Incredible!  I woke up this morning and for the first time in 13 years (almost to the day) there was no prednisone, codeine or tramadol  in my hand.   My methotrexate hangover was mild and my inflammation and morning stiffness only lasting an hour!  Incredible…. I can handle the new swollen finger and the new pain in my shoulder, this is my body recovering from my fall a month ago,  and the bursitis on my knee will mean I will still take my crutches out today…. Yet there is hope and that hope is what keeps you going.

Let’s face it; rheumatoid arthritis is a pretty crap disease, any arthritis is really.  It’s not popular, doesn’t get much media, and when it comes to funding it is a struggle.  Living the life you desire is seriously compromised. The impact the disease and medication side-effects has on day-day functioning, relationships, energy and living well is like being on a rollercoaster ride at the speed of the european autobahn, and without notice the highs can be wiped out like a high speed crash without warning!

That’s why you have to celebrate the good days and do what you can, when you can.   The toughest part of the disease for me is never knowing what the morning will bring, the unpredictability causing the most distress as you can never fully commit to functions or plan too far in the future as that day might be one of the bad days.

I don’t want to bang on and compare my illness with anyone elses, and I certainly don’t want to get into a debate about which disease is worse to have.   I just want to put it out there that when you get RA  young it is like a double edged sword, it’s a relief because it won’t kill you and you have plenty of years to learn how to manage it, but it is also tough some days because for  you and  your support crew, those closest to you there is also no end.  The unpredictability effects everyone around you too.  It is tough for everyone and just as you work out your new normal something changes.    Symptoms come and go in waves, working out the impact for you is challenging enough, but we also have to ask for help, this is tough and receiving help is tougher.  Your support crew are willing but communicating with them your needs, especially if the symptoms are new this can be heartbreaking for you all.   We must remember our support crew have no end either, and this is more challenging as we begin to look well but our functioning is still limited.

The good news is we are in one of the best technological ages and a future with RA looks brighter.  When my Nana was diagnosed she was prescribed asprin and bed rest – 50 years on and I have been prescribed infusions and exercise.   Around the world there are superdrugs, super research teams, rheumatologists, surgeons who are moving ahead with management plans for the disease – The positive changes have been phenomenal in my 20 years with the disease.   I believe there is always something just around the corner to slow the progression, and make sure that I am not painfully destroying myself from within, the crutches give me independence and the wheelchair is far off in the distance!  Who knows what medicine, my tenacity and the support of my A team will be able to accomplish by the time the wheelchair is needed – if at all!

Until then I am am off for brunch, to enjoy some time with my sister and hubbie!  Two of my team that have been with me in through the tough times – lets use this window of feeling better to good use! …. Cease the Day Carpe Diem!

Ps Thanks for reading!  You are all incredible and my hope for you is today you get to do something that makes you smile too!

C x

What a SUPER day it turned out to be..

So it’s after midnight but this always happens after any treatment I get as I get a bit dose of IV steroids that lasts a day or so.    The good news is I wanted to share a couple of very cool groups of super heroes, some I have never met but they have been rocks and supported me on more than one day this past six months. They are all heroes in my eyes read more on how they changed me life here..

Firstly the superheroes at the CDHB 🌟  and Surgical Day Unit 🌟 ! I counted 14 different people who came and advised me and made me feel comfortable at the odd anxious moment and completed the procedure quickly and smoothly.    Three on the anaesthetic team, two consultants, one registrar, pre-op, surgical, recovery and post op nurses.. Not to mention the behind the scenes crew I never met! It was amazing and all of them are super heroes in my mind!  Thank you.

So far (apart from the temporary insomnia ) I am feeling good .  My Rheumatoid Arthritis flare means I qualify for another round of my magic treatment, it is pretty awesome that the NZ health system and treatments have come so far and are  working for me to keep everything at bay physically so I feel we are leaping off to a great start of my 20 years of arthritis celebrations with another superhero Rheumatology and Immunology team at CDHB 🌟 .

The flip side of course is the emotional roller coaster still has its challenging days.  So here is another group of super heroes I have never met but been rocks and supported  me on more than one day this six months.

Introducing YOU App..

 

making sustainable changes on day at a time

I feel blessed that following Jamie Oliver and his food revolution campaign in May 2015 that I discovered and became a part of an incredible community through the @YOU_APP. The amazing @YOU_team along with the ever inspirational @jamieoliver and all of the people involved make it such a positive, empowering and life changing experience. Those who already follow me know that 2016, has started out pretty challenging on the health front and I know that is largely because I give and give and forget to look after myself. After six years of hard work and dream chasing my hubbie (@tutumannz) and I opened our specialised wellness studio LeapHQ, empowering others with health conditions to leap2it! and discover their own life balance, and share their good news.

It’s been an amazing year and personally it had so much to do with this APP. During our NZ winter when usually I get sick I turned YOU actions to help keep my balanced. I became the wellest (doubt that’s even a word) energised and healthiest I had been in a decade thanks all the micro actions I did. One day my dream is to meet them and give them all a big thank you hug. They hopefully know how much they positively impacted on my life and how everything fits perfectly into my LEAP philosophies for loving life, enjoying exercise, appreciating all around YOU and participating positively. This year I am going to use the APP to record a one minute diary and most importantly I am no longer going to be selfish and keep this APP to myself! The world needs more of YOU to know about it and grow this community so we all live in a healthier, fitter. stronger, and happy place.

So for 2016 I highly recommend you download https://you-app.com, follow their blog and be apart of something great 🌟 and while you we are on the subject of super heroes you can not go  past a look at Jamie Oliver’s new book Everyday Super Food 🌟  or his blog to learn more here http://www.jamieoliver.com/healthier-happier-you/

12:45am and yay! Finally a yawn x

Happy lunching northern friends

Good night down under friends

Smiles and Hugs

Cx

 

As 2015 comes to a close,it’s the perfect time to reflect on the last 12 months. This year was so busy it seemed to fly by and it’s hard to believe what we achieved in such a short time.   

We worked alongside some amazing people this year, and as many doors closed some new ones opened and we were had great new opportunities, Setting up LeapHQ, closing out our EQC chapter, learning to live and enjoy our new home and keeping on top of my health definitely took up most of our time. There were plenty of “good golly what the @$&? have we done moments” and the  “we are giving up moments” sometimes seemed the easy option..   
However, as the year closes out we are so pleased we didn’t give up. Seeing LeapHQ come to life has been enormous challenge but a lifetime highlight. Creating a space that you, our LeapCrew, friends, family and Riwai and I love hanging out in has kept us focussed in those tough times. The icing has been having the studio and office at home allowed me to have a chance at a life goal of moving without crutches and our making our health more manageable – a gift money can not buy! 
While on summer break I’ve been spending some time thinking about all of the lessons that I learned. Next year is 20 years since I was diagnosed with Arthritis, it is a Leap Year and we are also celebrating our 10th series involvement with the Catch Fitness 20 Week Challenge. (Where Leap and our incredible journey began in 2008!)  

So much to share but with that said, here are five of the most important lessons we learned in 2015…

Stop Worrying.   All our years of worrying and so far it has all turned out, and we have had some pretty big things to face! But we survived. 2015 was a turning point. Now anytime I feel myself in a worrying cycle, we stop and see if we can do something to change an outcome and DO it OR if it is out of our control STOP and BREATHE and remember just worrying won’t make a scrap of difference to the end result. Things don”t always go to plan but often it is the uncomfortable moments that we learn the most about ourselves and discover new opportunities. 

Do what makes you happy!   Life gets busy, chores and stuff gets in the way. But 2015 reminded us again that life is precious and for many people we know 2016 will not be the same. Some have had loved ones passed on or those near and dear to them facing new health challenges that stop them doing things they want in life. Don’t wait to Live! Live your life from now and create loads of memories that make you smile. There is so much research about positive psychology these days and 2015 reinforced that discovering what you enjoy doing and doing what makes you happy is a gift you must give yourself in 2016.    

 
The greatest gift you can give is your time.   We feel extremely fortunate to be surrounded by the people we have in our life. From family to friends, to our LeapCrew, and LeapTribe, we get to hang out with people that we love and trust. When you surround yourself with people who get you and let you be yourself, it makes all the difference. Making time to spend with those that fill your energy bucket is a priceless gift. We have the privilege to be surrounded by some of very talented and wonderful people. We encourage all of you to take stock in who really matters to you, who supports you no matter what, and who supports you being happy. Show those people how much they mean to you, and spend as much time with them as you can. Life is too short to settle for anything less. Ps Oh and while I am at it make sure you give yourself some of that time too! Spending time by yourself should be treasured and something I learnt I need to do regularly to have more to give others. 

