val2014/15 was a full on time for our whanau.  My sister had to have an emergency liver transplant and then was diagnosed with aplastic anemia (e like to call this Cancer’s Ugly Next Door Neighbour) which meant she had to have a bone marrow transplant.  The Husband gave up his job and went to Hawkes Bay to look after my sister’s kids and support our mum. I went to Auckland where my sister was receiving treatment and The Cat stayed in a cattery in Christchurch, so the three of us spent some of this time apart.  Exercise, which I enjoyed and did regularly, didn’t feature much during this time.  With my sister getting better and being able to take back control of her life it was time for the Cat, the Husband and me to get on with ours – the Husband got a job here in Wellington and came here initially on his own – with all 3 of us finally living in our own place September last year.  Exercise for me has always been psychological; I always feel great after exercise and when it is part of my everyday life my mood is better, relationships are stronger, and work is a doddle.  For most of 2015 I battled with depression – watching my sister struggle with her fears for her children; the kids trying to be brave but wondering what would happen if their mum died; and my mother ageing overnight took its toll.  I think the Cat and the Husband got a bit worried (and I was sick of myself) about me crying into my cornflakes. The Husband talked to a couple of peeps he works with and they recommended WOF….apparently there was a tough Russian woman who ran the place and pushed you to your maximum potential (I wonder who they were talking about?), but also that it has great coaches and its fun.

My first impression was “Yep that Russian woman is tough” (in a nice, loving kinda way). The Coaches are great and WOF does have a community feel to it – it’s supportive and its fun, the people who train here are awesome!  It’s also nice that it is kid friendly and that baby that hangs out at the box all the time is cute too.

Actually that Russian woman isn’t that tough….she’s a bit of a cream cake!  I think the new intern has the potential to be evil…

I think turning up is a bright spot.  However, I’m gonna say The Open 16.5.  After finishing and collapsing on the floor Denim came over and congratulated me. I tried to say something back to her but realized I couldn’t make my lips move and couldn’t formulate any words in my brain. I think this is what the coaches mean by leaving it all out there….

At the moment I’m working on my barbell technique. I have lots to learn and practice and can’t just rely on strength if I want to throw 200kg over my head!

The Open gave me lots of favourite memories – that first WOD; watching everyone yelling and supporting that was cool.  I really enjoy watching the WOFer’s getting PB’s and doing stuff for the first time.  Running 5km…that was an achievement.

One thing you might not know about me is that my whanau are from Mahia Peninsular – has anyone been there?  After what we have been through I tend not to take life for granted and when I start worrying about ‘stuff’ I give myself a bit of a mental shake and remember what is important.  I’m resilient and if you didn’t notice try to have a laugh.

Our whanau will be forever grateful to the donor and family for the precious gift of life to my sister and her kids.  In NZ the Bone Marrow Registry is actively recruiting young Maori and Pacific men to be donors if you or someone you know is interested take a look: