You are stronger than you realise! At 12.02am on Monday NZ and our world was shaken up again.  I hadn’t written for a while because we had been to damn busy snorkeling around our own we world that hadn’t been up for air!   This week brought with it a huge mixed bag of emotions and in the past writing has helped keep my heart rate down and many have asked for advice on how to cope.  At first I was struggling to put it into words, but today we executed our own personal emergency plan, as Riwai caught a helicopter to work, and the fire service reassuring me he was safely in Kaikoura to do what he does best, I thought of the list that helped me survive, helped me get through!   Who knows if anyone will read this, but I hope if you do and you have a loved one in distress that these few words my help you navigate the fear that is before you.

The night’s are the hardest,  I go through my EQ routine from years of practice, each aftershock I check my light and we have power, I turn on a tap, and it runs clean without clonky pipes! I can text my family and get a reply.

On Monday I did all of this and then ………..shit!  If we are ok with that sort of force who the hell is not – put those thoughts aside – do what you can here.   Wake up hubbie as he will probably not felt a thing… luckily for my stress levels my animals didn’t stir either!

I can feel my heart rate come down,  Clever Facebook allows us to let loved ones around the world know we were ok.

I stumble to the light switch, nonchalantly fill the jug with water and boil the jug for a cup of tea, open the fridge and the light shines brightly back at me! With phone in one hand watching my social newsfeed and message service fill up with messages and reports, the aftershocks come and I realise how far we have come since Sept 2010!  My anxiety was in check and was ready to snuggle back down to bed…………….
Then reports of the Tsunami warning come in and with family up and down the coast line my panic and nausea came in like the waves due in a few hours!  Flooding back memories of sheer desperation and heartbreak!  Shit are the water bottles rotated, have we got enough perishables, medication and animal food, will there be more?  Have I got milk?  Is the gas bottle filled up, how is the next door neighbour?  How is the community?  …… Far out what about the rest of NZ?  A million unanswerable questions and I could feel the anxiety taking hold!  
Thank goodness for the hugs of loved ones at the door at 3am.  We called them refugees as that’s what they looked like.  Ripped from their beds with nothing as evacuations begun up and down the coast.    Everyone took it in their stride.   We are alive, we have utilities and our loved ones are safe.

As things simmer down and the dawn sun arrived, Riwai was off to work.  The enormity of the evenings events sets in as Wellington are on a knife edge and our loved Hurunui and Kaikoura cut off from the world.   We turn our attention to our wider group of loved ones and supporters, checking on those in the Hurunui, Kaikoura, Marlborough and Wellington Districts.    Life ahead for many of them will not be easy and since then I have been sharing the same advice.   BE KIND to yourself and others and heres a few survival tips from a pro!  

1) Use the Isabella ABC Count – When I was scared in 2011, a young girl called Isabella held my hand and said “Cate just count to 10 before you get scared”  And it has worked ever since.
A) Count to 10
B) If you are still moving at 10 move to safety and count again to 20
C) If you are still moving at 20 check on loved ones and execute your safety plan….
This method has kept my anxiety levels down ever since and given me the strength to be there for others….
2)  The short of it is that the first few months are shite but you are stronger than you think!
3) Sleep deprivation means your normal gets thrown into disarray
4) Create your own routine and sense of achievement for the day
5) Find a distraction to take your mind off all that is happening – movement, walking, stretching, music, meditation, books, card games
6) It’s ok to feel exactly how you are feeling, don’t let anyone tell you how your should be or feel
7) Find peeps to connect with
8) Don’t trawl social media – get informed using sites like GeoNet, Emergency Services Sites and Civil Defence
Geonet Updates – Is scientific and relevant
9) And once again BE KIND!   Everyone has their own methods for survival!
10)  THANK YOU TO ALL THE PEOPLE AND THEIR LOVED ONES BEHIND THE SCENES who are working around the clock to restore routine and basic needs to those effected by mother natures latest round of rumbles

Much love and Hugs to everyone!  Our doors, emails and facebook boxes are open for anyone who needs it
Cate x

“Life is an adventure or it is nothing”
Just over three years ago I woke up in the early hours of the morning to our bed violentley shaking, it was like a giant had picked us slightly off the floor and was shaking us all about. As the sound of shattered glass echoed from the kitchen, I stumbled up and gingerly walked holding onto the walls as one by one everything shook out of the cupboards. I was heading to our big wooden table, that felt like it was a mile away. I made it under the table, calling out for Riwai to join me. There was no time to be under the table, he was on a day shift for our local emergency services and he was switching into work mode.. As the sun rose, we checked on neighbours and phoned loved ones, social media sites went crazy with reports of the near misses and the magnitude hitting the world papers. We had no power and with my elderly nan living in the front of us we decided it to my aunts house, as at least we could have a cuppa. So we grabbed the dog, bundled nan into the car and dropped Riwai off to the inner city police station. for work. It was a very unusual day.

I had no idea that amongst all the destruction and chaos that would follow, Mother Nature had handed me the most extraordinary gifts. The earthquakes reinforced my love for empowering people, reminded me of my deep respect for the power of nature and ignited an inner passion for experience, and with this enjoying every moment and discovering an inner strength and self belief I never knew I had.

At the time of the first quakes I was a Youth Coordinator for one of NZ largest government departments. I was delivering a seminar I had called ICAN – focussing on following dreams and discovering individual talents when a major aftershock hit, as the youth dived for the tables, one of them yelled out “so miss are you following your dream working with us”. The penny dropped, one small line from a stranger, changed my life forever.
I went home that night and made the decision to resign and follow my passion. On September 24th 2010 I became a full time Leap Coach in our business Leap Fitness and Motivation Ltd.

Three years later to the day I am flying out from Christchurch NZ as one of 10 finalists in the LifeFitness Global Personal Trainers Competition in London, UK. I have been nominated by my LeapStars (clients) and from over 1500 entrants spanning 43 countries the seven international judges picked me. My curves and crutches got me into this amazing industry and now I have the opportunity to showcase my uniqueness and wellness beliefs.

Buckle up readers – this is going to be one hellava magnificent adventure.