Dear universe – I must confess it has been seven months since my last blog. It has been playing heavily on my mind that I have not been blogging. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to write about… In fact the opposite is true. So I decided that the best way to lay this blogging demon out of my negative mind chatter was to blog! Settle in for a read as I have a bit to catch you up on…

2014 had all the makings of a most spectacular year. My treatment from 2013 was working, I had been around the world showcasing my curves and crutches. I was back on my bike training for my dream of completing a half Graperide, and did so, inspiring some new gorgeous LeapStars to do the same and was blessed to cross the finish line with my soulmate and husband in his first ever bike event. I have discovered the wonderful benefits of eastern medicine which has kept my pain levels manageable. I have had the most wonderful opportunities to share my good news around the South Island, as I went on a roadshow for two different clients. It was breathtaking to travel and speak in Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. Leap is leaping ahead. Tutuman, Lou and Emma have been rocks as we took on five more contractors bringing our team to nine. This has opened more doors to ensure Leap offer the best holistic service for all of our clients. We have a fabulous range of clients from aged 8 – 67 and watching them grow in confidence and strength every week is so often reason I have continued to get out of bed and keep going.

On personal growth I have been blessed to be one of a handful of people from around NZ who have been meeting each month as part of the BE Leadership Program. All of us facing our adversity head on each month as we unravel who we are and how we can lead social change in our communities. I have had been meeting Fiona Miller a growth coach regularly who had helped me put into perspective who I am and what my legacy is.

I am sure that I am pulling off to the outside world that my world is wonderful. As my dad used to say “kiddo you have a great telephone voice… Meaning that no matter what is going on no one would know”. I think it’s because I could have been a great actress… Getting up every day to perform for the world. And then there is my more positive and rational brain believing I can pull off positive because it helps me get back on track quicker…

Because you see…..

This year has been one of the hardest years I have faced since my diagnosis – emotionally, spiritually and physically. I have done more writing this year than I ever have. Writing is such a cathartic way for me to process my world and find solutions to get back on track. It’s just not seemed right to publish my musings this year. I am sick of hearing about my woes so why on earth would anyone else still give a damn! I have had an enormous challenges and feel like I am stuck on a mouse wheel instead of the rollercoaster I used to love. Going up and down is fun…. Going around and around is not so fun. My mentors and medical team have helped keep most of my darkness away from the world. They all share the same view (maybe with different words….). “Cate, mentally you are a strong lady, but your body is constantly fighting itself and each year. It is your body that is dealing with the stress. It is your body that is slowly deteriorating as it copes with what is happening.”

If my body would let me I would jump up and down stomping my feet, yelling IT IS NOT FAIR! Hospital visits, new diagnosis, more teams, a broken house, an unloved garden, fighting with the neighbours, an EQR project manager who isn’t in our corner, an EQC process that is confusing, feeling like we stayed positive for four years just to be treated like “complainers”. Overwhelmed with grief… Tears as the rubbish bins head down the driveway – missing my nan and her hugs and wise words. Tears as I drive through town – feeling nostalgia as the great memories flood back of our beautiful city. Tears as I pack away the “box of memories” for my kids that will never be. Tears as we “perch” in a house that no longer feels like home, with that feeling of anguish and exhaustion and we are only at the start of the process. Moments of anger and grumpy outbursts at Riwai when I can’t get up without his help, turn the shower on or lift a cup without dropping it. Guilt as I see him be the best carer he can be so I can continue to do what I love and help others find their smiles. Exhaustion from doing the tiniest of movements when only a few months ago I was biking without a care in the world. Loneliness as I keep it all hidden as much as I can. Insomnia as I manage the pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a cruel disease. Still there is no cure, it’s unpredictability so frustrating but tomorrow is a new day and another chance for a new beginning. Every day I am out of a wheelchair is a great day. Despite my dark moments I have the opportunity to make a difference in the world. I am so grateful that I have a strong mind, tenacity to turn this around, an awesome soul mate and brilliant medical team to work through this. My LeapStars give me a plethora of opportunity to discover good news to share. My Leap2it! Philosophy is my own daily plan to fall back on. Continuing to discover my way to love life, enjoy exercise, appreciate myself and surroundings, have a positive purpose, access hydration, be inspiring and be inspired and be part of a fabulous tribe.

This year much of my learning has been about vulnerability and so I have shared what is happening for me. It has been good to get it off my chest!

However… I have been here before.. Winter is tough for us. With spring less than four weeks away we believe the mouse wheel is about to break and … A familiar feeling that we haven’t felt for a long time is back… Hope! With a dash of courage!

