There’s something about the trees. About standing on the earth, without being separated from it by a layer of concrete. About the freshness in the air. About seeing layers of hills as far as you can see. About the way the sun cuts through the clouds. About looking down on the ocean. 
I put it out into the universe that I wanted to create epic events for lululemon. I didn’t know specifics of what I wanted to create, but I knew the brand’s vision aligned with mine about community experiences. Then my friend Alice, who happens to be the social storyteller behind the Instagram handle @lululemonakl, shared with me her idea about what would become the Summit Club. And I was instantly a Hell Yes. 

So I gathered a team, I made plans, I got quotes. We brainstormed, we tweaked, we got approvals. I added another job into my life for a couple of weeks. I sketched whilst driving (not something I would recommend). I haggled, I asked for favours, I put my graphic design skills to the test. And then all of a sudden it was Saturday morning, we were finalising adventure packs and picking up rental vans. 

We started as a group of 24 almost strangers, although there were some threads that wove our lives together. I think the act of doing something together, rather than just meeting as a collective for say a drink, made the bonds build faster and deeper. We sweated together, cooked together, ate together. We slept together in a bunk bed arrangement that reminded me of school camps. We had real meaningful conversations with people we had just met while we trekked. We encouraged each other when the going got tough. We prepared coffee, cooked a meal for 24 and shared chocolate. 

The way back down went a little too quickly for me. I wanted to stop and enjoy the views, the peace, the energy. I didn’t want to get back to the vans, to head back to the city. I wanted to stay surrounded by the trees and rolling hills for just a little bit longer. But all good things must come to an end. And so we changed clothes, showered with baby wipes and slipped on jandals. We shared a final meal in Thames before heading back into the urban jungle. We waved goodbye to our new friends. 

What I’ve seen since then though, is new friendships. People who’s worlds were orbiting close by suddenly came a part of mine. I have been reminded that everyone I walk past on the street is most likely an epic human, I just haven’t had the chance to get to know them yet. I’ve also been reminded of how much I love being surrounded by trees, feet on the earth, breathing in the fresh air. 

Photo credit for all photos: Alice van Schaik


steve-jobs1 We all need a reset sometimes. Life is busy; we slip into comfortable habits. We no longer think about why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s just habit. This can be great for some parts of our life. Lots of successful people (take Steve Jobs for example) wear the same outfit every day to save them time in the mornings. It helps to give them more brain power to spend on other things. More important things. But in some cases, before you know it, you’re sticking with a habit which seemed like a good idea when you picked it up but that really doesn’t serve you now. Maybe it’s even holding you back from being your most authentic you. And this is where a reset can come in, shake things up, make you reassess things and then build up some new habits that do serve your lifestyle now. At Wellness HQ we definitely slipped into a bad habit trap around food recently. Full-time jobs + side hustles + training + time with friends. Excuses arose and before we knew it, it was the same staples for dinner all the time or the dreaded takeaways. Once you’re in there, in that space of bad habits, it can be really hard to make the shift away. Sometimes you need that extra push; something to help make that mental break so that you can start afresh. There are lots of ways to creating a reset.

– Pledge to do something every day for a month. Hold yourself accountable and let others know so that they can support you in this. Knowing that you’ve only got to get through a month, that your new habit has an end date, can make things seem more much achievable rather than stating that you’ll do something every day for the rest of your life, or never again forever. Most likely once you’ve made it through the month it will have stuck enough that you can keep going.

– Start small and manageable. By achieving small wins you can help motivate yourself to take bigger steps. Want to stop spending so much money on takeaways? Pick a night that you know you have the time + energy to cook and start there. Once you see how easy + fun it is one night a week, look at adding another night.

– Get outside of your comfort zone. Physically removing yourself from the spaces that cause the bad habits can help create that mental shift. Maybe it’s a weekend away so that when you come back to your home you can look at things with fresh eyes. Maybe it’s taking a different path to work so that you’re not tempted by the coffee shop with those delicious brioches.

– Get the support you need. Find out what is holding you back (what is really holding you back) and address that. For me recently it was a lack of inspiration about what to cook. I know that the internet is full of great recipes but that was too much for me to take in. So we started getting My Food Bag to help give me more inspiration around new food to cook (like that delicious looking salad just there). Or perhaps it’s a new Keep Cup to inspire you to make coffee at home.

