education was scattered over the years and universities.    This last five years is the one university I stuck out, until the end!  I took all the bad and found good where I least expected.     I studied myself  through all this turmoil and I learnt an incredible amount of insight into who I am and who I want to be.

Graduation day is not  far away, when the good days are more than the tough days and when it happens I am sure Riwai and I will get dressed up and celebrate our graduation from the University of ChchEQC.

We will graduate with a new mantra – The struggle of life is one of our greatest blessings.  It makes us patient and sensitive.  It teaches us that although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it

Instagram Post (3)

And then a new chapter of my life will begin – because somehow doing all this study on myself I went from celebrating my 37th birthday to somehow  being in my 40’s!   My wonderful nan did use to say the 40’s are great years!    I wonder if she meant the 1940’s or being in my 40’s!

Either way I am ready to take on what ever life brings next!





Ok before anyone freaks out or races off to check Riwai’s face book page, instagram, twitter or jumps onto a facebook group to double check with others whats happened because they feel too uncomfortable and concerned to actually ask either of us if this is true.

Take a deep breath and let me explain…..

I am not divorcing my beautiful husband.

I have been seriously contemplating divorcing my fitbit!  and its only been six weeks!

I found out it has been lying to me for over a month so as honesty is one of my values I thought the best thing to do was leave the lying, cheating, piece of crap…. How dare Mr Fitbit say I had been getting poor sleep for the past six weeks, every morning it acted like my friend and gave me positive affirmations like nailed it!  awesome work!  And then blast out red lines and light blue blocks and not ever give me a gold star for achieving!  I should have known better.   I trusted my Mr FB before I really got to know him.   I jumped into bed with him before checking out his credentials,  relying on Mr FB to tell me how I was doing.

Each morning I would wake up, feeling rested and excited to take on the day.   I would have my shower and feel on top of the world like I had for most of the year and then over breakfast and my cuppa tea would sync my phone to validate how I was doing…

Fitbits are an amazing piece of technology.   They record and keep me accountable (great for a numbers gal like me)  I trusted that the technology had be accurate.   I had no flip side to say it wouldn’t be…  For the past few weeks I have been telling everyone that I got a fitbit to check on Riwais sleep as I was concerned about how his shift work has been affecting his sleep patterns, within a week I was discovering that my sleep patterns were not so good.

Yet despite doing everything my GP tells me to do for sleep hygiene, many of them ideas that I share with my LeapStars!  My fitbit said my sleep was bad………….So I decided my sleep was bad!

  • I went back to no caffeine after 5pm.
  • I have no technology moments every day
  • I changed my working week so that I have more down time
  • I took up gardening so I had fresh air
  • I get outside and sunshine at least daily
  • I am eating regular meals and smaller portions
  • I pulled back my bed time to 10:30
  • We adjusted the temperature to be constant in our room
  • We have no technology (except the fitbit) in the bedroom
  • We meditate every night
  • I even get to wake up without an alarm……………

All this great work on my sleep and still the result was below average!  No stars for me and my graph never change colour
Day after day deflated…
And all of this before I even had a chance to see how my body felt or if I even felt unrested.  If the fitbit said then it must be true!

I was reaching for validation that I was achieving!  I got sick and even heard myself saying to my GP, I am quite run down and my fitbit says I haven’t had much sleep so I am not surprised that I got sick!    Ha!  I should have known better,…..

I shared how poor my sleep was with clients, friends and families!  I had trusted this new relationship with all my heart!

Seem that no matter how awesome our technology seems to be in the end that the same old garbage in garbage out saying is true!   

Because after six weeks of thinking I was a fraud (that was because here I have been for five years talking about the importance of quality sleep and quality rest and all along I wasn’t a good sleeper) it was simply that when I set it up I had it on the wrong setting……………………. 

So I searched my fitbit and read all I could about the sleep mode and then changed my setting……….

And then turned off automatic syncing…

Instead I wore it but I got up and listened to my body.  I felt great and decided that I didn’t need my Fitbit to tell me about my sleep because I SLEPT WELL!!!!! …..