Giving Back is essential.  We have been blessed to have good support throughout our lives, and for that Riwai and I are very grateful. We are also aware that there are many, many people who need support. And there’s nothing that makes us happier than being able to give back. Whether it’s working with our LeapTribe, creating with our LeapCrew, or neighbours we work with in our local community, the recipients of the TutuMan scholarships (for starting journeys off the couch), raising awareness of Endometriosis with the extraordinary team at Endometriosis NZ, being an positive voice for Arthritis NZ, cooking a meal at Ronald McdDonald House or taking a box of blankets for less fortunate furry four legged friends, lending a hand is a huge priority of ours. It truly brings us so much happiness reaching out and supporting others.

Celebrate your milestones, especially the small ones.  There is no one like you in the world so embrace all that makes you unique and do the best you can do on the day. Keep smiling, relax and go at your own pace, If something feels overwhelming then break it down and focus on doing one thing really well, when you feel good about that one thing, move on to the next step! We did some pretty cool stuff this year. If we hadn’t recorded it or taken time to celebrate it would have all blended in and quickly been forgotten as we moved onto the next thing. By recording our milestones when the tough times hit I have been able to go back and refresh my memory bank with what we have already achieved! So the most important lesson for me this year was is when you achieve something that you are proud of stop for a moment, record it somehow and celebrate.   
  
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in 2015?
Now we would love to hear from you… 

Much love, smiles and hugs Cate & Riwai  

Ps Also, I just wanted to say thank you to each and every one of you who follows us, comes to leap2it.com and categrace.com and reads our blog posts. We feel blessed for the community and tribe we’ve built up over the years , and love being part of your journey to discovering and sharing your good news! You’re AWESOME! 

6:30am and I am at the front door of where I have worked for the past four years.  

I graduated in 2010 as a personal trainer and was ready to put my big toe into a foreign and brand new industry.  I was scared as hell but had a trainer who had offered to support me in my journey and offered me a space to work from.   I was so excited!  I continued to work full time, four long days so I could financially support my new venture  – Seth Godin would likely name me a bootstrapper company – I worked weekends, Mondays and early starts and late nights as a trainer while by day I continued as a youth coordinator.   It was a hard slog but it was worth it.   Within a couple of months I was faced with my first major challenge.   From nowhere my support person called me in to say there was no room for me to work with her and her new business partner.   I remember leaving that meeting in shock and disbelief,  I was devastated and felt I had made a horrible mistake taking a risk based on someone else’s  belief of me.   Why on earth had I done that!  How would I work in an industry that didn’t get me and didn’t support me.  It was a dark week.   Five years on and I finally get it.  She and her business partner gave me the most extraordinary gift the day they both turned their back on me.  That day I realised how much I loved what I did, it helped be unleash a passion I never knew exisisted.   I had to completely change how I worked following that frank discussion with them both.  I instantly became resourceful, adaptable, flexible and willing to embrace change, I learnt to dig myself out of a hole.    They will both know who they are, so I don’t need to name them,  but as I climbed the stairs this morning I paused and quietly thanked them both in my head.  I am grateful for what they did that day in 2010 as without that hard lesson so early in my career I doubt my business would have survived all we have been through.  I certainly would have never have met Donna Knowles and Richard Green who saved my bacon and let me work with all my coloured balls and squeeky chickens at Zest,  or have worked alongside Janelle Woolridge.   When Zest was firmly ensconced In the red Zone in 2011,  Janelle had moved to her own premises in dec 2010.  In March 2011 she opened her doors to allow me to work beside her but keep my brand and business.  We have grown our own businesses working in a unique business relationship that only worked because of the adversity Christchurch faced and Janelles generosity.    

Janelle has been one of my greatest mentors.  I will certainly miss her, her clients and her technical talents.   

This morning as I walked the stairs at a Form a new calm washed over me. I  realised those dark times in early 2010 had led me to climb these 17 stairs most days for the past four years.  

65280 stairs later… Thank You Janelle, it has been and incredible journey. 

