The toughest paddlers are the ones who carry on…..

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Feeling ripped off because the early mornings,   the endless hours, sweat, tears, all seem like a waste of time when you don’t perform on the day?

Then there are the disagreements with friends and family.  When you get a setback or don’t do well they say, “you were training too hard anyway, maybe you should take a break”.

Don’t let their disappointment and fear bring you down.  Yes, they mean well, but seriously,  it’s a projection of their stuff and not being able to handle it, not yours.

The toughest paddlers are the ones who carry oneven when it seems like everything is against them.  Because they understand the importance of failure and its potential to help you up level.  Mentally tough paddlers are those who build resilience.

And that’s exactly where my strengths lie, in helping you to build your resilience, manage  overwhelm, anxiety and fear to make them work for you not against you.Its about learning to work with those emotions, not shutting them off.

A really quick way to start turning around how you respond to setbacks is to check your language.

What words do you say to yourself when you haven’t met your own expectations?  If its negative, then reframe it to build yourself back up.

I have a really great debrief tool to help put things in perspective after a race if it doesn’t go as planned and to help improve for next time.  Drop me an email if you would like a copy free.  YES, please send me a free debrief tool.

If you need an extra helping hand here are two ways you can work with me;

  1. learn online with a virtual training course – Learn more
  2. explore coaching, mentorship, and paddle community support – Tell me more!

Remember, feel the emotion, and then decide what you can do next to improve.

Thanks for reading my little blog, its been random lately but I am making it a priority to get back into it.  Its one of those key learnings for me trying to balance my passion as a coach and training myself!

Hiria xx

#beyourbest

If anything in here resonates with you please jump on my facebook page and drop a comment, or share with someone you think needs to hear it.

Or have a question? #askhiria and DM on my instagram account

 

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Whats really holding you back from being your best self on the water?

Not many people like to confront their fears, because they already know the answer and are purposely ignoring or resisting it.

This is where all troubles begin.  And its this stuff that blocks you (subconsciously) on the water.

From this point we create stories to keep us safe and protect ourselves in our little bubble.

Eventually we wake up one day, realise we have hardly any mates, or the ones we do have just don’t do it for you, you are in a place you can’t stand and a job you hate.

All because you turned away your true feelings because you were too afraid to deal with it.

That’s why I’m here.

To call you out.  And walk through it with you.

I’m not about massaging your ego…. I want you to make the real gains because I know it will have such an impact on your life and in return, on others therefore leading to a happier more peaceful world, the DREAM.

Sometimes you need that one person in your life who will give it to you straight.  I ask you the tough questions and also give you the tough answers.

Here are some real questions from real people who I have had to answer.

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“No matter how hard I try to be uplifting and motivating I just can’t get any more out of my crew, and there is one person in particular that manages to undermine some of the women’s progress. Our coach is pretty great and does his best but we just don’t improve no matter what he tries or how he trains us.  I find I am really starting to struggle with this and am losing the love of it.”

Ok, I can totally understand where you are because I’ve been there and experience this every now and then with my role at our club.
It’s a decision you have to make based on your values.

Here’s some advice I gave my hubby who was struggling with something that didn’t sit with him too, it may help.

Every time you do or participate in something that does not align with you, your values, your health, your truth – you lose a piece of your soul.

Sounds dramatic but it’s true. You end up doing things for others that don’t fill your cup first and we can never serve our best when we are not our best.
Do what feels right for you.
It will feel scary like you are cutting everyone out but you know deep down the answer. Doesn’t mean it’s forever.

 

“So keen to know how u deal with it and I think I might be the hater tho…. How much is too much talking in the waka ? Cause I find constructive is fine, but to much be more than 1 person continuous for long paddles gets me worked up… I’m and ova thinking so I try to calm my mind and quiet it down in the 1st couple of km to warm into to the feel of it but I’ve been battling with this because of all the talking in the waka I’m not able to hit the zone it’s frustrating and I’m pissed because I can’t shut them out…..help”

Kia ora ehoa. I hear you on the talking in the waka.  There really needs to be a conversation around this prior to taking to the water so everyone knows the expectation and impact talking has on motivating paddlers.   It basically comes down to what works best for the crew.  Have a good conversation around it, not just a yep no kind of one.  For yourself, its more about looking into what is it that winds you up so much. Is it a particular person, voice, or words? See if it’s pushing your buttons in any other way too just to make sure that it isn’t just you being a hater. Said with lots of love x

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In my element, nek minnit

My question is…. the crew dynamic, I thought, was really dependant on how you bond off the water, pre race and post race. But in the moment when 1 person has had the negativity and poured it onto crew (during race) by making remarks such come on they bloody passed us or 3 you’re not pulling! I get they are frustrated. My thinking is I need to be more encouraging, talk to them, ask for the little things in a way not shrieking at them. However after the race I’m always the bad guy, the other person not pulled up, 4 of the 6 crew agree with the negative person, I feel belittled to the point I no longer paddle since moving. How do you pick yourself up from that? It wasn’t one race it was at least 4 races. It took my joy from paddling 😞 how do I come back from that?

