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 and 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! 

Summer Starter 2015

What an epic adventure; I completed at the Summer Starter!  It was a super hard final pool session, as my back and leg were not 100% but Allison (my physio) and I discussed that I would be good to go on event day. Allison suggested she would love me to take my crutches as a back up…So after much contemplating over a coffee and late breakfast how one can carry crutches without using them and lead Prince, the Tribe came up with awesome ideas and Riwai decided that he would join me on my epic 4km marathon as support!
It was a great day out and having so many supporting me, my mum (despite her back injury) dad, four of my cousins, Allison, Riwai and Prince, all the LeapCrew including Lou, David, Lilly and her parents and nephew and Callum and his parents and over 50 of our tribe!  The TutuMaker Anne, and Linley for helping me in the tent at the start and with ice when I burst a balloon into it!  Lol – The show must go on after all that training.

It was a hugely emotional but amazing day for me. It was not only magic to cross the finish line but it was even more magic to arrive back and see my dream of a fun and supportive tribe hanging out celebrating!

So a huge thank you to everyone who took part today, supported me in the lead up, during the event, at the finish line, BBQ and after party. Special mention to the BBQ team who ran fast to get back and help with the sausages and and pack down crew who kept the peace between me and Riwai, as I was certainly getting tired by the end of the day.   Huge thanks to my adorable husband who sacrificed his own event to join me and then took me to Rolleston for an hours soak in the pool – it was definitely the bit that made me feel amazing on Monday!  So hashtag summerstarter16 has been created already and who knows what 2016 will bring!

ps Everyone of you would have all made my Nan super proud and she would have enjoyed all the celebrations, laugher, smiles, hugs and stories.  The entire day was fabulous and I have memories that will last forever . I said to Allison (who walked closely the entire way) today made all the training worth it.

Made sweeter that I got to celebrate my milestone with your all – thank you so so much. Xx !

This is one of my absolute favourite pics from all of our wonderful photo shoots and one for all the LeapStars!   ONE MORE SLEEP!  

Summer Starter – For today’s editorial read more here….

 Photo Credit Stacey Squires.

It is just one more sleep until The Press Summer Starter…. And the above picture is one of my favourites from our photo shoot from our interviews with Emily Spink.  This one is for the LeapStars – punishment for Riwai as he had to plank with me on his back!

I have spent the last few months spending Friday mornings at the Burwood Hospital getting my back strong enough to make the epic 4km journey tomorrow without my crutches.   It has been an amazing journey so far and I know tomorrow I will enjoy every minute of the event.   I have butterflies but know that Nan is on my shoulder.

I did my last event with her and Riwai would push her in the wheelchair 20130627-155636.jpgwhile she admired all the legs – true story and her words!   Before that Mum and I would push her.

Because weekend would have been her 90th birthday it is even more special for us all.  Today Riwai and I took her handprint to the tent where the after party will be.   We will be having a sausage sizzle and lots of people milling around – I am sure she would have loved it.

Nans Handprint
Nan’s Hand Print will look over us tomorrow at the Summer Starter

This year for the first time ever I will also be donning a Tutu!  It made us realise that I have never needed one as have always been on the sidelines cheering in support.  Tomorrow my newly designed one will get it’s very first outing and we are both excited!  They both look amazing and to top off our fabulous new Pink and Green Tutus  we will have yellow wigs in support of Ronald McDonald House .

So if you are in Christchurch keep and eye out for us.. and if you aren’t we will have pictures up tomorrow night for you 🙂

11988774_10153634719874536_9182733790530857149_n (1)


Huggle Buggles to you all and I look forward to sharing all the stories with you tomorrow.   Love you Nan and you will always be in my heart






So we are off and racing and my 20 Weeks mojo certainly arrived with gusto and excitement.    I had 40 LeapStars FUNdamentals Fitness Testing to complete.  It was amazing to be apart of everyone planning, working out their own goals and working on their MITS (Most Important Tasks) and BAMS (Bare Ass Minimums).   We also launched Moxiee our awesome habit App.   Thanks to Alex and his amazing team we hit the ground running and had over 300 checkins in the first week.   It was a little more than I had been expecting, despite a few technical teething problems, I realised that we were totally on track with the right tool to ensure our LeapStars are kept accountable during winter.     Totally getting FOMO (Fear of missing out) and because I was so impressed with the results I am already seeing that I got my trainer Lilly Down from Down To Fitness on to Moxiee too so I didn’t miss out!  Totally looking forward to loading in my habits this week.

