Here’s to 2015

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Happy New Year to our Fitness Journal readers. To kick-start the year in style, we decided to ask some of our local athletes, friends and readers what 2015 has in store for them. Hopefully you’ll enjoy an insight into their lives and be inspired.

JuliehardakerNYJulie Hardaker  |  Mayor of Hamilton

Your favorite Waikato place to spend time during summer and why? Being at home – because I don’t spend enough time there during the year.
If time was no object, what sport/activity would you most like to take up or be involved in for 2015? I would take up cycling.

What inspires/motivates you to get active and what local facilities/venues do you enjoy most and why? River walks are my favourite.

Can you share one or two of your best health/fitness/wellbeing tips with us?  Walking my dogs, Poppy and Fifi.

How do you like to relax? By listening to music.

What are you most looking forward to about 2015? I’m looking forward to getting into the garden more.

What is your favourite summer recipe/ingredient? Salads – I love salads made from vegetables grown in my own garden.

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ericmurrayNYEric Murray  |  World famous rower and superdad

What is your favorite Waikato place to spend time during summer and why? My favorite place would probably be Raglan. We’ve been out there a few times over the Christmas/New Year’s break when I’ve actually had a few days off training. Otherwise, it’s a pretty tough thing that we just have to be here in Cambridge for training, so we only tend to do day trips with the family.

What local facilities/venues do you enjoy most with your family? We have two dogs as well as our young son Zac, so we use the cycleway a lot to bike him around and also go out to the cycleway along the banks of Karapiro, where we can walk the dogs and let them run around. We play a bit at the parks and playgrounds around Cambridge also and Zac loves the town pool, so we spend a lot of time swimming there.

Can you share one or a couple of your best health/fitness/wellbeing tips with us? Keeping fit, whether we are walking or doing some sort of exercise. It is great to help keep the muscles working and the metabolism ticking over. If you do that, then you’ll be keeping your body in a good order which allows you to not only feel better, but also  enables you to treat yourself to things you enjoy without feeling guilty or putting on weight.

How do you like to relax? I relax at the end of the day, on the couch, with my wife and dogs trying to join in to get some attention. Training, plus everything else in life is just busy. When we have our ‘break’ after the world champs each year I find myself just trying to do as much with my family as possible, to enjoy my time without the rigors of a training regime.

What are you most looking forward to about 2015? I’m really looking forward to building a house at the wonderful St Kilda subdivision in Cambridge. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for our family and such a unique venture to bring back the “Kiwi dream” of having large sections and a community feel. We have Olympic qualifying for rowing too, so that’s something to look forward to as well.

What is your favourite summer recipe/ingredient? Oh I shouldn’t go there…. I eat too much! I do love seasonal fruit, and just enjoy cooking outside on the barbecue in the evenings, with a beer in hand of course.

alannebenNYAlan Neben  |  Owner of fitness Journal and keen sports fan

What was your favourite sporting moment/highlight of 2014? There are too many to choose from, so I’ll pick four; New Zealand team’s performance at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, especially in cycling; New Zealand team’s performance at World Rowing champs – truly world champions; The All Blacks’ continued dominance of World rugby – what incredible depth of talent; Lydia Ko’s blazing form and composure. Oh, and Lorde (technically not sport but amazing …)

What are you most looking forward to about 2015? The Black Sticks winning a penalty shootout – any one will do, and more of the above.

How you plan to relax this summer? Summer’s not summer without the usual mix of cricket, sunshine and some surf.

If time was no obstacle, what sport/activity would you most like to take up or be involved in for 2015? I’m going to get myself a bike in 2015 and remember how it felt as a kid to bike everywhere.

What inspires/motivates you to get active and what local facilities/venues do you enjoy most? Living in central Hamilton, I have to say we’re pretty lucky; the Waikato Stadium, Seddon Park and Claudelands Event Centre (and the recently opened new gym Fastlane Fitness) are all world-class and all within a quick walk of each other. But the big one for me is the river walks, Hamilton’s best kept secret I reckon. The walks are such a motivator to get out and be active.