We all need a fresh start sometimes. Here’s hoping you start building a new, amazing habit today.


How many times have you vowed to radically change your life? And how often has that been on the 1st of January, in a slightly (or not so slightly) hungover state? Resolutions are fuelled with good intentions and hope, which is why I like them. But so often they are unrealistic, made without a real plan of to achieve them and can leave us feeling depressed and unmotivated the first time we stumble from our path (which is why I don’t like them too much).

I am lucky enough to work at lululemon, who are pretty big on setting goal setting, but they approach it in a slightly different way. You start with a vision of where you see yourself in ten years. This is far enough in the future to take away any self-imposed restraints like budgets, lack of knowledge or timelines. You can dream big and come up with a vision for yourself that gets you really excited. Then you work your goals back from there. See yourself in a big house in your vision? What are the ten, five and one-year steps (or goals) that are going to make that happen? Maybe you see yourself living on a tropical island, owning a dog, working only a couple of hours a day remotely with five or six kids running around. By working out where you want to be, you can then start putting some steps in place to get you there. Maybe you need to start re-gearing your career to make it possible for you to work remotely. Or maybe you need to start having kids if you see that many in your near future! This whole process has helped me to see the larger vision of where I’m going, and then also helped me create steps to get me there. Rather than setting big resolutions for the year that can be too big and scary to even know where to start, or that are too vague to know when I’ve achieved them, I am able to see the journey mapped out in front of me.

I know I want to be fit and healthy in ten years time. So what am I going to do this week to make sure that I am?

This has been a challenging experience for me. I’ve done the visioning exercise a couple of times and not everything is clear just yet. But that’s okay because there are some things that are super clear, and now I can start working towards them. Want to get on board? Jump over to lululemon and have a look at what they are up to. There are heaps of resources and posts about how to get started.

So I’m sitting down to my lunch of  ‘Southern spiced chicken, pickled slaw, salad and vegetables’ (yum!) while I write this. It is just under two weeks out from Ironman NZ, Taupo. This will be the penultimate chapter in the last 9 months of preparation for a race that I swore 5 years ago I would never do! To give you some insight, let me take you back five years to my ‘pre-triathlon days’.

I had recently returned from a five year stint living in the UK and Ireland. I was 10kg heavier, lacking in vitamin D, severely lacking in any form of exercise regime. It was early March 2011 and I was contracted as a physio to Ironman NZ for the lead up to race day. This involved an injury assessment service, strapping ankles and feet, massage, and stroking athletes’ egos in the lead-up to their big day. Essentially this came in the form of telling each person, no matter how severe  or how insubstantial their injury, that they would be okay on race day! During race day, my time was spent inside transition between the swim/ bike and the bike/ run helping athletes change their clothes, handing out transition bags and tending to various injuries. It was a cold day out there, raining and windy. Athletes were coming in from the swim and bike with mild signs of hypothermia. At the time, it reminded me of a scene from a zombie apocalypse movie! People with cuts and grazes, white skin, slowly moving and looking for food… or just collapsing on the floor. I thought to myself at the time, I will never do ‘one of these’, who would want to put themselves through this?! Even the look of absolute relief and elation as people crossed the finish line some 10-17 hours later wasn’t enough to inspire me.

So, obviously the next question is, how did I get from ‘I’m not doing an Ironman… EVER!’ to sitting down and writing this article pre the big day? It was Christmas five years ago at our family beach house on the Coromandel. The family has just sat down to swap presents before the big Christmas feast! I get a shoe box sized gift from my sister, a pair of shoes I think. As I unwrap the gift and open the box I realize that this is not a pair of shoes… a small piece of paper rests in the bottom of the box… uh oh! I unfold the paper and read what is written on it…  It’s an entry to my first sprint distance triathlon! My immediate thoughts are… I haven’t swum more than 50 metres since I was a child at the Manurewa pools. I’m going to have to start swimming. More than that – I’m going to have to be able to swim 500 metres in three months time! So this was the seed planted 5 years ago thanks to my little sis, which slowly grew into a much bigger and time-consuming ‘redwood tree’ sized goal…  Ironman! To be continued….

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