Thank You

To all who made and helped make 2016 the success that it was – THANK YOU

‘We’ finished on top – where ‘we’ have been since 2012.

There’s a reason I use ‘we’ as even though this has been a fairly solo journey the past year, there’s a lot of people who have helped in small and not-so-small ways to make this happen.

If you’ve been a part of this – thank you. You’re a freaking insane tribe of mates and every time there’s a taste of success, I hope you’ve all savoured a bit of it as well.

 

Winning is hard, winning and performing consistently year in/year out over time is far harder.

Rising to the occasion when you’re far from at your best which had to happen on multiple occasions in 2016 takes a solid dose of grit, but it’s also known as getting-the-job-done one way or another.

To everyone who had my back, believed and helped THANK YOU.

 

 

 

What happens with you walk into a room full of women from all works of life that have collectively kicked ass at what ever they set out to pursue?

1476396532936_woty16-44
Just some of the 30 of the 2016 Next Woman of the Year Girl Squad

….You get a spine tingling sensation to get up the next morning and get very busy turning your visions and dreams into actions and reality, that’s what.

As women we often talk about the need to ‘rise together’, that we ‘have power in numbers’. But all too frequently the stories of those who have gone above and beyond have go unrecognised or untold.

But this is not one of those stories.

This is chapter and verse about a girl squad who have collectively taken on the impossible, become the bumble bee that flew, said ‘no’ to a life of status quo and who boldly announced ‘game on’.

1476396514017_woty16-37
A judging panel who lead by example: broadcaster extraordinaire Toni Street, Minister for Women Louise Upton and magazine/publishing mavens Sarah Henry and Rachael Russell

Why? For no better reason than ‘getting on with the job’. Head down, butt up, most have hardly had a chance to come up for air, given the rate they have been kicking life goals by the dozen.

Cue Next Magazine and their annual Woman of the Year Awards recognising and celebrating of women from all walks of life, society and industry who are quite simply setting records at the game of life.

They’re sisters on a mission; their motivations diverse and their measures of success anything but conformist.

Celebrating 30 women across the fields of Arts & Culture, Business & Innovation, Community,  Education, Health & Science and Sport; The Next Woman of The Year awards dig deep to uncover and shine light on women who are forging the way and shining the torch in their chosen fields. The result? An eclectic collection of the known, the unknown, every single one of them inspirational.

next-women-of-the-year

Such events fast become a humbling experience listening to the snippets of people’s journeys which often lead you gagging to find out more.

If one person can affect many people with their actions and leave an everlasting impact the people that have been touched by what they done, they have done something very special indeed.

Meet Billie Jordan, 2016 Supreme Winner who is exactly that.

A refugee of the Christchurch earthquake who transplanted herself on Waiheke Island, rounded up a gaggle of the island’s over 70’s brigade and turned them into a gang of world beating hip hop dancers.

They took on NZ….then they took on the world in Las Vegas.

Their story was turned into a documentary, now they’re being made into a feature film – Hollywood-style, telling the story of the lady to proudly blames herself (tongue in cheek) for creating the world’s oldest dance troupe.

With no previous dance experience and no funding, Billie simply believed and went about it dragging her gang of golden oldies along with her.

Billie’s was just one fine example of what these awards are all about and trust me, there was a room bursting at the seams with stories equalling as compelling.

To Next Magazine, Bauer Media and the partners who made this event possible – THANK YOU for recognising the value of creating a platform to celebrate the kiwi women who are forging these untrodden paths. It’s their stories that make others start to believe that they too can become all of their potential.

To find out more about the #girlsquad of 2016 you can click here

I’d highly recommend parking up with a pot of tea and in a comfy chair and watching Billie Jordan’s TedX talk that lead to her being hunted down by Hollywood.

As the home straight of the year is almost upon us and all the fun, madness and chaos that is brings, how about taking a moment to laying the foundations to set up 2017 to be your best yet, to kicking ass at the game of life, lighting fires and blazing trails where ever you set your intention.

Harness the challenge and embrace it understanding that to rise above, you have to ride the joy ride of the ups and downs that come with the path less traveled.

