In this post, Erin Howse takes us on her adventure with fitness and demonstrates how determination and hard work can lead to a healthier, happier lifestyle – and a half marathon to boot!
Firstly, will you tell us a bit about your personal journey with fitness?
I was never into sports as a kid. I tried my hand at Jazz ballet, gymnastics and Tae Kwon Do but never really found motivation to push myself. As soon as any natural talent was superseded by a need to practise and teach my body new things they quickly became too hard and I lost interest. Not a good start! I wasn’t pushed to do well in cross-country or at athletics/sports days- it was expected that I would come last and I never disappointed.
All this, with a seemingly insatiable appetite for food, resulted in me being very overweight (135kg) with little chance of that improving. My self-confidence was well below basement level- knocked time and time again by little comments from friends’ parents, other kids, relatives, GP’s and yelled by cruel people in cars or on the street. That was then.
One day in my late 20’s with two kids and a loving, supportive husband, my priorities changed. By the age of 31, I managed to Lose 45kg. I’ve now seemingly been stuck there for a year. I thought training for specific events might help get me off the plateau.
How did you manage to make such a profound change in your weight and your life?
Well, it’s 80:20 for me. 80% diet (reduced intake. Healthiest options I can make) and 20% exercise.
I work out 5 times a week. I go through phases of what drives me. Initially, I worked out at home. I did a lot of fitness blender youtube videos (#not sponsored) and occasionally went for walks. I did the stairs at work (hospitals have loads of stairs) and we would go on bush walks as a family.
Late last year I saw an ad for a reasonably cheap 6-week boot camp. There were 10 or so ladies, mum’s making up about 6 of these – one of whom suggested we sign up for a triathlon.
I was terrified but took the plunge. The ‘generation homes women’s triathlon’ was probably the gentlest entry to organised sports I could have imagined. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the foray into running while training showed me that it is possible.
Are there any other activities that have helped you in your journey?
Besides running and walking I incorporate some road cycling (I’m saving up for a road bike), pilates, weights, HIIT and treadmill to get through the wet weather. I purchased myself a 3-month membership to a local snap fitness to help with this.
Have you faced any other challenges along the way?
My most challenging period was that unfortunately I rolled my ankle around this time last year and developed a nasty inflammatory issue. This really threw my training off and meant I couldn’t compete in a 15km race in March.
Towards the end of my time on the couch, I took to the internet and signed up for several events including this, which will be my first half marathon! My preparation is slow and though it’s likely my initial goal of 3 hours will be beyond reach this time- but I’ll give it my all!! I’ve come this far and if nothing else I have the determination to get to the finish line.
Love Erin’s determined spirit and interested in tackling the same challenge? Learn more about the Hoka One One Taupo Marathon at taupomarathon.co.nz