Ok, so first things first, we can’t change people, no matter hard we try.   It’s an uphill battle and honestly you should not be wasting your time.  I believe this is a part that is always overlooked in crews for paddling, well waka ama at least. There needs to be a conversation on what makes paddlers tick, some need that aggressive push while others need calming down. This is why we end up with tension in the crew under pressure. It’s sad that it got to this point for you. Its something a good coach encourages…. but if its paddlers coaching that can be hard too. It’s a huge culture shift that needs to happen as we shift from social paddling to competition… You are so not alone in your story and I’m hoping that by being able to talk about all this your experience and story will help change that culture… when you have clarity from the start, expectations, on same page the crew are then able to deal with this stuff…. Just know that it wasn’t all your fault….

“Hiria, what’s your tips for dealing with crap going on amongst paddlers in the club. It’s hard to cut them loose but it’s hard to put up with the rubbish talk and the know it all – I try to stay mutual but that sometimes is harder because you seem to become everyone’s go to person. Basically I fee like I need to trust the crew.  I want to be part of the solution not the problem.”

This is such a common question I get asked. And its tough. I always come back to yourself. Because that is all you have control over.  What is your definition of mutual?  Do you mean by saying you are not taking sides, or by saying nothing at all?  Check your behaviour, your energy, your judgements.   Make sure you are not part of the problem. By allowing yourself to be present when the trash talk is happening and not speaking up to it, you are encouraging it.  This is something that needs to be put in its spot as it happens.  It’s a hard one but the more you do it the easier it gets.  Don’t worry about any judgements other people may or may not make against you.  At the end of the day, you know what is right and what is not, thats all that matters.

I’m starting my MAY Intake of The Outrigger Boot camp later in the month and are looking for ten paddlers to join me.

Over the 8 weeks I will work with helping you see and believe what you truly are capable of doing by sharing my daily strategies and hacks for mindset, technique and life.

If you are serious about making change, then you need to change something.  ‘If you are ready to go all in, then drop me an email or PM me.

Hiria xx

Not convinced? Check out what one of my past paddlers said about the boot camp,

“I signed up for Boot camp mindset for paddlers, rather nervously I might add (this is Hiria after all) and thought I might not make it all the way through the Bootcamp physical side of things, but I came out the end of the eight or so weeks with so much, so many gains lol and a loss. 4.5kg that I didn’t need has gone and that’s just the beginning. The past eight weeks with Hiria has opened my eyes, my mind, my heart even more, and my waka whanau connection. Any wander why I love this sport. Thank you Hiria for my growth in all things waka. Love to you girl, you Rock”

P.S If anything in here has resonated with you please share as you may be doing some else a favour by doing so.

P.S.S If you had an aha moment, Id love to hear about it.  drop me a PM or if you have the courage share it to my facebook page.

Hiria Rolleston Mindset Trainer – to help take you to the next level in your paddling, and life

Hiria Rolleston on insta – follow my journey to make every stroke count by affirming my whakapapa, connection to people, places and things.

Drop me an Email to book your spot on the bootcamp x

 

 

INSPIRED SERIES – Jamille Ruka

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NZ Sprint Nationals V1

JAMILLE RUKA

First name Surname – My name is Jamille Ruka, I’m from the far north Hokianga and Mangakahia but born and breed in Whangarei. I paddle for my Whanau club Te Puu Ao and also do Kapa Haka for Te Puu Ao. I’ve been paddling for over 17years, my first sprint nationals was in 2000 as a mini midget and I’ve been to every sprint nationals since. Waka Ama has grown and developed more opportunities for younger paddlers to gain more experience through world championships and other big events overseas. I love Waka Ama because it’s a great Whanau sport. I continue to paddle with my parents, grandparents, my wife and kids.

Events each year- I’ve always paddled at sprint nationals. I love to Travel every year to compete in Te Aito, Tahiti. I always learn something new from our Tahitian paddling Whanau. I’ve done a few World Championships held in New Zealand, Sacramento and Australia. I have been fortunate to be apart of the first NZ open men’s elite team in Australia this was an awesome experience for me. I had the chance to paddle with some top paddlers that I looked up too when I was a younger paddler and during that campaign I gained a lot of knowledge from the coaching they gave me.

ROUTINE  It’s always dependent on what races I’m partaking in, but usually if I’m in training I’ll try aim for 2hour paddles 5 times a week in open ocean to get good feeling in the surf and to build a good base. If it’s sprints specific I don’t change much but add in 1hour sprint sessions 2 times a week, it’s always harder to recover from doing a lot of sprints training so I keep them short and sharp to build my speed and a race plan for sprints races. I also run a gym called Common Grounds Fitness with my whanau we utilise ZUU and Ankorr and offer community classes 3 days a week after mahi. For me ZUU and Ankorr is a great way to build my mental resilience through the high intensity workouts it’s a good way to push through those barriers of self doubt and hold a strong mindset.

The night before, dinner (anything special or specific for digestion).

