Who Am I kidding?


It’s D. Day! The big milestone I have been focussed on through out my entire pregnancy came and went! It helped me to focus but also drove me a bit nuts. I maintained a pretty healthy lifestyle throughout, active and eating. But to be honest the closer I got to the birth of my baby and the event itself I went a little crazy.

Pregnancy is the biggest, hardest life event a woman will ever have to go through. There is the nausea, tiredness, weight gain, and vomiting to name a few. Putting that in perspective this is how a day looks.  You wake up, go to the toilet, if you lucky you just wee and no vomit.  Right, achieved that, now back to bed.  The only thing you may manage to eat and keep down is a dry biscuit!  Even water has the impact of bringing on a spew! This is just the pregnancy. The actual labor itself and the afterbirth, well don’t get me started.!!

Day after day for about three months this goes on.  Like groundhog day. Once that has passed and you can finally chow down on something the weight starts piling on. It really is difficult to get up and active when your feet hurt, you just want to sleep, you feel a little depressed because you have been lying in bed for the last couple of months and just can’t do anything.

This was ‘me’ for the first 3 months of all my pregnancies.  However, by the second trimester things started looking up. I started to feel a little better so I made myself get up and active.  I found in my last pregnancy that the more I exercised the better I felt.  Less tired, less cranky, and I didn’t eat the whole house out!

But, the hormones! OMG, no one prepares you for the roller coaster ride of hormones. Sounds cheesy but it is so true. There are moments, days where everything is sweet and then all of a sudden you burst out crying or angry. No matter how hard you try to work out why, you can’t.  In the end I gave in to them and just acknowledged what was going on.  The best thing I could do was exercise.  It was the only way out for me.  Thankfully I was able to maintain my training right up to the birth of my baby girl. It was the post birth that I did not quite think through.

So many people calling me crazy behind my back because I was training so hard through pregnancy and then there was the fact I wanted to enter the Regional waka ama (outrigger) sprints after birth (five weeks after).

I learned so many things about myself during this pregnancy. I am 37 years old having my fourth child. The beauty of it is that I am more mature now and don’t really care  what other people think. I love that about being in my 30s, pushing 40!

The night before the big day I couldn’t sleep.  And not just because of baby.  She did happen to have a bad night that night feeding wise. But it was me.  I almost flew off the handle at the kids and my hubby that evening, just cos. I recognised it was a part of the sabotage talk I had going on in my head.  Can I do it?  Am I being stupid. Maybe everyone is right? I’ll look like a fool. Then I remembered this is about me.  What do I feel? What do I think? Time to be selfish! I went to bed with the vision of completing my races and fell asleep.

Its race day and even an hour before my race I was thinking stupid things again. I thought to myself, it’s ok, you just had a baby, just go out there and paddle, but don’t go hard. Everyone is expecting you to fail miserably. I almost gave up.

I got out there in my first heat and all my training went out the window.  So much for trusting in the process! It was so windy, and there were so many excuses I could have come up with but I didn’t. Second heat and I am still out wide in the far lane with the wind.  Same thing, choked.  I didn’t come last but I didn’t paddle like I do in training.  I had let all that negative self talk get to me.

My final race came and I thought stuff it. I have no chance so just get out there and go nuts.  I was in a crap lane again with the wind but this time I was more focussed. I paddled a bit harder and ended up doing pretty good in that race.  The difference was that I was relaxed!  There are so many other factors that can stop you in your tracks but I chose to ignore them and focus on the task at hand.  Glide in my boat.  Once I did that I did way better!

My lessons through all this.  Accept the ups and the downs.  If we are always up, life would be boring. Its those little upsets that make the good things that much better.

Learn from the downs.  What are they showing you? Is there a pattern? There definitely is for me. It’s the negative self talk stuff, sabotaging myself. I have the ‘choice’ at the end of the day as to how I let things impact on me. I recently read this great article from Mark Manson and it really resonated with me. He spoke about truths and lies. That there really is no one answer. At the end of the day everything is just ‘data’ and it is debatable.  We have the choice to believe it or not. It comes down to how useful it is to us.