We also did some planning for my first four weeks.   Riwai and I completed MIT and BAM forms for ourselves, and then we found a little couples competition – we have an all blacks puffer vest that currently doesn’t fit either of us… The one who fits it first gets to keep it!  We also have a journal that we found in a book shop in Wellington, it’s called Our Q&A a day.  Every day it asks us a question and we have to hand write in the answer for each other.  We know it will be an awesome record for the future.   Our first question was “What would you like your partner to remember” …..

I also worked on my categories
Adventurers – I will complete

  • 20 Adventures,
  • 20 New Recipes and
  • 20 Blogs.

And for my entrants choice

  • I will not need to be on crutches at awards night.
  • I will also not have any hospital overnight stays during this competition
  • I will bike to Raspberry Cafe from LeapHQ- Beyond The Gate
  • I will complete Albert Terrace Stairs
  • I will swim one km of Pioneer Pool
  • I will have a HWR of .58 or less

 here are my four week missions

    1. Drink 2ltres of water a day
    2. Enjoy at least four new seasonal and yummy recipes
    3. Not snooze the alarm at 5:30 on work days
    4. Be in bed, lights out and no technology by 10:30 on work days

    5. Row 1kms everyday
    6. Complete my Daily SuPPS – StepUps, Press Ups, Plank & Squats
    7. Have been back to the pool even if I need the hoist

    8. Spend at least 15mins a day on my own with no technology, work or stimulation.
    9. be a swimwear model

    10. Do at least one interesting activity in my city each week.
    This month I will
    1. Go to live theatre
    2. Go to a movie theatre (this is a worry for me as I get earthquake anxiety)
    3. Be a swimwear model in fashion show (I was a lingerie model last year and it was very overwhelming and I was so anxious.. Time to do a similar comfort zone push)
    4. Go to an art exhibition
    5. Swim 20 lengths of Pioneer Pool

    And I have a pretty awesome crew to support me on this journey
    1. My Trainer – Lilly Down
    2. My Coach –  K Annah Winheld
    3. My GP – Dr Sari Lester
    4. My Rheumatology Specialist – Mr Peter Chapman
    5. My Nurse Practitioner – Jan Ipenberg
    6. My Business Accountability Coach – Catarina Gutierrez
    7. My Accupunturist – Dr Hong Li
    8. All our fantastic LeapCrew
    9. All our amazing LeapStars
    9. and of course my gorgeous and supportive husband ….(who will not get the jacket!)

    Have a great week everyone…. I am nervous and excited

    this is the chinese symbol for longevity

    Some people look for a beautiful place and others make a place beautiful.

    I believe that it is the people that make an experience and can enhance the backdrop of where you are.

    The last 48 hours as I wrote earlier have been the most fairytale and wondeful experience. The connections will be for a lifetime because we all shared in made the experience richer and more beautiful. Connecting with my Kiwi competitors has been such a blessing. We are excited about what the future brings. As we bid our farewells I get some last minute hugs and then get to spend some more quality time over breakfast with Kim Ingleby. She is so passionate about our industry and she leaves me inspired to do so much more than I thought I could. She is just so remarkable and the fact we both sit in a hotel in London sharing stories is extraordinary, I with my myriad of health challenges, and Kim shares of how she nearly died after contracting a rare and usually fatal immune deficiency disease Weil’s disease during a triathlon early this year. It is a condition of the brain and causes fatigue and memory loss. I know my own battles and to sit and share with someone else literally at the top of her game is a gift I will treasure forever. It is one of the moments where you forget you have only just met as the connection feels like you are old friends. As we bid each other goodbye, thanks to social media we know it is not really goodbye and have a strong feeling our paths will meet again.

    L-R Cate, Kim Ingleby, Jean Scott, Mish McCormack

    Here is Kim’s video

    Read more on Kim here:

    What an absolute whirlwind of a month. Just one month ago I was sworn to secrecy by a woman half way around the world. Just five days earlier she had called me at the end of her day, in the early hours of mine. In a gorgeous American accent the caller had left a message asking if I could please call her back as she was following up my attendance for London. What the………..??

    What a life changing call that would be.

