No matter how often I speak, I still get nervous! This one tougher than normal as it was so personal. My brief was to share with 120 people my story of how I received the Arthritis New Zealand Premier Award last month in Auckland. It was such an incredible honour to speak after dinner. I was able to weave my thanks and enormous gratitude in to my delivery. It is amazing to reflect on all the work I love. It was amazing to be able to share how I got to stand on the stage. It was wonderful to acknowledge my great nana, my nan and mum for all the knowledge they passed on to me. And I was able to thank with all my heart those who work behind the scenes including Arthritis New Zealand, my Rheumatology team, my incredible GP medical team, the drug companies and researchers who keep finding the next treatment to keep me mobile and active! Thank you also to my friends who stuck by me even in my darkest and confusing days, my family, my crew and of course my soul mate and partner in crime Riwai! The Arthritis NZ Premier Award is a team effort and definitely one of my life highlights 🙂

  

 

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! 

Following my previous blog Out of My Comfort Zone  tonight is the night I hit the stage in exquisite range of underwear.    It’s three o’clock, and I am madly rushing across town so that I can showcase the new spring collection for The Fitting Room.       We have a dress rehearsal and I am am on stage four times.    Corporate,  Bedoiour, Swim Wear and Finishing in the Prints Session.     I am so pleased that the music collection includes one of my favourite songs and the lyrics are perfect to settle my nerves!

“Roar”

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath

Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

[Chorus]
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar

Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero

You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

[Chorus]
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’ll hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar…

Ro-oar, ro-oar, ro-oar, ro-oar, ro-oar

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’ll hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar…

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!

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 🙂 …

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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.

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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!

accessible
əkˈsɛsɪb(ə)l/
adjective
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.

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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

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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.

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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.