There are times when I feel like I am under so much pressure. I run my own business, I have a ‘day’ job and I am a mama to my beautiful little kids. I am also trying to train like and elite athlete and make time for whanau. I have to tell you it’s not easy. My house is usually a mess. I have mama brain and most of what I do could probably be done better if I had more time. But it is what it is. I have come to realise that I started to believe people see me in a certain way. And I have been trying to play to that part. It’s me putting myself under that pressure, no one else. Who cares! I do what I do because I like it. And it’s ok to have down days or mess up sometimes.  I’m not perfect, I am me. Saying that to myself was great. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

In reflection of the racing at the weekend, I should have taken more time to celebrate my achievement. I ended up shrugging it off and not really acknowledging what I did. So today I am going to celebrate the fact that I trained through my whole pregnancy and managed to compete in the regionals just 5 weeks after the birth of my baby yeow!!!!  You see, I had a few people say well done on my effort, but as usual I dismissed it. I’m thankful but because of my high expectations and craziness I brushed it off.  But you know what, it is awesome. I am thankful to everyone who has supported me to date, especially my hubby for putting up with my crazy moods, my training buddy for letting me tag along to training, my kids for putting up with my crazy and lastly to our babysitter for always being there! Feeling very grateful.

My writing is more of a journal then anything else at the moment. I just blurt out whatever jumps into my head at the time.  No editing… So as always thank you for listening.


H 🙂

#imagine #believe #achieve



Mummy finger, mummy finger, where are you?


Anyone with little ones should know the tune to the above. My little 3 yr old boy sings it over and over and over.

Mummy finger, mummy finger where are you?

Here I am, here I am

How do you do?

Thought it would be a great way to lead into my blog as I have been absent for a wee while. Enjoying ‘time’ with our little Hinatea.

It has been five weeks since our latest bundle of cuteness came into this world.  And it feels as though it has gone that fast it is all a blur. Naturally there have been many ups and downs, physically, emotionally, mentally while my body recovers from the last 10 months and childbirth.  And not only recovery for myself, can’t forget the rest of the family having to put up with me and my crazy.  My little 5 year old even got to the point where she would excuse my behaviour because I had a baby in my puku, so cute, but  a little sad too.

Kids learn everything from us in those early years and they watch every move you make, and take in every word you say.  It’s not about trying to be positive all the time in front of them, its about being realistic and showing them how to deal with upsets in a better way rather then losing it all together. I have such a controlling personality and used to be a perfectionist before we had our little ones.  It’s not realistic to be like that with small kids as it will drive you nuts.

Well, it drove me nuts and my husband. I learned to change my priorities around what needed my immediate attention and what didn’t, such as ‘reading time’ with my babies rather than doing the dishes right away or folding washing. I still struggle with that at times and need to remind myself that my babies are my responsibility and they grow up so quick so don’t waste any of that precious time. Now, I still like routine and are still trying to get into one. That is easier said then done when hubby runs on his own time too. I used to get up at 4:30am, go to the gym, come home make the kids lunches etc, have breakfast and get the kids off to school (if it was my watch). Now, I wake up at 7am have breakfast feed baby, wind baby, feed baby and wait for a free spot to go and do some training. In there somewhere I need to fit work, study, house work. Training and oh, ‘me’ time?

So I am just going with the flow right now because if I tried to push my routine it will drive me nuts.  My hubby has even learned to recognised when I am losing it (usually by getting cranky at the kids, or him for leaving a sock in the wrong place or something silly like that). As soon as he identifies my mood he recommends I go and train. Exercise for me is my happy place. Naturally because of the endorphins it releases, al the feel good vibes.  I love it! I may not feel that great beforehand but after a workout I can always guarantee I feel better. And to make that feeling last I make sure I have the nutrition to back it up. Meaning, I refuel my body so it doesn’t crash. I get the carbohydrates in to replace what I used up, to make sure my blood sugar levels don’t drop, and I also get some protein in to help with my muscle recovery (depending on type of workout).  I don’t take any supplements at all.  I used be a typical gym junkie and have my religious ‘protein shake’ after each workout only to find it wasn’t doing anything for me, and was probably doing more harm than good really.  What I mean by that is I was taking protein at the wrings times when I didn’t really need it which meant I was missing out on other nutrients. I have made sure that my exercise routine fits my nutrition too and vice versa. Getting enough protein in after a heavy strength gym session, carbohydrates during or straight after a long endurance run or paddle session.

My mission these days is to eat ‘normal whole foods’, and unprocessed as much as possible.  I have never really eaten much red meat as I find it hard to digest. But I do love the odd ‘steak’ now and then and lamp chops! I eat mostly fish and chicken and loads of veggies and fruit. I east ‘real butter’ and have full cream milk. Lucky for me I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. I guess that’s because I have learned to balance my nutrition that my body doesn’t crave sugar to get my blood sugar (or glucose) levels up.

Here is an example of my training programme. I will train four days on and one day off rotating workouts throughout the month. I never do the same workout twice in a month. I like to keep challenging my body as that is where the most gains come from.  Our bodies are pretty awesome and learn to adapt quickly. I will do an AM workout and a PM workout except on STRENGTH day.  On my REST day I will usually do something passive rest like a long beach walk, ride my bike, hike up Mauao or swim or surf. My workouts will last for about 10-20mins maximum except strength day which is an hour to and hour and a half long, as well as my long paddles which can be from one to two hours long depending on what season I am in.  By having short workouts I can do them from anywhere and it doesn’t take much time or fuss. It’s just the paddling or surfing where I need to be more organised (babysitters).  In a perfect world I would have all my snacks ready each week and meals.  But sadly I haven’t mastered that yet as I am still playing catch up. But perseverance is key and I will get there.

I am still loving this journey and have learned so much already about myself, my friends, and family. The support has been great but the biggest thing for me is I have learned that at the end of the day it is all about ‘me’ and how I ‘feel’ and ‘think’. I am the one who has the choice to make it or break it and that makes me feel even stronger.

As always, thanks for reading. Would love some feedback if you have any. Keep paddling!

Arohanui x

Hiria 🙂

#imagine #believe #achieve


I’m going slightly mad!

Day 4 overdue

Day 4 overdue

The final two weeks before my due date have been hard. And yes I expected that. my belly has popped out, it’s getting harder and harder to train, sleep, and do anything. I stayed away from my blog as I have mentioned previously I like to try to keep things as positive as possible and when I don’t have any positive thoughts worth sharing why force it?

This blog is about my thoughts and feelings post due date. Hope there are some things in here that may help others in some way.

It’s been four days since you were supposed to be here. The anticipation has been killing me.  you were due on Labour Day here in New Zealand which is a long weekend. It ended up being al ing weekend of ups and downs for us all. What an emotional roller coaster ride that was. By Tuesday we all decided to just chill out and knew you would come when you are ready. The thing is, my 37th birthday is on the Wednesday so I was started to get all excited about that to.

It’s Wednesday morning and I wake up to a chorus of happy
birthday from my babies and hubby. So lovely and cute. I get to lie in for a little bit before the mad rush to get kids ready for kindy and school.  I’m lying there wondering if today will be the day you decide to join us.  I choose to accept that you will arrive on your own terms and get out of bed.

Feeling strong

Feeling strong

Breakfast done, kids off to school and kindy, hubby off to work.  I finish my paperwork for the morning and head off to the gym. In my final weeks I decided to train at my sister in laws gym as I was aware of how uncomfortable staff and other people were starting to feel with me continuing to train, thinking that at any moment baby would just pop out!, (It’s quite funny when I reflect on it).

Feeling strong today, almost normal. Decide to do my usual strength training.  A bit of a warm up on the elliptical machine (this has been great cardio respiratory training with a bump). I then take to the weights and do my 12.5kg snatches, swings, one arm rows (15 kg).  Tried a few deadliest but by now the tummy is just too big and my technique all over the place so it’s a waste of time. Wandering around the gym restless now so decided to try some box jumps.  I know sounds crazy but I figured I’m past due date so if this induces some baby action it’s all good.  I did 3 sets of 10 on a 47cm box. Remember, my background is sport science, PT, teacher etc so I do all my training with knowledge of the effects on my body.

Getting them gains

Getting them gains

Part way through I get a call from the hubby to meet for a birthday lunch so quickly finish up and off we go.  We ended up at my favourite restaurant in town (Macau on the Strand). It’s a lovely fusion of asian cuisine.  Had the yummiest lunch with the best company. something hubby and I don’t get to do often. A beautiful day and feeling very grateful.