    I had just finished my last treatment for my latest flare up the week before, I was feeling very sorry for myself as my dream to be overseas travelling to celebrate my 40th was dashed, my legs were not working and we had no idea if the mabthera would work longterm. I was about to start work on the last few weeks of series 10 of the catch fitness 20 weeks competition with 53 entrants. Always a hectic time as I showcase what my LeapStars have achieved and encourage those who feel they haven’t to still test. I then have to put together judges reports for all of them. It is my most favourite month of the year as the stories, results and smiles remind me why I do what I do… It usually takes up every waking minute….. As I hung up my voicemail my initial reaction is – “Whoever this lady is – I don’t have time to ring her back let alone go to London”

    Luckily my LeapAngel walks in the door for work as I am listening to the voicemail for a second time… Riwai has come in from night shift and is sound asleep… I squeal this time as the reality sinks in and I realise actually who has called and why they want me in London. Please call Lauren back from LifeFitness. You have been named one of ten finalists in the LifeFitness Global Personal Trainers to Watch for 2013. We need to fly you to London for live judging at the end of September.

    For the next few weeks there were many early morning calls to Chicago while I asked hundreds questions about the competition, wrote my short and long bios and got pictures ready for their media release. A full day work personal training and then there were many discussions and late night calls to London as the amazing travel team came back and forth with ideas for flights. I have chosen to be in Christchurch for the 20 Weeks Awards night and fly the next day. It is important for me to celebrate my LeapStars success before I leave. This was a huge call and will be no easy feat. As emails, skypes and calls went back and forth I was reminded again of the burdens my disease carrys when you need to do extraordinary things outside our normal routine. The risk of flare is high, and I have very few hours to turn around and be at my best for judging. The stress was mounting and I was getting exhausted. So it was back to basics…to counter balance the sleep deprivation. I had to postpone some sessions to fit everything in and still couldn’t tell people why.

    What was I thinking!! 52 hours of testing and then 52 reports to write in less than two weeks. We had to continue with our normal Leap business, prepare for London (still in secret) and a side trip holiday after, celebrate my 40th and get a media kit ready – I called in the troops for help with the 20weeks, swapping sessions with me for hours doing data entry. Thank goodness 🙂 Riwai fed and watered us, looked after the team and reminded us it was all worth it. Our team was sensational and I am so proud of us all. We did it 49 reports were submitted, three were unable to complete their testing in the timeframes required. What a feeling!!!!

    They say timing is everything – as LifeFitness and Reps NZ released the names of the finalists around the world the 20 weeks reporting was at full swing and was at paper work stage. I enlisted more help as Sandy (your story communications). sent out and managed media for me (it sounded oh so pooosh – i have my own PR lady :). in between all of the madness I met with Bec Eleven from the Christchurch Press and she captured my story beautifully – here’s the link

    This week as the storm took hold in Christchurch and I realised what a whirlwind month we had. Thank you to everyone so far – I have no doubt the journey and this new Cate Grace chapter has just began.

    Today I called my rheumatology team. Yes I am in another flare, but this time we will manage it. I have too! We finalised my crisis and treatment plan for flying and while I am away. In two weeks I will be waking up in London on the eve of judging, Riwai by my side, crutches at the ready, pill boxes lined up, uniform laid out and a tribe of LeapStars and supporters on my shoulder inspiring me to go out there, be myself, do my very best, smile and enjoy the ride… After all even if I am 10th, I know I will inspire some more people to Leap of their couches, let my industry and colleagues into some secrets of training people with conditions and have an absolute blast! I am in good spirits and so excited :).

    Ps – Then i get a side trip to celebrate my 40th in Portugal with Riwai! How cool is that!!


    This last month has been ridiculously taxing on me and those around me. We are about to attempt our forth go at treatment for my RA. Meanwhile I am on double dose of steroids and antibiotics. However with my health in limbo I was reminded of three great quotes I first heard while on my Aspire course at Outward Bound last year.

    1. You have the ability to achieve great things. Don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the damn thing yourself 😉

    2. How to really be alive! Live juicy. Stamp out comformity. Spend a day in your pj’s dream of gypsy wagons. Find snails making love. Develop and outstanding appetite for books. Drink sunsets. Draw out your feelings. Amaze yourself. Be ridiculous. Stop worrying. Make yes your favourite word. Marry yourself. Treat yourself like you would your bestie. Dry your clothes in the sun. Eat mangos on pavs. Keep toys in your bath. Spin yourself dizzy. Hang upside down. Follow a child. Celebrate an old person. Send a love letter to someone. Be advance. Try endearing. Invent new ways to love. Transform negatives. Delight someone. Wear pyjamas to the movies. Wear pyjamas to the supermarket. Allow yourself to feel rich without money. Be who you truly are. Believe in everything. You are always on your way to a miracle. The miracle is you!