AlisonstoreyNYAlison Storey  |  Personal trainer and NZ athlete

What is your favourite thing about summer? The heat

What is your favourite getaway spot and why? I love Cambridge and all it has to offer so feel like I live in a getaway spot already. How cheesy is that?

How do you relax? I sleep – I can sleep in a sink in the middle of a band practice.  It’s the best recovery strategy in the world.

What are three things you plan for 2015?
1.  After a year of being anaemic I plan to be back to full fitness by June.
2. We will need another trainer at Storey Sport to keep up with demand so will be adding another exceptional trainer to our team.
3. I plan to put in lots of training so I can keep improving in my new sport of archery.

What have you enjoyed most about 2014 and why? The time I spent in the UK in June/July and met lots of extraordinary people in UK sport, and women sports leaders from all over the world at the Sport Leaders’ Academy.

joellekingNYJoelle King  |  Squash superstar

What is your favourite Waikato place to hang out during summer and why? That’s easy – Cambridge. I think as an athlete when you travel a lot and stay in hotels, you miss the little comforts of home. Your own bed is a luxury so whenever I have down time, it’s generally spent at home hanging with my family and friends, or doing things around the house.

What was your favourite sporting moment/highlight of 2014? Winning a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games. I went there to win gold but lost out to a tough number one in the world. I came back the next day and played so well it was a great feeling to walk away with a bronze medal.

What are you most looking forward to about 2015? Playing squash again and getting back to full training. After snapping my Achilles, my training has had to change a bit to accommodate that.  I am really missing running and high intensity training. First run coming up in a few weeks and I can’t wait. That feeling after a game of squash ahhhh bliss!

Can you share a couple of your best health/fitness/wellbeing tips with us?
Everything in moderation.
You are what you eat. If you put rubbish into your body, it’s going to perform like rubbish and you’ll experience tiredness and grumpiness. When you eat well and exercise it always makes you feel better about yourselfI do a lot of high intensity circuits, with a mixture of running, plyometrics and own body weight exercises. It fatigues your whole body and you can improve really quickly.

What’s your favourite ingredient to cook with/favourite recipe? My favourite recipe is a Cajun chicken chopped salad. I eat plenty of salads and there’s never really much method. I just chuck a lot of goodness in –  asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, jalapeños, beetroot, whatever else I can find.

How you plan to relax this summer? Hanging out at home is my way of relaxing, with my hubby, dog, mum and rest of the family. It’s nice to be home in summer.

JohnappelNYJohn Appel  |  Physiotherapist, health and fitness advocate

What is your favourite thing about summer? Surf and sun.

What is your favourite getaway spot and why? Ohope Beach, great campground, great surf and great friends.

How do you relax? Watching the sunrise from my surfboard, then soaking up the sun on the beach with a good book.

What are your goals or ambitions for 2015? My goal for 2015 is to see each team member at Advance Wellness achieve peak performance in their lives.

John Appel surfingWhat are three things you plan to do in 2015?
1. Surf a sunrise session in Gisborne
2. Land a backflip before Campbell does.
3. Enjoy the journey.

What did you enjoy most about 2014 and why? Watching a group of people come together as a team and sharing in a dream of opening a high performance wellness centre in central Hamilton.  I am very proud of what they have achieved and can’t wait to see what unfolds in 2015.

annemarieNYAnnemarie Coulson   |  Life coach

What is your favorite thing about summer? How beautiful my tropical garden looks at this time.

What is your favorite getaway spot and why? The North Shore in Auckland over Christmas and New Year. Auckland empties out, so we have a variety of lovely uncrowded beaches to choose from. Plus when the weather inevitably craps out, we have the bonus of movies, cafes, friends, and shops.

How do you relax? Curling up on the couch with my husband, the cat and some Lindt chocolate to watch Downton Abbey is my favorite decadence.
On a more virtuous note:
Daily: I love to get to bed by 8:30pm to read an inspiring or uplifting book.
Weekly: Hosting our mindfulness group, for relaxing meditation, authentic communication, and the relief of being accepted exactly as I am.
Monthly: Attending weekend mindfulness retreats in the Coromandel.