Later that afternoon we decided to pack the kids up and head over the hill to Rotorua (a 45 min – 1 hour drive from Tauranga) for some paddle training as we heard that they have been running a regular Wednesday night sprint training so decided to give it a bash.

We get there by 6pm and its windy as, ugly, cold, motivation dropping. I decided to go anyway. It ended up being an 8km paddle, and what a struggle that was! My canoe I was using was too small and I was so scrunched up in it. lucky the locals felt sorry for me and hung with me for the duration (felt a little stink for them being baby sat).  but that’s what manaaki is all about when you have visitors, one of the things I love about being Maori!  what a hard slog that was into the wind. Was looking forward to the return trip but naturally as we reared the bout turn the wind dropped off. That time of the evening I guess.

By the time we got back it was around 7 o’clock. We headed off to get some food for us and the kids and hit the road.  I started to notice some tightening and my arms and body were a bit achy.

We got home by 9:30pm, put the kids to bed and then settled ourselves for the evening. by 10:36pm I was up recording my contractions!  It was the most intense pain I have ever felt and this was my fourth baby. We called up my sister-in-law to come over and watch the kids as i felt it was all go.  she and her partner got to us just after 11pm. We made it to the clinic by 11:30pm where I jumped straight into the pool. Our wee girl was with us by 12:00pm on the dot.

I have never used any drugs or medication during any of my labours. I have always tried to prepare myself mentally and physically to cope with it all. but I have to say I felt pretty close to giving in! All I had was ice to munch on. In between each contraction (there were only a couple) I felt like I was going to throw up and felt so weak. It is this reason why I chose to train like I was training for the biggest event of my life with childbirth because effectively that is exactly what it is. There is no other sport out there as physically, mentally and emotionally draining as giving birth! I had to major contractions and our water baby was with us. I was in so much pain my body was shaking and I was cold so it was a relief to get into the nice warm pool at the clinic.  Now, I had always wished for a quick labor but what I didn’t realise was that if it is quick, it’s usually means way more pain! There are so many things that people do not mention about childbirth. Like birthing the whenua or placenta (afterbirth). This is almost just as hard as having the baby! Then there is the recovery.

I am so thankful to my family, my mother in law and my hubby and my midwife for the fantastic support through my labor and recovery. and to the rest of my family and friends for all the support throughout and putting up with my crazy training. It must have been hard for everyone else to relax.  Just thankful you all trusted in me to do well by our baby.

It is such a privilege to be able to bring a wee person into this world and I cherish that everyday. I haven’t felt this relaxed, calm and happy with all things for a long time, but you know, a newborn has that effect on you.  enjoying our precious taonga (gift) and will be back writing up about recovery postnatal, training, goals and life as a water woman, paddling whanau asap.

It was a super moon the night baby was born. and she was born with a pure white patch of hair on her left side. We have named her Hinatea 9meaning fair, personification of moon), Paetawhiti (horizon), Wawata (dream, aspire, vision) Rolleston. she is the most beautiful, chilled out baby so far.

Thanks again for following me and providing that quiet support,


Hiria 🙂

#imagine #believe #achieve

The Anticipation is killing me!


1 Day to go!

Kia ora!

Sorry for the lack of comms as of late. Have not been in the right frame of mind to put anything to paper. I am very mindful of how strong thoughts and words can become so I prefer not to let any of my not so positive energy flow onto others. Or maybe I just worry too much about others and not myself? Hmm, something to look into.

Anyhow, its my due date tomorrow! And i am really feeling it. I have maintained a pretty full on training programme all the way through. Still managing to do a few things here and then.  Not as consistently I must say but still active. I have kept up my strength training, with dumbbells as I have found that using machines are uncomfortable for me.  My core feels strong enough to be able to support my free weights.  I have found when lying down doing bench press it is best using DB and not the bar. The bar creates too much curve in my back and my core is obviously not strong enough right now for that.  Still managing basics like push press, snatch, one arm rows so thats good.  And I have dropped the weight of the bar when doing squats and only doing small db weights for lunges.