I had a great weekend and felt rested, had plenty of energy and completed loads of tasks on my list…. and guess what.  I synced it tonight but this time it told me I had 8 hours of good quality sleep.    Ha rubbish in rubbish out.. Technology is only as good as the input-ed data.

Recently I filtered from all my online media bytes that the average person has somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts. …….so it also comes as now suprise that with this amount of inner traffic whizzing through our heads a day that we can lose touch with ourselves.

That led me to wonder if that might be leading to making it difficult to connect with ourselves and therefore be making real connections with those around us.    

My experience with my Fitbit was another fascinating journey for me on the impact technology can have.   I had lost touch with myself and began critically analysing my behaviours around sleep all based on something I had introduced to my life.   I became almost obsessed with what it was telling me instead of listening to what my body was telling me.

With all of the noise and confusion most people lives with thanks to technology it has seemingly put us on a fast bullet train whizzing past all that is dear to us.  

It has it’s place and as I said last week I wouldn’t give it up.   My wish is that we remember even when technology seems to enhance our world that we don’t forget that what really matters…

After all isn’t that what makes us uniquely human, our ability to share our thoughts, to connect on a deeper level, to communicate.    With all the thinking go on, and seeking approval and validation from technology, what chance does our heart have to breathe, feel, and experience life, no less make contact with ourselves and significant others?  The crowded mind makes for an overcrowded heart with little room for ourselves and less room for anyone else. When we live such a busy life, how open, available, and loving can we be?

I am regularly enriching my life and discovering what matters more than technology in my life.

Here are my five top reflections since discovering how the Fitbit impacted on my life and thoughts…

1. Love and kindness giving unconditional love to others cost nothing and can make the world of difference to someone else’s world. Receiving it is also far more wonderful than anything technology can give.

2. My health. Although technology can enhance my treatments it cannot encourage me to listen to my body and take time to do what is best for me and my body.   Technology can not make my decisions for me.   I can stand on my own two feet despite medical and alternative health professionals assuming this would not be the case at my age.

3. True nature and all the world brings can not be fully replaced by technology .  Technology could not prevent our earthquakes, or change the tides, move the moon or the sun.  I can use technology  for the actual sun to come up earlier or set later! Or push a button and get the sun to come out  naturally or have it rain when it’s a drought. Our natural world is full of wonders that are more technology can not alter.

4. Connections and face – face conversations, hugs and smiles are not the same from technology!

5. And the last thing is time. How we use it and how we spend our time is the key for real and everlasting happiness.  Make sure that technology aids your use of time not hinders it 😀

Happy days beautiful people as I am off to have a conversation and hug my husband and feed the good wolf.

We have worked out an amicable way to keep my Mr FB and his Ms FB in our lives.  The benefits to our health are worth it – just as long as we remember our thoughts are our own and no graphs, gold stars or red and blue lines can take that away from either of us!

feed the right wolf

I have been reflecting on what my role is as a Personal trainer, Wellness Coach and Leap Coach.   For the last five years as my role has evolved and with it the title..    It was a great thought to ponder.

What I realised hasn’t changed from day one in my role is that I facilitate change.

I inspire, encourage and empower  people everyday and provide them with tools and skills they can use to make internal and external shifts.  I challenge them – physically and emotionally.  My role is often to introduce uncomfortable conversations to allow those I work with to discover and share their own good news.   It is so rewarding to watch unfolding one step after another,  little by little, until eventually they experience massive growth and big changes have been made to their overall health, wellbeing.   Then like magic the impact and flow starts for those around them, their families, friends, workplaces and wider communities.   It really is so rewarding and amazing to watch.

They stretch, and push their own boundaries – and constantly re-define their comfort levels and as a result they improve on many levels.

However… it still amazes me that even when people work hard and look and feel amazing that giving compliments to themselves or receiving compliments about them is a major challenge.

As you know I don’t push products unless I really believe in them so what I am about to share with you is not about the product its about the content of their latest promotion!  They women in the campaign  represent the women I work with (men might feel the same but I don’t have a video to share for them!)

Congratulations DOVE!   This is wonderful 🙂

So here it is and maybe after watching this today you might start to start some new conversations with yourself and those close to you about whether you are Average or Beautiful.


ps heres the behind the scenes footage!  Its Awesome too! 🙂

So we ran late today as we came straight from my extended “quick check up visit” with the specialist to the gym. After negotiating with Mr Grace to promise to stay on my crutches and not overdo it I was given permission to work. OMG it really is my happy place. The sunset was later and after a wonderful first meeting with our latest LeapStar, it was onto upstairs hearing Ms I don’t run complete had just completed her 3kms in a PB without music. As her Miss I don,t run sat drawing pictures and reading dr Suess go dog go to Weewai. Next arrives Mrs oops we both stayed up and watched then netball who has had an epiphany to almost bring me to tears and is so totally ready to get moving with the next missions and just before circuit Mrs I am totally doing this had a smile of knowingly reassuring me she really does feel good about the next step …. And then as my the anesthetic wears off, I watched a Tutuman take on 13 more ladies who just left me smiling as they really don’t see their fabulousness. I watch them nail two loops looking fresh as a daisy and the subtle progression has increased there strength and fitness. Of course this kinaesthetic trainer can not sit down for the entire session but I really want to buddy them up with something that makes them feel amazing in AMAZING AUGUST. It was a circuit that left me smiling from ear to ear. Dead on our feet we get excited about heading home for my Skype sessions …. Oops no keys… Last seen at the hospital or Fletcher’s …. What an awesome team of colleagues I have… An hour later we have locked and and home at last… Another moment I feel blessed to have so many in my corner!

Thanks to everyone who sent messages, read my blog, hung out with me at my happy place… It really means the world!

Seems I am making up for lost blogging time, three in two days. I just wanted to share that it really has been a grateful day and a huge reminder for me that when you hit rock bottom the only way really is up. The lesson in the last twenty four hours is that those days when it feels life sets you back 100 steps in reality it is probably only 20 or 30 steps. Which in the scheme of the universe has me up 70 steps from a eleven years ago… On another side note I also stayed up late to watch the silver ferns win silver… It was the first game in 11 years I could watch without being annoyed and actually got excited! We might have lost but it was a fab feeling to be over my netball nemesis finally –

Today another lovely touch was that Peter remembered it was netball and my knee that started this RA journey 11 years to the day .. Ironic that i really have done a full revolution on the mouse wheel!!!! – time to get off…..

Hello new roller coaster 2014 I am ready! With fear, trepidation and excitement… Lets do this………..Whooooooooooooaaaaahhhhhhh! Nights universe it great to be back!





What a wonderful relaxing start to this year. My first week was in the country and my bike has had a dust off and am building up kms every day. Last week was pottering and some planning before a girls weekend at the beach. Headed home today singing out loud and feeling ready for an epic year!

I love this time of year. Returning to training sessions and hearing everyone’s missions and ideas for a great year. It is an exciting month and we have so many events, tips and tricks to share. Looking forward to getting stated tomorrow.


May 2014 bring you peace and tranquility, my hope for you is you find a word to inspire you to find good news to share and discover your greatness.


Two years ago I wrote this blog post….

res·o·lu·tion (r z-l sh n) n. 1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination. 2. A resolving to do something. 3. A course of action determined or decided on.

This year instead of a long list of resolutions why not pick a word that you love and make sure this year your lifestyle, exercise and alone time choices match your word and keep you smiling!

Whats your word for 2012?

Each year on New Years day I pick a word. 365 Days ago my word was resilient and my words and actions for 2013 reflect I took this word and ran with it!

It has been one of the hardest years I have ever remembered with the loss of someone near and dear, the stress exasperated my health and the effects of the earthquakes still creeping in and blindsiding me from unexpected angles. On the flip side it has also been one of the best years I have had, an amazing year of accolades working in an industry I love and where I can inspire others to find their good news and share it with the world. I watched many conquer their fears and achieve greatness. I met some most fantastic new people, reconnected with some old familiar faces and experienced a long list of amazing things. I was super blessed to end up travelling for my 40th with my soulmate. Unexpectedly winning the opportunity to go to London we then did a whirlwind of Paris, Algarve, Lisbon, Dubai and Bangkok. It was a fairy tale. And as I look back and reflect, not a day went by that there wasn’t a lesson to be learnt, something to appreciate and a chance to build my resilience. And I wouldn’t change a thing.

This year at a restaurant with friends we were asked what our word for 2014 is going to be.

My 2014 word is accessible. It is something I believe I practice already and in 2014 I want to have fun with it and enjoy the opportunities that being accessible brings me both professionally and personally! It is going to be a great year. I look forward to you sharing your word of 2014 with me 🙂

Smiles and Hugs for a magnificent 2014!

adjective: accessible
1.(of a place) able to be reached
synonyms: reachable, attainable, approachable, within reach, available, on hand, obtainable;
2.able to be easily obtained or used.
3. easily understood or appreciated.
synonyms: understandable, comprehensible, easy to understand, easy to appreciate, intelligible, penetrable, fathomable, graspable, approachable
4. able to be reached, entered, or used by people who have a disability.
5. (of a person), especially one in a position of authority – friendly and easy to talk to; approachable
synonyms: approachable, available, easy-going, informal, friendly, welcoming, hospitable, pleasant, agreeable, obliging, congenial, affable, cordial

What a month.. I had many good intentions of blogging my thoughts on Christmas, it just seems like the month has flown by. Since I was a little kid i have absolutely loved Christmas. This year I went through a roller coaster of emotions on what Christmas meant to me. It was a thought provoking and interesting month, reminiscing about past Christmas’s, trying to work out what was important to me at this time of year, watching others in the enormous waves of all the commercial stress. Then there were my thoughts around the vast amounts of consuming we do on one day and how none of it sits well with my philosophy of moderation. I watched friends and family get into a complete state of stress. For a couple of days I became overwhelmed with it all too. After a wonderful month with friends and clients it still seemed to make no sense to me.

For some it is one time of year when many make the effort for loved ones and christmas is one day when the world stops so most can celebrate together. I hope that continues. Imagine how horrid it would become if shops opened even for Christmas morning.

Maybe after three years still in a broken house, waiting to move forward that I did for a brief moment become the Christmas grinch….

So this year we started a couple of new traditions. In lieu of client, friends and family gifts we gave to our favourite charity. We combined what our Leapstars donated during the year in our donate your weight campaign. And gave all the cans and two huge bins overflowing with treats for the influx of foodbank requests at this time of year.
It was such a wonderful feeling.


Then we paused to think of those loved ones who weren’t with us this Christmas. We star gazed as the clock ticked over from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day and were grateful for all we have. I may have even seen Santa moving across the southern hemisphere sky..

While with friends and family yesterday we celebrated Christmas I heard laughter and saw the faces of the little people. With their pure excitement and delight of sharing stories of Santa I remembered why I loved Christmas…..

It’s a magical time for giving and believing in all things good. Reflecting on the abundance of what you do have and that the best things in life don’t always need the commercial bells and whistles. It’s a time for thanking those in your life who make a difference to you 🙂

Thank you to YOU for being a part of my life this 2013. The lows have taught me lessons and the highs have given me hope. It has been and amazing year. Looking forward to a magnificent 2014 🙂

Love, laughter and hugs to everyone and a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe holidays xx


What and extraordinary weekend. I so excited to be a presenter alongside some of the greatest fitness and exercise greats. I was able to share my passion on training those with arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. My workshop was not until Sunday afternoon, so that gave me the amazing opportunity to be a delegate on Friday and Saturday. Fantastic speakers and inspiring thought provoking ideas.

The key note speaker Derek Barton shared his wisdom on the power of our words.

He shared how powerful words can be to evoke feeling and none more so than this short story written by Ernst Hemmingway.


If this wasn’t powerful enough we then watched this powerful clip

Change your words

and as I had a tear in my eye for both examples I was powerfully reminded of why I keep my sessions as a positive word environment – change your words, change your ways and you can change your world.