Tomorrow on my zimmerframe we head to my rheumatologist for my 11th year check up…..we feel it will be good news 🙂 …



As my amazing LeapAngel says- good golly! I have woken up and am surprisingly nervous.. In a good way. Butterflies on the eve of one of the greatest achievements in my life. We were going to have a lazy day by the pool but I feel like I have ants in my pants and I can’t sit still – we were going to head back into St Albans but I have dragged Riwai to the London light rail and we are heading into London City centre for an impromptu look around…thank goodness he loves me and just goes with the flow. After a quick toilet stop at Tower Bridge Trainstop we grab some water and I have bartered us on a tourist bus tour and river cruise. And what a magnificent plan that was… Four hours later we had seen all we wanted, had time to watch the sunset over the Thames (yes it was even sunny enough in London for the sun to set) and a quick bite at a local pub and we were home by 8:30. Mish (McCormick) another fellow kiwi dropped by for a hug and chat before we both calmed our butterflies enough to get some sleep… It felt like Christmas Eve with so much exciting anticipation ….


WOW – 36 hours ground to ground and we feel good. Christchurch-Sydney-Bangkok-Dubai-London! Amazing! Arrival to Heathrow was smooth as I had booked special assistance (wheel chair support) just in case and LifeFitness had organised a driver at arrivals to pick us up. So much easier than navigating the tubes and trains. Ari was super helpful and whisked us out of the airport and to the country before we could say good afternoon. I felt like Cinderella as we arrived at our home for the competition Sopwell House.

It is such beautiful country house, nestled in the trees just out of St Albans. Ari had been a world traveller for many years and he said the best thing to do was not to sleep. The Americas Cup decider was on but not for a good few hours -we were in disbelief that we had gone from 8-1 to this race, but it was a great distraction to keep us awake long enough to adjust to the time zone properly. We headed into St Albans to look at the grand cathedral, organise a SIM card and potter. We stumbled over the most amazing pub built in 1420 – the boot It was a great way to keep awake and we arrived back to the room for a magnificent and luxurious sleep – we put the tv on and woke up just to hear oracle winning….and then headed back to sleep until morning. It was blissful cx



On Thursday between clients I was experiencing overwhelming exhaustion. I just couldn’t keep my eyes open and I was extremely cold. One of my hubbies besties arrived from Melbourne and instead of excited anticipation I had to drag myself into the shower and get ready. I felt so poorly that the boys chose dinner – Riwai chose my least favourite cuisine – encouraged by me as with no sense of smell or taste it was a good opportunity to go to his fav restaurant. We headed out for Indian for dinner. When we poured my one of my favourite Pinot noirs and it tasted like the smell of weed killer I knew something was suspicious and then when I was able to eat the vindaloo (never heard of) we really knew something was a miss! Friday and infection had taken hold. I somehow managed to get through my morning clients. I had a lunch meeting where it seriously felt like someone had put stocking over my head – my head was all fuzzy and scratchy and my vision blurred.

It was off to the docs for me – Diagnosis – sinus infection! Probably from the suppressed immune system and the new drug regime. Riwai kindly reminded me and the doc that it took 8 months for my first wonder drug to take hold. My body is a fighter and so I need to remember it as only been one week – lol even if it feels like a year!! Recommended a quiet weekend rest – You have got to be kidding -more rest! more antibiotics…. New antinausea, new antihistamines…Rattle rattle rattle – feeling like the bubble lady!!! 🙁

On a positive note we are reducing the steroids…. Thank the universe for small mercies – i am so over all the side effects and it was great news that we have all agree to give it a go.. If it doesn’t work we have predicted the flare will come when I am on summer holiday so I can rest without worrying about the business and letting clients down. Yay!!

I can only imagine what sort of place I would be in mentally and physically if I wasn’t eating a balanced diet, moving daily and keeping hydrated…. It is all the small steps and changes alomg the way that really do make a big difference!! 🙂

ImageYou know that overwhelming feeling when you know the tears are coming but no matter how much you bite your bottomIMG_5578 lift the tap turns on and you are away.     Today is one of those days.   It is a decade since my diagnosis of RA became a reality and I have received my latest follow up letter from the hospital and the myriad of tests we have had over the last 12 months.   There are another few lines added to my growing list of health conditions to overcome.