I feel like I get the most out of doing my strength right now and have found that the cardio gets my body temp up too quick which could impact on baby. I have also found the hill running better than flat. Intervals up and then jogging down seems to be more comfortable.  I am mindful on my posture in all that I do and always have been so thats been a biggie for me during pregnancy. I feel it has really helped to keep the lower back pain away too. The main cardio type sessions I do are on the water. The most frustrating thing about training right now is I can’t truing till I am exhausted (obviously because of baby). So I am not getting that adrenalin rush that I crave and helps me to sleep at night and chill out. I guess not too long now and I’ll be back into it.

As for eating, well, this week has been all over the place. My favourite right now seems to be the Hokey Pokey Memphis Meltdown Icecreams!  Not eating them everyday but I have had at least three in the last week! That is pretty huge for me.

I am feeling like I am in limbo right now and its hard to focus. Trying to get everything done that i need to before baby arrives, work and household wise.  maybe I should just chill and trust in the process as I always have a habit of telling others. so hard to take our own advice.

Anyway, hope you are all doing fab and thanks again for following me my rambles.

Hiria 🙂

#imagine #believe #achieve

Keep on keeping on – How do you do it?

Kia ora all!

Yes, it has been a little while since I posted. The closer I get to D Day for the arrival of our new little one the harder it is to get motivated. 23 days to go!

When I started on my current journey I weighed in at 66kgs, my blood pressure was 98/56 and I was already 10 weeks pregnant. I am now sitting between 76-77.6kg depending on what I am up to and my blood pressure is up at 110/70.


Hanging pull Ups with 10kg weight


Serious selfie

Today I was scrolling through some photos for another project and came across a couple of pics earlier in the year when I was really looking string and fit and focussed.  It was so hard not to get upset looking at them because for the last couple of weeks my routine has been thrown out the window along with my eating.  You see, I suffer from depression so routine is really important to me and I find getting my training done early in the morning really helps to set up a cracker day and get my though process on track.

Not only that, I have suffered injuries in the past and sickness that had me out of action for months and months and I swore I would never take myself, body and abilities for granted again. so I unconsciously loaded all this pressure on myself. When I don’t get to train I get the madness.  Plain and simple. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke or do drugs, my outlet is physical activity. And yes, I know I am pregnant but that shouldn’t matter.

I have actually felt pretty awesome health wise through this pregnancy. Strong, fit, and my eating has been pretty darn good. It’s just these off days that worry me.  So after freaking out I decided to acknowledge it and let it go. No use worrying about yesterday. What can I do now or tomorrow to fix it? That’s where I am at. Oh and I realise that those thoughts of feeling weak are just crazy ambush thoughts and are not real.  It’s that ‘fear’ trying to jump in my head and hold me back.  I am still aiming for my goal to qualify at the regional sprints after baby is born and I am in a good place now with my times. My training buddy reminded me of this. I do wonder how much better I am going to be when I come back a whole 12 kgs lighter with a working core! Now it’s those thoughts that get me going again and motivated.

I guess the lesson in all this is, acknowledge those thoughts, don’t judge, and then let them go.

Love to hear any strategies you may have for these sorts of situations…

Thanks for following me on my journey. Excited as!!!!!

H 🙂

#imagine #believe #achieve

Pregnancy: 32 weeks

Ko Mauao te Maunga

Ko Mauao te Maunga

It’s week 32 now and I’m feeling a bit blah.  I tutor waka ama (outrigger canoeing) two weekends out of a month and have to travel 3 hr return trip to do this.  I also try to balance running my own paddle business (Eastcoast Paddler Aotearoa) back home and my two little babies as well as trying to maintain contact with my eldest boy at uni. And of course there are other projects on the side that I am involved in.

You see, I am so passionate about paddling and sharing the stoke of surfing and paddling I can’t help myself.  I get so caught up in doing all these other things I forget about myself sometimes. This is where my training helps me to relax believe it or not. but this last week I have been so tired from the last weekend wananga (camp) that I haven’t been able to join my 5am club at all this week.  Throughout this pregnancy I have felt that keeping up my training has actually helped to increase my energy levels, but I do need to make sure I get enough sleep. In pregnancy you tend to start to have weird dreams and all sorts of things going on and usually training holds those off for me.  But OMG this week has been a shocker. I just can’t get out of bed before 6:30am now.  you may laugh as that will seem early enough for many of you but I’m a morning person, not a night owl. That’s when I am at my best.