Cx 

Goodness it seems that getting fired up might be a good thing this year!   After a week of hearing myself beating myself up I got to thinking enough is enough.  My mind chatter was joy stealing and my melancholy mood and less than enthusiastic attitude was just exhausting me.

So the first month of the year has ended and when we all got up in this morning there would be trillions (ok maybe I am exaggerating) but there will be heaps of people, probably mostly women,  whom use nearly all their 50 thousand thoughts today negatively beating themselves up because they haven’t done what they set out to do last month, last week or yesterday.

You know those new years resolutions that were set but never started, the missed 31 positive thoughts in a jar to open next year, or the “diet” you are starting on “Monday” or when the kids go back to school, or that exercise that you will do but just at the end of the day when you have completed the never ending list of things or the perfect ideal day you will start on tomorrow!

STOP!! Enough with the the negative mind chatter and gunna do it laters!    and seriously stop we have to stop beating ourselves up and BS and all this pressure.

As the month rolls into a new one and isn’t it opportune that it is Sunday – making tomorrow Monday, and the kids are going back to school so you can actually be organised.   YOU NOW HAVE A CHOICE!  Do something about it or quit the whinging and beating yourself with negative chatter and self destructive thinking.

From where I see it we have the opportunity RIGHT NOW to make a choice!

Do something about it or don’t do something about it.

Here are six ideas to get you going.    And by the way I do this because I care.   I want you to be happy this year because I actually believe that you have something to offer the world and are worth it!  oh and I have totally been there myself and it’s just not fun!

Here we go…..

1.  You can do something about it and start doing something NOW!  It is way easier to make a change if you start!  It doesn’t have to be monumental and announced to the world, it doesn’t have to take loads of time, effort or money.  Just start – what if you used some of the time you are being negative to yourself on STARTING.   Any small action towards what you want to do must be better than worrying about what hasn’t been done.

2.  You can be happy about how you are now.    I know, I know this takes practice but at the end of the day the only body you will live in is the one you have now.    People, including you are missing out on all your best bits while you are unhappy and I’ll let you into a little secret – if you start loving your curves, bumps, bulges, scars, dimples, hair, eyes and everything inside out from your nose to your toes you might be surprised how well you start to look after it!

3.   Listen to the messages your body is giving you and get actioning!  You will be a long time dead and it would be better that you didn’t go earlier than you need to!    Oh and going to bed earlier to get more sleep, talking nicely to yourself in your own thoughts, drinking water and moving a little more actually costs nothing!  Miracles to feeling better available right now at your finger tips!

  1. Take a look around and see what blessing you have got in your life and be fricken happy about what you do have! Focus on the things you have not what you haven’t!  There are people in the world who really do have something to worry about – like will their child be stolen and sold for child prostitution, will a bomb go off when the  go to get the market,  will the rain fall so that we can harvest food for the village,  will there be water at the well when I walk two hours to the new water pump in the next village.      Makes your negative chatter seem a bit first world!  You have access to fabulous shelter, running water, flushing toilets, fresh and nutritious food, a back yard full of opportunities and a body that can move.  DON”T WASTE IT!  
  2. Oh and if what I am writing is making you uncomfortable – then good job then it probably is time for you to take some action to look after you biggest asset and your biggest cheer squad – By the way that’s YOU! And here’s a home truth.   It’s true but if you have had time to read this then you have time to look after yourself!  Get in the photos with your kids and family, look in mirrors, go swimming in togs and practice treating yourself like you do your best friend!   Oh and if you have kids then remember that you are their biggest teacher.  Believe me kids don’t miss a trick!  So don’t let your daughters and sons grow up being unhappy with who they are!
  3. Looking after yourself shouldn’t be a chore. It shouldn’t be the last thing on your list.  It should be part of life.  So start! Just if it’s a couple of minutes a day doing something different can make the world of difference.   Go on DO IT NOW – It may just help you feel better!
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harbor (1)

I love celebrating women’s good news.

But here’s the thing I have to declare I have a wee bug bear that I have to share….

Too many women feel they can only celebrate success if the scales tell them to do so.

You see every week I hang out with the most extraordinary women who work incredibly hard all week hydrating, nourishing, exercising, appreciating and enjoying their life.

They jump on the cardio equipment with me or online in one of our groups and share  they have more energy,  feel fitter,  feel healthier, feel stronger,  are relaxing more and are feeling good.   Sometimes they are feeling great.   Their faces light up and the smile beam from ear to ear as they share this good news.