I have been diagnosed with oligoarticular arthritis in my wrists and knees, bilateral facet arthropathy in my spine and Osteopaenia (the early stages of osteoporosis) and……….
My RA is in a flare, and we are in another major med change.
My Asthma had been uncontrolled so I am doing tests with the Respiratory department.   Thanks to all the meds my allergies are also flared.  I have been asked to consider treatments for my Endo so am back on the poke and prod list with our gynaecologist.  I have lost my taste and smell and we are trying to work out if this is a side effect of my new meds or something else.

This 30seconds it just all feels overwhelming and like I am in a bad dream….. my rational brain says it will pass and we are only given what we can handle….. while my irrational brain wants to hang out in my pjs and give the world the tall middle finger!

IMG_5218On a positive my chest X Ray was clear,  my CRP is the lowest it has ever been and I am sleeping through the night.  Before I was unwell I was definitely a comfort eater so my own mind chatter is working overtimein positivity mode, with meditations and stopping for quiet time so that I don’t head completely into the depths of waging war on myself and eating everything in sight – love prednisone!!    Each day I am out of wheelchair is good, each day I am off crutches is great.   I can do this!!

Sunday was our team challenge day – I had put it off as I was too unwell last week and I had set my own goal to get back in the pool by the end of the 20 Weeks.  It took a bit of planning but it was a success!  I was able to get into the pool for the first time in months – thanks to some pretty awesome antihistamines, a fair bit of steroids, a tonne of menthol cream for after and a big dose of courage and a huge dollop of I CAN!  I was able to walk and then flutterboard, inspired by one of my LeapStars who hadn’t really been back in a pool since her brain tumour was enough for me to dig deep too.   WOW it felt good – sadly my shoulder and back didn’t want to swim but I got to walk and take part, I hung out at the lane ends and loved every minute of the faces of my LeapStars as they were overcoming their challenges… It was an amazing day for me to be involved in.   A sprinkle of happiness in a stressful time!  Encouraging and watching my LeapStars and their LittleLittleLeapStars was great soul medicine and gives me strength to get me through this week.


IMG_5538IMG_5535So as I head into the hospital for another round of my new wonder drug, I know I am super supported!  One of my LeapStars has burnt the most wonderful opera CD and I lent me a new book, others have offered to keep me company, take me to the appointments.   It is so so lovely.    Riwai has the time off so  I will take my new cuddly toy and my mohair and kick back and reflect on a decade of what I have learnt from having all these challenges in my life.   I will  remember without them I would never have ended up in my wonderful and rewarding career and business, and that everyday I am surrounded with people who accomplish so much more than they ever thought was possible.

All of them help keep my own dreams alive and have helped me endure this horrible treatment.  My wish is to keep working with them all for at another decade at least stays alive!  …. while closer to home my wish and goal is simply to to be able to walk around my own block and feel connected to my body,  if I can do that I can aim to walk  up our local stairs (250 odd) unaided without stopping, and feel a sense of achievement and enjoy the view….and of course a girl has to dream big so I am not giving up that one day I may even get back on my bike without pain and feel the wind whistle through my helmet on a downhill sprint.   That’s better the tears have stopped and the sun has come out – time for lunch and a lemon and ginger tea – writing always makes me feel better.   Smiles and Hugs and keep dreaming, wishing and doing what you love!
Cate 🙂



Yesterday I met the most extraordinary woman. It was our first ever meeting and as we chatted away I realised how easy the conversation came, how many things we had in common while also celebrating our uniqueness and individualism. It was an amazing conversation for me to have. We finished with a hug, that little reaffirming moment, that hugging is appropriate for because you have made such a wonderful connection with someone.

After this weeks life is a puzzle post, the meeting was like finding one of those pieces you have been stuck on for too long. That small piece in the puzzle that allows you to see an important part of your picture and the flow on of being able to link many other pieces that before made no sense at all.

It was the first time in a long time I remember being completely and 100% me on a first meeting. It was inspiring being totally comfortable with who I am am and who I have become.

Most of all I noticed our genuine laughter, smiles, love for life and hug. Thank you J – it was a life changing moment. :).



Today I am reflecting on all the fabulous and fun things I do in life! Looking forward to many more front row experiences. Live life and enjoy it. If you are not having fun and hearing yourself laugh out loud sometimes – do something that will 🙂 xx

Today is 1000 days since my world changed for ever. It has been a roller coaster ride and it is so so super exciting that my new world has really only just begun. May 31st 2013 marks a tonne of reasons why I shouldn’t be in business, a tonne of reasons why I shouldn’t be in Christchurch and a tonne of reasons why I should really be in both. Mother Nature dished us a cruel blow and followed it up with thousands of aftershocks. I have been blessed to continually open up the gifts of opportunity that present and make the best of what I have been given.