On the morning of race (coffee? Tea? How early do you wake? Do you warm up? Stretch run or paddle? And when is your next meal?- The day before the race I like to go out for a light paddle to get my nerves out of the way and get good feeling on the water so my body is activating those muscle memories, this is something I learned from Tahiti and a good friend of mine. For food prep I usually have lots of pasta the night before, fettuccine is my go to but any pasta dish will do I just eat loads of it lol It’s a good way to store glycogen in the muscles for long endurance races. In mornings I’ll have an omelette and then I’ll have a little bit of pasta. I wouldn’t eat too much during race day but if I’m hungry it’s always good to get some fuel in the body.

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NZ Open Mens Team World sprints Australia 2016

MANTRA – if you have one? Or something you visualize night before or maybe that morning?- A whakatauki I use an resonate with is “Kaua he mate te tarakihi, Mate he ururoa” “Dont die like the Tarakihi fish, Die like a hammerhead shark” this Whakatauki  always keeps my mindset strong and helps me to refocus before or focus during my races but also known that I’ve put my 100% best hand forward with no regrets after finishing my races.

BIGGEST MISTAKE – leading up to race day? On race day? One big mistake I’ve done in the past is having inconsistency in my training, I’ve done months of training and then all of sudden stopped training because of work or whanau commitments and then I would try get back into training but then find myself back at square one. So If you can get a good routine and stay consistent in your training on the water you’ll definitely see improvements.

Remember to not overthink things sometimes it’s just good to get out and enjoy paddling for what it is and remembering why we paddle in the first place. Also surround yourself with the right people or role models that you look up too that give you the experience and skills to support your growth and development through your journey.

Remember always enjoy the journey and you’ll be able to achieve anything.

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Poor Knights Crossing Tutukaka 30km

GRATITUDE

I’ve known of Jamille just from paddling circles but never really met him till I did the Poor Knights race a couple months ago.  Its funny and I’m sure others will identify with this, but you build up a bit of an image in your head of what the person is like, and when you finally meet them it’s not as bad as you thought.  I admire anyone who paddles, has a family of their own and runs their own business as well as mahi.  The opens division is hard because of this so anyone who can balance all those things shows real commitment and perseverance, important factors in being a successful paddler.

If anything in here resonates with you please share, and drop a comment on my Facebook page to let Jamille know what you think.

Much aroha to you for following my journey and mahi.  If you haven’t already please like my Facebook pages and even my instagram page if you are on there.  Don’t be shy, share the love.

Hiria x

#imagine #believe #achieve

Follow me

Hiria Rolleston Mindset Trainer – to help take you to the next level in your paddling, and life

Eastcoast Paddler Aotearoa – for all your paddle gear, canoes and instructional vids

Hiria Rolleston on insta – for daily inspo and follow my journey to world sprints 2018

INSPIRED SERIES – Raipoia Brightwell

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Raipoia steering her Gold Medal crew Senior Master Women Long distance nationals 2016

RAIPOIA BRIGHTWELL

I paddle W1 in the Golden Master Women division and W6 in the Senior Master Women division.

My club is Mareikura waka ama in Turanganui a Kiwi, Te Uranga o Te Ra, Gisborne.

Mareikura is the first waka ama club to start in Aotearoa (1985).

Since then, my husband Matahi and I have been relentless in our promotion of waka ama in our role and in Aotearoa, katoa.

I first paddled in the Open division and moved through the divisions in time.  I currently paddle for Ruamata Waka ama club in rotorua.

My husband and I have been competing and coaching at waka ama National sprints since they first started and used to race in everything, everywhere.  However, we don’t do as many races these days as our whanau has grown to 7 beautiful moko (grandchildren) whom I spend most of my time with now.  I usually do Long Distance Nationals as well.  Throughout the years I have medalled in all events entered, whether they be national or international races.  I specialise in the steer position.

ROUTINE

Before a race I tend to isolate myself.  I like training on my own to take the time to kinda melt into the water and my waka so we become one.  I am one who usually loves making sure everyone is ok first, but my racing time is an exception:  There is no one else in the world but me.

I regroup, I recoil, I preserve energy, and run my own race over and over in my head, with a particular attention to what the water could be like on the day so when I am there, I already know it.  Even in a team situation I stand apart, fusing with everyone when the race starts.  No kia ora on the water, no have a nice race ladies…. I know no one…. No stretching, no land warm up, my love of being on the water hits me when I finally get on my waka.  It fills me with anticipation and joy… We’re on….

Oh and on the kai area: eat what you are used to and what you can get.  I don’t get hung up on special meals at special times.  I believe that if you eat with intent, and be thankful for the kai you are able to get it will do the job.

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Gold Medal National Waka Ama sprints 2016

MANTRA

Stay with the water and go with it… and the rest will come… fitness, strength, success, and most of all the happy paddling stuff!!!

BIGGEST MISTAKE

Believe in yourself, but train to the conditions: Molokai solo surfs 2000.  This one I keep rewinding in my mind even as years later.  A huge learning experience to my ego but also sealed my path with the realm of Tangaroa.  A friend had asked to join her in the Molokai Solo Surfski race and I thought ‘Cool – Hawaii, Big waves, island to island, I totally can do it… Minor problem I had no surfski experience – so there goes the surfski training out to sea inTuranga Nui a Kiwa.  Up and down waves, side on, offshore swell, beach surfing – all done.  Three months later was lining up in one of the best line up I ever seen – All surfski and waka ama long course world champions, men and women were there, yeah, an incredible line up.