Then the dreaded question (dreaded for me…).  Are we weighing today?   I feel my body shudder… I feel my whole body  do a small convulsion and I am the one weighing not the weighee .. I seriously feel like one of the executioners from game of thrones…  Because I know that in exactly two minutes the result can make or break my beautiful LeapStars day.

I do because my clients ask and it’s expected that a trainer who is supporting weight loss will weigh but I have realised I have done it reluctantly and in the end probably doing is as a disservice to my authentic self.    I haven’t weighed myself for years.   I stand on the scales for my medical professionals to work out dosage – but I never look.   I let other things determine my mood for the day.    I let my clothes and bra size tell me how I am doing and if I am track.

It hasn’t been an easy journey,  I have relapses,  especially on good days,  especially when I feel so good maybe I should seek some validation from what I knew for 25 years … Maybe the scales will tell me something better than I feel.     After all the world seem to put an huge amount of weight – excuse the pun – on the result too.   You don’t need to look far to find good new headlines of “she lost x amount.” It’s everywhere – society, media and throughout my industry

So I take my clients off their cardio equipment and watch silently in horror as dread starts to fall over their faces,  as they take their shoes and sock off and gingerly stand by a piece of glass, with nuts and bolts and some beeping buttons.     They rush to the loo,  take of another layer and mumble how they shouldn’t have eaten breakfast.    And I have encouraged it – for five years I have been part of this ridiculous ritual.    Before that I was asking others to do this for me it 25 years of terror or joy depending on the number flashing back at me.    And then we celebrated if it went down and grappled with the disapproving look down the nose of someone else if it went down.

My ladies do nothing more than weigh there self esteem.     If the number is up or down or bang on the same does it really reflect how you are?  Where you are at?   We know when our clothes are tight,  when we are dehydrated, when we puff at the top of hill.  From where I stand weighing is a pretty inaccurate measure of how you really are.

Wouldn’t it be a good day if we paid attention to what is happening to what is happening IN your body, in your life and focus on what we can change because of real tangible things.   What if we paid attention to habits and what you are doing consistently to make real change in the way you live and feel.  What if we measured our water intake every day and it makes our body feel instead of jumping naked in secret on the scales!!

It’s time to create real change!  We need to get real.  We need to do the small things regularly,  measure them in real ways,  understand the result, and adjust if we don’t feel happy about it!   Then we will really celebrate!

 

quote-leap of faith

One moment you are in the depths of despair worrying about upcoming rounds of infusion treatment.  The next minute you receive a message that you have been named a finalist in the Business Entrepreneur Category of the Westpac Women Of Influence Awards for 2014.  I pop on the jug, re read the email and grin as I remember I very nearly didn’t put my application in……

Applications closed a couple of weeks after I had been in hospital, we were out of our house for asbestos, arguing with EQR and couch surfing at my  mums and dads waiting to go home.   I had been advised I had been nominated and I had to submit and application.   The easy answer was to say No but I felt so honoured to be nominated that it was one of the leap of faith moments.   In the end I had a change of heart and decided if others had taken the time to write about me I should take the time to write about myself.     I hit submit and hadn’t given it another thought.  

The jug has boiled, the tea is made.  I do a couple of fist pumps and a YEEESS! Yelp what an honor! I sit in my favorite chair and just smile, one of those warm all over body smiles like you have just been caught by the sun as it peaks out of the clouds and falls all over you.

I take it all in.  The list of finalists is extraordinary and I am just blown away and so honored to be named.    This honor is super special as my whole reason for my businesses is to empower women to discover and share their good news. There is a warm glow from inside as I think of  all the women in my life who have inspired me.    My mind wanders to my nan.   When she was alive I would pop in to see her most days, and as the screen door rattled she would call out “hello love, come in and tell me all your stories”.

I never knew what an enormous impact those few words had on me and how 18 months later they have formed such a special part of my practice.    I am blessed to ask my wonderful women the same question and the stories I hear keep me inspired and encouraged to keep going.

Honouring women who have explored their good news, discovered it and are now CELEBRATING.   I am excited about going to Auckland and celebrating with them.    Win or Lose it doesn’t matter because today I feel I have already won with the life I lead.    I believe we’ll BE OK!