Thank you to the brands and companies that partner to support initiatives like this. It is your belief and support that empowers many more to take the step, make the plunge and aim higher than they ever thought possible.

14715526_1822747941299254_6398263236597851901_o

Ever had that sense that you may have had too much of a good thing?

Feeling a little ‘fatigued’ but not really sure why?

The clocks have turned and it’s dark at early-o’clock.

Welcome to the dearth of the “Off Season” and taking scalps the world over.

While the lands down under are emerging from winter hibernation, the harsh realities of the winter are about to unleash on our northern comrades

0B6A0141.JPG

While the temperatures may be plummeting this can be the time to embrace and welcome a whole new world of fun and games you never knew existed.

They say a change is as good as a holiday and the change of the seasons is exactly that.

But while many will extol the value of working on your weaknesses or what you need to be doing in your “off” season (no matter what your sport, job, passion, hobbies or pursuits), I like to take a different approach – and it all starts with mind set.

Regardless of the season, I start to make lists along the lines of ‘if anything was possible, and time or money were no barrier’ what would I want to do? And I’m not talking about sport – I’m talking about life in general.

It’s a pretty powerful statement and it can be pretty intriguing looking at what you write down.

Once you’ve conjured up your list (this comes recommended to do this over a fine brewed drip of caffeine or decent glass of fermented grape juice) the fun really starts and the jigsaw of how to incorporate these things into daily life begins.

A sucker for trying to pack too many things in, I invariably end up with a list that I know is completely unachievable – but by jotting it down I know that at the very least I have acknowledged the things that has been lurking in the depths of my subconscious.

I revolve on a yearly schedule that is fairly unusual, and being someone who thrives on routine and structure, I have to exist in a world which allows little of either.

But what I can do is section out the year – and yes, I hollow out an ‘off season’ and guard it with my life.

hammock.jpg

In years gone by, I’ve succumbed to the lure of either pleasing other people or foregoing my own sanity to do what I felt others wanted and needed me to do.

The result? A pretty decent dose of mental fatigue, elements of burn out and starting to hate the things I liked to do. (I’ll temper that statement with the reality that at certain points in your career – no matter what it is, you’ll have to go above and beyond if you really, truly want to make your mark).

So for the 3rd successive year, I have officially declared ‘the off season’.

0b6a1019

A period of recovery, rejuvenation and reconnection with the things that really matter. It’s unstructured (yes, that still challenges on many levels), there are no rules but there is a massive emphasis on doing many of the things I miss doing during the year.

Simply put, there’s a mental, physical and emotional triangle that needs to be put back into equilibrium.

It’s an evolutionary process and one which I find myself changing and adapting each year depending on what feels out of balance.

aa8.jpg

Having grown up around many different environments of high performance sport and people who have reached momentous feats in many different walks of life, I’m fascinated with what makes them tick and what allows them to consistently perform to levels of greatness.

One of the things I recognise in those that have to spend large amounts of time away (as you do when you have to travel prolifically for work or sport) is that these people are fiercely protective of their ‘off’ time – be it an ‘off season’, time with family, a vacation or something far removed from what they have to engage in for majority of the year.

So where am I going with this and what is my point?

Embrace your ‘off’ and don’t be afraid of it.

The more you do something, the more important it becomes.

On a personal level, this means coming home. Back to the mountains and to relish the opportunity to do things I don’t get to do much of throughout the year. Depending on how unbalanced my triangle of equilibrium is (mental, physical, emotional) – I use this to guide what this time entails.

G1678035.jpg

It’s a time to debrief and to plan with absolute objectivity. It’s a time to rebuild and repair from the bottom up. It’s a time to go and be humbled in the most humbling of ways (this happens frequently when you hail from a village of super human athletic specimens).  It’s a time to challenge the status quo and re-evaluate.

I’m not going to lie – it can be a challenging time.

Be it the end of your season, a staleness in your career, a dissatisfaction at work or the imminent challenge of SAD (seasonal affects disorder) as the grim realities of winter set in – embrace the opportunity to do things differently.

Here’s cheers to the off season – may it be as epic as the rejuvenation, challenge, change, growth and excitement it may bring.

G0440899.jpg

To find out how I’m embracing my “OFF” follow  my Instagram and Facebook pages.