I was mesmerised, even more eager to just go and do it… Well, the surf WAS much bigger (had to put the brakes on), after 3 hours I hit the wall.  With another 3 hours to ago, it was the longest painful crawl to Hawaii Kai finish line, with the clock showing 6 hours as I went through the finish line in second to last to an old Japanese guy.  The last 3 hours was a battle for survival and a long long time to rethink the poor strategy, get angry at myself, heaps of put downs, and the island which was never getting closer… it’s a good day to die, all that kind of stuff.  I was never able to talk about this race for a long time.  The morale of the story finally, feed the fire within because with this EVERYTHING is possible, BUT also train to the conditions because in the end there is only so far that your belief in yourself, mind power and passion can take you, and your body has to train for it… simple as that.

GRATITUDE

Raipoia is MY INSPIRATION and always has been from the first time I met her, soon after I started paddling.  I’ve always thought, “I want to be like her when I grow up”, seriously.

I remember racing a Rotohoe series and getting smoked by her!  She carries herself with such grace, but so much strength on the water.

Grateful that she shared her story with us and the learning we can all take from it.She is absolutely correct, mindset can only get you so far, you still have to do the work, that daily consistent action to get better and reach your goals.

If anything in here resonates with you please share, and drop a comment on my Facebook page to let Raipoia know what you think.

Much aroha to you for following my journey and mahi.  If you haven’t already please like my Facebook pages and even my instagram page if you are on there.  Don’t be shy, share the love.

Hiria x

#imagine #believe #achieve

Follow me

Hiria Rolleston Mindset Trainer – to help take you to the next level in your paddling, and life

Eastcoast Paddler Aotearoa – for all your paddle gear, canoes and instructional vids

Hiria Rolleston on insta – for daily inspo and follow my journey to world sprints 2018

Long Distance Nationals – Did it live up to the hype you built for yourself?

COMMITMENT

Training for a long term goal can be hard, I know.  Makes you wonder how our Olympians do it right?

How do you stay focussed for so long?

How do you maintain that physical, mental, emotional and nutritional discipline to reach that end point?

Well, it all comes down to how you prioritise your goal. Is it just the end goal, that outcome of making podium, or top 10, or is it about your personal growth?

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A PERSONAL JOURNEY VS OUTCOME

Some may say that the personal growth and journey stuff is teetz, and too airy fairy but the truth is this is what helps you bounce back when you don’t meet those outcomes the first time around so that you can meet them the next time you try.  It builds resilience and that is something missing in todays society, especially with our younger paddlers.

Too often paddlers will give up thinking they have failed.  They put so much hardwork in and didn’t get the outcome they were hoping for so give up.

I can relate to this because its how I spent my first years in sport, not just paddling (although I did think I was the shiz in paddling ha ha, such a newbie).

An outcome goal is not enough to keep you motivated to get out of bed so early in the morning, or commit to such a huge lifestyle change, because thats what it requires.

When you have thoughts of “oh its sweet, after I finish this I can go back to eating like I did, or not training so much”, these kind of thoughts are what will trip you up in your race because when it gets tough out there its this that creates the negative self talk, the lack of belief in yourself.

TOOLS

Keeping a training journal has helped give me the awareness I needed to deal with these thoughts quickly and easily, giving me the tools to be able to kick it during a race (most of the time).

I say most of the time because the thing is, once we are successful with a challenge, another presents itself.   Its how we grow as human beings.

I used to think, “oh sweet once I get over this hurdle I’ll be sweet,” but yeah nah, they keep coming at you in different ways.  But thats life huh, how boring would it be without a few challenges.  The downs make you appreciate the ups so much more.

FLEXIBILITY

Having a routine is needed, because you do need to be able to measure your improvement somehow.  But be flexible with it.  Just because your programme says each day of the week you have to do this, it doesn’t mean you can’t change it a little.  The weather maybe bad, or you might get sick. Beating yourself up over the programme will only give you more brain damage.

Also, try not to let yourself fall into default with your programme, you know, like groundhog day – where you wake up each day and its the same thing over and over and you end up doing it without thinking.  This is not a good space to be in.

BE INTENTIONAL

Make sure you connect in each day, with why you are doing this in the first place, and be deliberate with your actions, taking conscious action because thats where the gold is.  Its those actions that reset your brain to what works for you and not just being an imitation of someone else.  It sets the pattern for you to be able to react the best way possible for you when you hit challenges out on the water.

There’s nothing worse then coming off the water or in from a training session where you feel like you were just going through the motions.  It feels like a waste of time right? Start backing yourself and honour your time and effort by being intentional.

 

WHAT DID YOU LEARN?

Its never failure when you take away the lessons from it, and there are always lessons. If you don’t see that then you need to start digging a bit deeper, into why you even do what you are doing.

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

Firstly, I’m pretty damn stoked with myself for what I managed to achieve and the opportunities I had to paddle with some pretty cool paddlers.  But I am going to admit that I did have a moment where I was upset with myself for not trying harder, giving it my best and letting my own self talk get to me.  In all honesty I still have that nasty dialogue go through my mind when it matters most, but, and this is a big one – I no longer let bring me down. Its important to ‘feel’ those feelings, because if you deny it starts a spiral of downward actions and you will end up at the bottom.

I could have sat and wallowed in my pity but I chose to accept it for what it was, I thought I had a shit race, felt bad for a teeny bit then decided, “this ain’t helping me at all” so I let myself move on.  Too often, especially us females, we can hold on to feelings, and let them rule our present and future. This is not healthy for our paddling at all and it starts to subconsciously show up and then we react to it, usually in the wrong way.  This can present itself by not taking up opportunities, or in the waka focussing on someones else role instead of ours, or by nit picking at somebody because they rub you up the wrong way, when in actual fact you are probably seeing your own reflection of what you need to work on yourself.

This is why mindset is so important in your paddling and sport. It’s the stuff that can either make you or break you and is the key to being your best self.

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Open womens 16km Long distance nationals 2017, Dale Thomas Bronze, Hiria Rolleston Silver, Marianna Hodges Gold.

TIPS

When I started writing this blog I thought about doing it as a personal wrap up from my own LDNs, which in a sense it is.  There are definitely elements in this that I need to pay attention to.  Its where my inspiration comes from, lived experience.  But, from conversations I had while there and the themes coming from it this approach felt better to me.

My daily routine consists of the physical aspects of training and connecting in to my surroundings, atua (gods, guardians) which fills me spiritually too, as well as my mental/emotional well-being by checking in with myself to make sure I am being intentional with what I do and making sure my thoughts and feelings are my own and not me getting caught up in someones else stuff.  I do this by journalling, I have a training journal and a business journal which helps me to work through and process my actions.  I also meditate by grabbing a moment to sit still and ask “where am I right now?”  It always brings me right back into the present and gives me clarity.

So, coming back to the title of this, I’m hoping you are still with me here ha ha, yes Long distance Nationals did live up to the hype for me, but I have a whole new bunch of things to work on now, which I’m grateful for because I know its going to help me grow evermore and is another deliberate step toward my dreams and goals.

I am grateful to everyone who came up to me and congratulated me on my medals, thats very humbling.  But even more so thankful to those people who came up to me to share their thoughts and feelings on this mahi (work) I have been doing around mindset. I have always been pretty open about what I do and share from my own experience.  I do have a Sports Science and Sport Psych background too as was a PE teacher once upon a time, so I do have the academic knowledge to back me up (it’s not all made up lol).

I share because my own journey was so difficult that I want to be able to help others.  We have so much talent out there in our communities going unseen because of our current culture around paddling from grassroots to elite.  Not blaming anyone particular person or group, but reminding us all that if we can be more open and not afraid of sharing that you will actually see it helps lift us all.

Would love to know if anything in here as given you a lightbulb moment.  Please share the aroha, share with anyone you think will benefit from this, and then drop me a comment on here or head over to my Facebook page and drop me a comment.

Sharing is caring

Hiria x

#imagine #believe #achieve

Follow me

Hiria Rolleston Mindset Trainer – to help take you to the next level in your paddling, and life

Eastcoast Paddler Aotearoa – for all your paddle gear, canoes and instructional vids

Hiria Rolleston on insta – to follow where my paddle takes me

 

 

INSPIRED SERIES – Anne Cairns

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Anne paddling for her club team Manuz and Jemimaz

ANNE CAIRNS

This hearty paddler is from Palmerston North, and is an open womens paddler for Manuz and Jemiman from Haeata Ocean Sports.  She has been racing waka since 2010.

Main sport focus is sprint flatware kayaking but have competed nationally and internationally in a number of paddle sports; surf lifesaving, wildwater kayaking, ocean ski racing, waka ama and whitewater rafting.

I asked her if she has any specific events she does each year and her reply was;

Ha ha I don’t really have a typical amount of events per year, it’s really dependent on what my focus is that year or what is happening long term (i.e olympic cycle campaigns where I cut right back on waka or other disciplines in the two years proceeding doing a few waka races and maybe five or so sprint regattas which are Europe based so take time and funding to commit to.  Or post olympics like this year across my varying disciplines of waterspouts where I’ve done half a dozen waka races, surf lifesaving nationals, a couple of rafting events, and ocean ski worlds plus i like to do as many local races as possible in waka, flatwater, and multisport racing too.

ROUTINE

Depends on what type of race I’m doing (which paddlesport and sprint or long distance). For waka though I make sure all my kit and equipment is ready, usually the night before if possible.  Making sure to be hydrated well in the 2-3 days before but thats kinda just standard all the time.

Dinner night before based on what I’m feeling like, often chicken veggies (kumara or taro if I can get some) and maybe some pasta/rice.  And the routine green tea and chocolate before bed.

In the morning I eat a solid kai 2-2.5 hours before, porridge with berries and seeds and keep sipping on electrolyte, listen to music and stay relaxed but feeling ready… strong black coffee about 30 minutes before (especially for sprint racing).