What are three things you plan to do in 2015?
1) Continue to develop the discipline and skill of eating mindfully. I believe listening to our body’s natural hunger cues is the most loving and effective way to manage our weight.
2) Develop and facilitate  “The Art of Mindful living” course, which will focus on practical ways to pause and savour the little moments in ordinary life.
3) Adopt a pair of utterly gorgeous Burmese kittens.

What did you enjoy most about 2014 and why? Interestingly the time I found the most rewarding (though not always enjoyable) was the time I was dreading the most. My adored husband went overseas for six weeks, and I set an intention to make it a happy time for me. I caught up with a lot of friends, tried new things, and wrote a daily gratitude journal. I also handled some difficult situations with courage and initiative. So though I missed my husband, I was so proud of the independence, optimism, and resourcefulness I strengthened during this time. I liked being out of my comfort zone and walking my coaching talk, that happiness is more dependent on your attitude and intention than your circumstances.

BradwebberNYBrad Weber  |  Waikato Rugby player

Your favourite Waikato place to hang out during summer and why? St Andrews Golf course – love going out for a hit!

Favourite sporting moment/highlight of 2014? My debut for Chiefs vs Crusaders in Christchurch.

What are you most looking forward to about 2015? Winning a Super Rugby Championship!

Can you share one or a couple of your best health/fitness/wellbeing tips with us? Sleep is an important part of recovery.  Often 8 hours aren’t enough – for athletes 9-10 hours is needed.

What’s your favorite ingredient to cook with/favourite recipe? I love cooking anything lamb.

How you plan to relax this summer? Unfortunately we don’t get much time to relax due to pre-season training.  But on my days off I’ll get out on the golf course, head over to Mt Maunganui where my family now live or head down to Taupo and get out on the lake.

JennyscownNYJenny Scown  |  Photographer and owner of inspirit Studio and Gallery in Tamahere

What is your favorite Waikato place to spend time during summer and why? It is a toss-up between Raglan and Coromandel. I love both places in summer. Raglan has the West Coast energy and wild beauty with great beaches and a relaxed vibe. Coromandel beaches framed with ancient pohutukawas and wonderful little townships to visit, with great cafes, galleries and unique character, always draws me back.

If time was no object, what sport/activity would you most like to take up or be involved in for 2015? Swimming –  I love the water and it is like a form of meditation for me.

What inspires/motivates you to get active and what local facilities/venues do you enjoy most? Our two sporty sons Scott and Steven Kuggeleijn inspire and motivate me to get active. They are always training or playing cricket or golf and pack so much into a day.  I really value the outdoor swimming pool in Cambridge. It is always a great way to start the day.  Hamilton Gardens is a fantastic asset for the Waikato region and an energising and beautiful place to walk around, visiting all the gardens from around the world.

How do you like to relax? I like to hang out at one of our great local cafes with friends and family members or taking some time out to read the paper or magazines with a good coffee. I also love pottering in the garden and big beach walks usually with a swim at the end. I also enjoy nice glass of wine at the end of the day with good company.

What is your favourite summer recipe/ingredient? Sweetcorn fritters and tomatoes, especially the home-grown tomatoes that have lots of flavour.

What are you most looking forward to about 2015? Exciting art exhibitions planned for 2015 on the Inspirit Gallery calendar.
I am particularly looking forward to our Exhibition of Arty Gates and sculpture by Bruce Young in April.  Bruce’s gates are simply amazing and it will be a unique exhibition.
Spending more time on the sports I enjoy, and getting out in the great outdoors, as much as possible, to balance with running the gallery and home front.
Also following our boys exciting cricket and golf careers.  I love watching them play their sport whenever possible and greatly admire their talent and commitment to their chosen sports.  Exploring parts of our beautiful region I haven’t been before.

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