Today I decided to celebrate by doing a random act of kindness for every hour I was awake today. What a most magnificent day it turned out to be :

6am – Despite enormous pain I did not cancel any clients, had a dose of Vitamin P (pet cuddles) and thanked my husband for being awesome.
7am – Sent a text to Thank a LeapStar for all she has done for me
8am – Offered to do a special plan for a special lady
9am – Lent out my phone so a stressed lady could find hers
10am – Yelled across the car park and told someone that they looked fabulous in purple
11am – Hugged someone and told them they were amazing
12pm – reminded someone what a great job they do and what the mean to me then shouted lunch
1pm – thanked two local businesses for their great service
2pm – opened a gate for a lady lifting a heavy gear bag
2:30 – delivered flowers randomly to someone who just made a big life decision
3pm – visited a classroom of young children and told them how cool their teacher was
3:30 – let a grandad cross the street not at the crossing because he and the kids looked super stressed – even though I held up traffic!
4pm – delivered someone’s overdue study for marking because they were at work and weren’t going to make the deadline
4:30 – shopped for party items for a 4yro because her daddy is in hospital and her mummy is under alot of pressure
5:00 – wished a random man in the a street a happy birthday (after overhearing him say it at the bank) and then rang up and thanked the bank for its great service today and always!
5:30 – delivered some flowers and a card early for someone’s birthday to help cheer them up.
6pm – wished the team at the chemist and the doctors a magnificent weekend
7pm – thanked medical team for staying back late for me
8pm – rang the after hours duty manager to thank the afterhours nurse for all her help
9pm – thanked the on call GP for his patience and honesty
10pm – arranged for my hubbie to take some of our friends kids to the rugby tonight.
11pm – promoted a local business via Facebook
12am – posted my blog to inspire others to do many small things often and have many blessons throughout life 🙂

It was a very humbling day. in amongst all the giving i was also balancing my own trapeeze as my medical team worked with me to avoid a hospital visit. Kindess and patience won the day and this one tonne post eqc milestone that will forever carry beautiful memories. It reinforced that please and thank you are still Magic words do make a difference in someone’s day. I also have an amazing brooch and bundles of special memories now attached to it. It is made from an old map of chch so was a perfect match for me today. It will always be a reminder that smiles, hugs and random acts of kindness really do make us count our blessons :).


Audrey Hepburn Beautiful

Tonight apparantly is a solar eclipse…… there is certainly something in the air as many I am meeting with seem to be having struggles at the moment. If you want bad news, sad news, tragic news, upsetting news then it is pretty easy to find in the world. Everyone can find something that is not going so well in their lives. It can quickly become pretty energy sapping if you are always faced with the grumpy planet people. I am not saying that life on my “Happy Planet” is always positive and perfect, I am just very humbled to have people in my life who taught me to take challenges on board, deal with them, learn from them, then let them go.

I was blessed to have two influential female grandparents who were always reminding me to find the good in others. My Dads mum (grandma) was an eccletic but talented teacher who spent many hours philosophying with us over a card game or three. She would remind me “there is not that much difference between the cleaner and the CEO. In fact the cleaner can become the CEO and the CEO can become the cleaner in the blink of an eye. The only real difference is belief” With that advice in mind as I travelled the world I was always treated people as equally as I could, never knowing who they were or what them might offer.

My Mum’s mum (Nana) was a humble and beautiful soul. She loved people and as we shared marmalade toast and scenarioed out her kitchen window she reminded me “there was good in everyone you meet. The trick is to take the time to find that good.” She shared that when things weren’t going so well the fastest way to pick yourself up was to find the lesson in the challenge, keep things simple and always smile.

In my 39 years I have taken all these great pieces of advice, including the words of the great Audrey Hepburn and Dr Suess and the beautifulness of two more inspirations in my life Mother Teresa and Anne Frank and have come up with my own five Rules of Life to cope with my challenging days.
1. Look for the good in others, speak words of kindness and believe it is worth inspiring others to find their good news.
2. When life throws you lemons work out how to make your own version of lemondade and use these lessons
3. Anyone can be a cleaner and anyone can be a CEO – the difference is all about what you believe in
4. If you are truely happy with where YOU are at then then where you live, what you do, how you do it and when you do it shouldn’t matter to anyone but you. – Those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind!
5. A smile costs nothing and a hug is free.

So if you are finding yourself heading to the grumpy planet or are in a world full of negativity or woefullness, stop, breath, find the lesson, smile and help people find their good news. You never know it might rub off on you and help you find some more good news about yourself 🙂

Smiles and Hugs

Cate x