For kayak racing I’ll do a pre warm up about 60-90 minutes before race time with a 20 minute set warm up before the race…  waka is a bit more relaxed, bit of dynamic land warm up and a paddle warm up with some builds/changing intensity… often have a snack of banana and honey on white bread about 1 hour before the race.

MANTRA

 

I don’t really have a mantra, I more try to just focus on the process of what I need to do, the outcome I want, technique, timing, race plan.

Biggest thing I remind myself is to enjoy it, no matter if it’s an olympic start line or a local race I do all the training and everything because I enjoy it and I can.  Not everyone gets to do what they enjoy and have a passion for so I’m unashamedly opportunity greedy and make no apologies for it.

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Anne representing Samoa at the Olympics

BIGGEST MISTAKE

Ha ha biggest mistake is slippery hands!!!  Apply sunscreen early or ideally get someone else to do it for you!  I always roughen up my hands with sand or mud, it’s a crap situation when you’re hands are slipping on the shaft, you grip tighter and it plays on your mind.

GRATITUDE

Again, I have only really got to know Anne through our recent World’s Campaign but knowing she is an olympic paddler and seeing how she trains and her consistency with her focus and nutrition was pretty cool.

I admired her approach to the team and flexibility coming from a predominantly individual paddle background.  She is one hundy chic and someone I totally admire on and off the water.

Our paddlers have given this information freely so please show some awhi (love, support) and go like their athlete pages if they have one or drop a comment on the blog thread on my Facebook post.

If anything resonates with you head over to the Facebook page and drop a comment.  It may just create some awesome discussion for us all to learn more from.

Much aroha to you for following my journey and mahi.  If you haven’t already please like my Facebook pages and even my instagram page if you are on there.  Don’t be shy, share the love.

Hiria x

#imagine #believe #achieve

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You have to back yourself 100% – a year of recovery and transformation

When you get smacked in the face by adversity, will you become resentful or use it as an opportunity to grow?

I was forced to rethink my approach to training when I tore my achilies while weight training in the gym.  I was being my usual competitive self trying to beat the guy next to me in a WOD.

I’d been conditioned to believe that by pushing harder, you get better results.

But from that moment onwards, I was forced to approach my training with a fresh perspective.  I knew that I could get stuck in a victim mindset and let this injury break me, or I could use it as an opportunity to grow.

I had this sense of knowing that my body would back me.  I chose to let go of other people’s fears and worries, and refused to listen to the outside noise that could drain or deplete me.

I chose to focus on being present in the moment, dealing only with the situation in front of me, trusting my own feelings and thoughts and working with “what is” rather than resisting the situation.

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Within days of my injury, I placed 3rd in the Long distance Nationals, Open women’s rudderless Division 2016, in huge swells with my leg in a cast, wrapped in a black rubbish bag.  That’s when I truly understood the power of mindset – and my paddling was transformed forever.

I had spent so long trying to compartmentalise myself, but I now know that what I do inside impacts everything else around me.  I finally understood that I was not alone, and that there is nothing bigger than myself because I am the universe.  When I make the time to connect within, there is no need to be afraid.

Staying connected is a daily practice, a matter of making time to be still, to recognise where I am in this moment.  Am I here? Am I in the future? Am I in the past?

Anger and frustration puts your dreams at risk.  It’s ok to be uncomfortable because that’s where we grow.  You have to back yourself 100% – to find that fire in your belly and be open to the unexpected path.

You have to create space in your head to hear your intuition.  You have to tune into your environment and stay present in the moment.  and you have to work on discovering who you really are, so you can recognise your own thoughts and fears, and let go of everyone elses.

I became conscious of my language, letting go of negativity, comparison, jealousy and over thinking.  Instead I chose to accept the situation and move forward from there, working with what is and focusing what makes me feel good.

Because I was unable to train my lower half, I had to listen to my body to discover what was right for me.  I had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, to experiment and figure out how my body responded best.  I began recording my observations of my training, noticing how I felt and studying the patterns to learn what worked and what didn’t work for me.

By consciously studying my trainings I became more present and aware and could make changes on the water.  Over time this has become natural and I don’t have to work so hard to get into that space.  I feel I am now so in sync with who I am and my capabilities, that I know my body will back me and I can push myself further, with a sense of ease.

By choosing a different, more conscious and smarter pathway, with less striving, I felt as if I’d stepped into my flow.  My progress accelerated.  I made the Open women’s team for the world Long Distance Champs in  Tahiti.  I am now consistently in the top grouping and keeping up with people whose speed I once envied (still envy).

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Ironically this only happened since I stopped looking at what they were doing and stayed present with myself.  It’s easy to get psyched out by your competitors, but I’ve learned that I’m far more powerful when I’m focusing on doing my thing and making every stroke count.  If I put my focus on where they are in the race – even for one second – my speed drops.  When I bring my focus back my speed picks up.

And now?

I’m a totally different person at home and on the water.  What you see is what you get – everywhere.  I’m less reactive and more in tune, so I don’t fly off the handle so much.  My kids are happier and our household is more settled – and I know things would have been uglier if I hadn’t followed through for myself and pursued my dream.