So I’ve been sitting at my desk all week trying to think about the blogs and website updates I need to do and I have nothing.  Brain is on holiday. So this is all I have for you.  At least it is real. I am less than two months away from my due date now and getting really wired about that. So many feelings going on. Excited, scared, all sorts. Its good though. Shows me I’m alive.

Managed to get on the water last night for a tough sprint session with my training buddy. Really thankful to have her alongside through all this. It was just what i needed.  Of course she smoked me on the water but that’s ok. I have learnt not to compare myself but to wholly focus on myself and what I am doing in the moment .That’s where my improvements will come from.  Once I have baby though look at people!

I would love to hear from other people about how you cope with off weeks.  We all have them. The key is to just acknowledge and not let yourself get down in the dumps about I think. Listen your body and mind.

Thanks for following my journey.

H 🙂

#imagine #believe #achieve

Pregnancy: 28 weeks

Well, I’m here at 28 weeks. What a roller coaster ride its been this week! I have started back my normal training (outrigger training for sprints) and its been a doozy.

Just like when you start anything out its hard but I especially hate the starting out in sprints training.  So taxing on the body.

I missed my day one session, did day two (2 water sessions in one day) and then missed my day 3 session because I ate something that didn’t agree with me. Now, if I miss a training session I usually get pretty cranky but being pregnant has almost tripled that response! I have learned very quickly that I need to get my training in and done early or else the madness comes out!

Everyone is different and that is just me. So listening to my body and getting it done.

I had learned so much on my journey thus far about myself, my body and people around me. I get really upset when someone suggest I should take it easy. And yes, I know they are only looking out for me and bugs but honestly I have never felt better! I wish I had been this active through all my pregnancies.

The first 3 months were pretty tough with the morning sickness and I lost a lot of my strength and fitness. But since then I have been training consistently and I have even gone up in my weights. I have noticed a progression in my strength.

I am very careful and make sure I stop or modify exercises when I get an ache or tightness. Loving the fact I can still do burpees and even full push ups! Feeling strong is such a beautiful thing to me right now especially when many of those people around me are expecting me to slow down and take it easy. If only people could see the actual benefits of starting active and strong as being the best thing mum’s and bubs. It’s a no brainer really. In saying that, I know my body and my limits and have been training consistently for some time.  I wouldn’t recommend the level of what I am doing to a first time mum who doesn’t train. You need to be active beforehand.

preggie mama shopping

preggie mama shopping

Back to me, decided to treat myself this week and go wetsuit shopping as the hubby and I are going to go for a bit of a surf weekend away. I’m due a new wet tie as the last two pregnancies have worn it out. I ended up walking out of the shop with some nice training gear and toasty UGG boots for winter yay!

So, if you are a mama wanting to get fit and healthy then take it one step at a time. But don’t let other people’s perceptions of what is right put you off. Only you know.  Be happy, and be strong.

H 🙂

Pregnancy: 27 weeks


I’m pretty bad at recording things and get over taking photos pretty quick. I’m now 27 weeks, wow! Still training hard. I have a huge goal to achieve and need to maintain my strength and fitness as much as possible. burps and pull ups are still on the cards but only just. Doing pull ups wit ha band now as I have lost much of my upper body strength due to the first 3 months trimester and also the extra bundle I am carrying.

Baby is about 36cm long now and she is pretty active, at night of course while I am trying to sleep!

The countdown is on!

H 🙂

Pregnancy: 18 weeks


Having a blue day today so I went for a walk along our beach and took some snacks with me. Nothing specific had happened to me I was just feeling really low and sorry for myself.  This has been happening more and more lately. Still fitting my normal clothes yay.

The awesome thing from this day was soon after I took this photo i sat down to eat my lunch and a pod of Orca went cursing down the beach! Picked my day right up and left me feeling blessed. #blessingsindisquise

H 🙂

Pregnancy: 17 weeks


A quick selfie before I take my Waka ama class for the weekend. A weekend long noho (learning camp) on waka ama (outrigger canoeing). We do eight of these camps over a weekend throughout the year. All the learning is based on the history of paddling, a bit of nutrition, coaching, event management, safe boating, paddle technique and then we finish the year with a huge paddle festival for all the students across the country.  Hoping my preggie moods don’t impact on my teaching. Apologies in advance!

H 🙂