    3. Life should NOT be a journey to the grave, with one the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well presented body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body throughly used up, totally worn out screaming “wahoo it was worth the ride”

    So despite being up and down and inside out I decided to push to the limits and turn the damn light one! Instead of letting the negative overwhelm me I picked myself up, dusted myself of and made the decision to concentrate on living. I took a week off work and planned a retreat – not for me but for 20 of my clients. I wanted to live, leap, love and laugh… and so we headed off to Hanmer, where we did just that – entertained, loved living, enjoyed exercise, appreciated alone time, and played positively. We laughed, giggled, smiled and laughed some more. we themed it up as kiwiana to spark up memories and and easy conversation. It was a super, enjoyable weekend in the fresh and rainbows.

    I love smiles and seeing a genuine smile and even better laughter woft through the air – it truly puts me in my happy place. Somehow (with a stack of help) we pulled out a kiwiana themed extravaganza and it was epic!

    I witnessed my mission in life unfolding. I set out every morning to inspire one person to find and share their good news and discover their inner sparkle. When everyone left today I jumped in the shower and cried (partly cos i was tired) but mostly because I was so happy and overwhelmed by what we had achieved. i witnessed an inner sparkle and happiness it in all 20 of those who shared in the weekend … And I could not be happier.. the bonus to hear the stories, share the food, fun and laughter and watch what should be a mismatched group from school year end 1966-2002 bond as if they were never not friends. OMG it was AMAZING!. Everyone made my weekend magic. i saw the stress melt away and everyone’s shoulders relax as if a weight had been lifted. it made me feel super proud, we didn’t want it to end. We really are a tribe! as i sat back and watched them all and sipped on hot chocolate for breakfast (only at leap lol) – every ounce of hardwork, stress, late night planning, aches and pains, doubts and own frustrstions about my own health melted away.

    It was a totally euphoric and in that moment I realised the weekend was going to be one of those life changing, game player moments. Kiwiana weekend extravaganzas really are good for our health! It guided me believe in me again, put those ducks back in a row and ignited the passion to continue to inspire others to find their good news which I totally know ultimately makes me uber excited and happy.

    so a big and special thank you to all those who came and took part and all the little bits and bobs you did to pull it all off. A huge shout out to the Leap team Lou &.Emma. You two are amazing and thank you so much for all your behind the scenes contribution. thanks to the workers house crew Susie, Shannon, Sarah, Evan & David. Seriously couldn’t have pulled it off without you! To all the other helpers particularly on Meal Prep and then Sunday… Thank you – my wrists held up & i got a sleep in….

    My biggest hug goes out to a very special hug and thank you to my amazing, patient husband an soulmate. you are always in my corner and supporting me to run with my gut and intuition, craziness often prevails and pulling off effortless can mean chaos behind the scenes, but ultimately your support really does allow me to be me and change the world one smile at a time xx

    Ps both days the most amazing grey mist appear rainbows each morning, reminding me
    Next time i am questioned by my peers or asked why on earth would a “sick person” in so much pain do such a ridiculous things…. I can reply….”everyone wants happiness, no one wants pain. Because you will never see a rainbow without a little rain”




    Daily my role is to inspire busy people, particularly woman, to be the best they can be and believe in themselves. Our A stands for appreciation and alonetime – the two areas most seem to struggle with – me included.

    I love my business and love guiding wonderful people to do great things and celebrate who they are – however, inherently it takes a great deal of effort for me to walk my walk in the area of mindful. My mind is definitely on the mindfull scale of thoughts and thinking….

    This morning I was blessed to have a Skype meeting with one of my gurus – and thanks to technology i was sitting overlooking this view. As we wrapped up she reminded my of all the important things in my life and even though we can get overwhelmed and caught up in the “tooings and froowings” we must never lose sight of what makes us tick and what makes us unique and great. We can never wear the armour of another man to fight our battles – we must find our own way.

    So I know I need to make time for quiet time, nature, creativity and timeout alone in sunshine to recharge my batteries and make my armoury stronger. I know that life is short and precious and if you don’t make time for the simple pleasures that brings you joy that you can easily become overwhelmed and miss other important moments and milestones in your life.

    So we must all make time for ourselves and take some time out from your routine to be mindful, practice emptying our minds of junk and just be so we can lift the clouds and find more clarity around our life purpose, passion and dreams. You might find a minute, hour or day. It doesn’t matter how long as you as long as you do it. And just like the many great things in life – it will take practice to perfect…. A baby never walks on the first attempt and you too will not perfect the art of mindfulness in one attempt…. Be brave and keep practising until you feel the elation and euphoria of hanging out with a quiet and peaceful mindful xx



    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. :).