I have a heightened sense of awareness and I understand that I have a choice in how I respond.  The depression that I’ve carried for 20 years has lifted.

I’m now more loving because I love myself more, and I’ve learned that we shouldn’t be so afraid to show how we feel because it makes people feel better.

Paddling feeds me as a whole person.  When I’m out there on the water, I feel at one with the paddle and the water, connected to everything.  It’s as if I’m giving back, sharing my energy with nature and the universe.  There’s a lightness about me as I glide with the water rather than against it, and a sense of calm that becomes my competitive advantage.

I work with…

People who have hit a wall in their training, are not performing on race day or who have been thrown off course by injury or personal circumstances, and don’t know how to get back on track.   If you are committed to making change contact me on my Facebook page  and lets have a casual chat.

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NB: It’s almost one year since I tore my achilles and we are 20 days out from the next Long Distance Champs.  Follow my lead up to the Nationals on Facebook or instagram.

As always, I am grateful to all those people who believed in me enough to give me a chance and supported me in my recovery, and who continue to do so. You all have a special place in my heart.

 

Hiria x

#imagine #believe #achieve

 

 

 

 

 

 

Give yourself permission to make mistakes – lessons from Aito Tahiti

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Tui and I on the finish line Aito Tahiti 2017 Open and Master Women.

As I positioned myself on the start line I was overwhelmed with feelings of fear.

It was in that moment I realised I hadn’t thought about my race plan at all, I felt pretty dumb for missing that important part.

The race start felt like forever.  That time from when the red flag goes up and then the green.  There was lots of pushing and shoving going on with paddlers trying to get the best start they could.  I remember hearing Hinatea Bernadino yelling out “given me space, give me space”.  She ended up paddling out and right around to the side to reset.  I know there was at least one other wave of paddlers behind me.

After one paddler had pushed her way through she grabbed my ama in an attempt to better position herself.  My first thought was that I wanted to slap her upside the head but my better self showed up and thought I would show her in the race whose boss.

It was a gnarly start, kind of like dodgems with canoes crashing right in front of me.  I had a feeling to just stay back because I didn’t want to flip, it proved to be the right thing to do as a gap opened up in front of me after the carnage.  However it meant that I had a lot of ground to try and make up.  I took my opportunity and booted it out of there.

By this time I knew I was a wee way back from the front pack and lost my bearings.  I decided to just focus on me and making every stroke count.

I pulled away from the pack I was in and was making small gains picking off paddlers one by one.  I had two other paddlers flank me for most of the course.  It was a head wind on the way up to the first turn marker, but there were little bumps that I was able to capitalise on pushing me in front of the other two.

As we neared the half way mark I started to notice some of the other paddlers, our top NZ paddlers, I could see Vesna, Mari and Marama and I got all excited.  I realised then I had to try to make up as much ground as possible before the turn as once they round the marker it’s all downwind and trying to catch someone on a downwind is pretty hard if they are on a roll.

I passed one more paddler before the marker and then the whole race changed.

As soon as I got around the turn marker the water was heavy, and all over the place.  I realised I hadn’t had much to drink either.  I didn’t want to risk stopping and have someone pass me.

Just over half way back down the reef my thoughts wandered to the paddler in front of me.  It was Marama Elkington, one of our top NZ junior and opens paddlers.  I could see her getting closer and closer but then I started to feel like crap.  I had made up a little refuel drink for me to take about 6 kms from the finish but again I couldn’t bring myself to taking it.  The internal chatter started.  I was thinking about all the stuff I should have done, had I done enough, who was I to think I should be there, and be up there with these other awesome paddlers.

I started to feel tired, but not my body, my brain, and then the two paddlers who had flanked me most of the race were gaining on me and ended up passing me.  We were at the end of the surf run by now and rounding the last turn, I took the inside right along the reef and it was the heaviest feeling ever.  To my right, Tui MCCaull had taken a wider line and she just zoomed by.  My brain was so tired by now I wasn’t quick enough to make any good decisions so just kept paddling hard to the finish line which was only about 500m away!  Within 10 minutes I had gone from being in 7th place to 9th!

I was just grateful I made it over the line and that I managed to come in where I did.  And that was 9th out of 36 paddlers in my division and 16th overall out of 80 women paddlers.

In reflection I had so many what ifs but since then have come to recognise all the learning in the lead up to the race and after.

The week leading up to the race was pretty stressful, in the sense I was in a different country, it was hot, and my baby was really sick.  I had spent most nights sleepless trying to comfort her through the night.  There was also a lot of stress around from having my whole whanau there and whanau expectations.  More lessons that I will share later on.  These are all important things I know I need to share because these days there are more mama taking on the challenge of being an elite athlete and we are faced with a whole other set of challenges that will only make us stronger.

So many things I could have done better but I’m happy in knowing I went out there, did a pretty good job and are now hungry for more.  Its given me a taste and glimpse of what is possible and I am now on a mission to make that happen.

And that is to be the best paddler I can be because I know by doing that it will create a snowball effect of so many health and wellness benefits for me and my whanau.  It’s unlimited potential! Who knows where it may lead?

