Nicola Grace has made a huge and admirable life change through determination, whanau support, and wanting to live a healthier lifestyle. Until 6 years ago, the 36 year old suffered a lifetime of obesity problems and has since lost 55kg through dedication to training using triathlon as her motivator. Nicola is a great example of Proactive’s Four Corners of Health in action, by focusing on health, nutrition and exercise she is consistently reaching her goals, and this is her story.
In under 12 weeks’ time I will line up to take on Ironman NZ in Taupo, on March 5, 2016. I will endeavour to swim 3.8kms, cycle 180kms and run 42kms alongside many of my whānau and friends from IronMāori and TriPōneke. I have been working towards this specific goal since March this year, after completing 3 Individual Half Ironman events, 2 team Half Ironmans, a marathon, half marathons and smaller triathlons over the past six years.
This year, I went to Ironman (Taupo) NZ to watch the event for the 5th year in a row and I came away knowing that I was ready to give it a go. I met with my trainer, Ngarama Milner-Olsen and we talked about my goals. She had one more challenge before agreeing to take me on for Ironman training, understanding the enormity of what I was asking to do. The challenge was to complete the Rotorua marathon, running non-stop and coming away injury free because of my injury prone past. I was so committed and determined to get through the marathon that I did everything I could to successfully complete it and once that was done I was excited to be on the “Ironman in Training” journey.
If I think back to 2009, I was 134.8kgs, experiencing regular chest pains and really unfit. To think six years later I would be 55kgs lighter, have a long list of completed events up my sleeve and working towards an Ironman is a little crazy even to myself. Having a history of weight issues means that I still struggle with food, sometimes on a daily basis and I wonder how much faster I would be without the excess skin I have been left with (I may have a competitive nature!). However, I am fully aware of what I am doing and I have to constantly thank and acknowledge my body for doing what it does by allowing me to swim, bike and run – especially as the distances continue to increase. I am also very thankful to my whānau and friends who are supportive of my goals. Many of these people train with me, send daily messages and walk the talk themselves. He mihi nui ki a rātou.
The focus for the next 12 weeks is to keep on top of my strength exercises and work with Proactive on physiotherapy, prioritise early nights, eat and drink well and always think of the positives when the training gets tough.