Thank you to everyone who supported me to get to Tahiti and gave me words of encouragement, hugs, kisses and butt-kicks along the way.  I am blessed to have so many awesome people around me.

Hiria x

NB: Aito Tahiti is the most important individual va’a race in Polynesia with a distance of 15km with a downwind surf leg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three hacks to finding more time to do the things that light you up!

Hey babe,

You are either reading this because you value your time and will do anything to try and find more of it.  Or you are at a loss as to how other people are able to fit so much into their day.

Lets start with time itself. What are your first thoughts or feelings when you hear that word?

I usually get my back up and then my eyes glaze over.

You know why?

Because it seems to be all people talk about today, like it is the single most important commodity that drives humans.

I felt like I didn’t have a hope in hell of finding more time to do what I needed to and wanted to so shut off completely.

Until I stumbled across this great book I was given years ago but just never had the time to read. Well, I sat down and read it one day, from cover to cover.  It set me off on my journey to making things work better for me, by finding other people who seemed like they knew what they were doing and trying it for myself.

This is what has worked for me.

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1.  Get a goal, a clear focus or dream.  Something to use as an anchor everyday.

By having a goal it helps you to have focus and prioritise what you need to do and love to do as opposed to all the shady little great areas in between where we worry about this and that.  It is in this space that we actually waste a lot of our precious time.

2.  Shred the task list and instead work to intentions.  This one totally blew my mind. My business coach gave me this wee tool and it is the single most life changing thing that has helped me across the board. I used to get overwhelmed by task lists and had everything on there that I needed to complete, well so I thought.  The thing is, those tasks were still taking up precious head space even after writing them down. They were staring at me daily and if I didn’t get to ticking them off that day I would feel like crap and useless.  Now I focus on only 3 intentions a day, (not including housework because that is a given and autopilot to some degree, they don’t take up head space).  I list my top 3 activities that I know will get me the most gains in my day toward my goal and anything else I get done after that is a bonus.  It really stops me from fluffing about.

3.  Take action, everyday and use the 5 sec rule.  So yes we all know that taking action is pretty logical right, but what about when you just don’t want to? Thats where the 5 sec rule comes in. I had been doing this all my sporting life but didn’t realise it until I came across Mel Robins Tedtalk on the 5 sec rule.  Basically she says  you have 5 secs to make a decision because after that all of your excuses get the better of you. So nip it in the mud before it even gets a chance. My way to combat this is to remove as many of the excuses as possible, like preparation, of meals or gear I need to get going, or making sure I have all the right information. Its too easy to make an excuse if we have one little piece of the puzzle not at our finger tips right.

All these little hacks have helped me to be way more productive leaving me more energised and just happy which makes me a better person to be around for my kids and family.

Hope they help you too.

As a Mindset trainer I love helping others shift through any mental or emotional blocks that are holding you back from achieving your success, whether it be anxiety, fear, anger and in all areas of life and business.  If you feel you are ready to make some changes and needed a bit of a helping hand flick me an email and lets chat to see if we are the right fit for each other.

Remember, There is nothing bigger than myself!

Hiria x

#imagine #believe #achieve

Email me here

Check out my Facebook page here 

 

When you just want to curl up into a ball or crawl back under the sheets – do this!

 

 

 

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You are having one of those days huh?

Something is just not going to plan,

No matter how hard you try.

It probably feels like the end of the world,

Or like you have just lost control of everything and are on the edge of falling off the cliff!

SURRENDER,

Surender to what you are feeling, don’t fight it.

The more you resist what is happening the more emotional you get.

When you choose to surrender it’s not giving up or giving in as such.

It’s acknowledging what you are feeling, whats happening right then and there.

There is a big difference.

Because from doing this brings the clarity you need to make good decisions rather than from a place of panic.

A perfect example of this for me is when I am talking with someone and they are trying to get their point across and get really agitated.

I could push back to get my point across, but that just usually ends up with voices being raised and blood starting to boil right.

And then you lose all focus and its becomes a fight to see who gets the last word.

What I do now is breathe, deeply, and it physically gives me the space to step back and look at the situation with fresh eyes.

Once I see whats really happening I am able to decide if I need to push, or accept that this person is not in a space to discuss this right now so move on without causing anymore upset.

Or another example of this for me is when I tore my achilles, four days before my biggest competition I had been training for. I could have totally thrown my toys out of the cot but I decided to surrender to what had happened and I was able to move through what needed to be done calmly.

This is really great for communicating with family members, friends or even clients!

So next time you feel like you are helpless, surrender to the moment and then make your decisions with clarity.

 

Background: I’ve come through the other side of depression to live a fuller life using the strategies and tools I share in my blogs and on my face book page.  My mission is to help others to see that depression is a gift, not an illness and once you can flick that switch in your head you realise you have the power to heal yourself.  I had tried all sorts and nothing worked, until I got the courage to look within.  Now I help women, and men who suffer from anxiety, overwhelm or depression to take back control of their lives whether it be in business or life.

The catch is I only work with people who are truly committed to change and value themselves enough to start taking action.  If this sounds like you book in for a complimentary 30 min strategy session to see how I may be able to help and if we are a good fit.

Hiria x

#imagine #believe #achieve

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