New Year – New beginnings

New Year – New beginnings

2018 was a year of a mixture of results (good and not so good), a major injury & starting a new job! I’ve learnt a lot over this past year about myself mentally, physically (the fact that I can run over 10km at a decent pace!) and I’m more than excited to begin 2019. 

Over the past year and a half I have been coached by the great, Lee McGregor based in South Africa. Last year I even ventured over to Durban to meet him personally after training under his programme for a few months! Lee is one of a kind, he has so much passion for paddling whether it’s surf ski, kayak or river paddling he loves it all. I found being in NZ it was very hard to complete his programme away from the group based in SA and I wasn’t really improving over this time. Due to my shift work a lot of the training was done by myself and I didn’t really have anyone to push me/vice versa for each session. At the end of the year I had a lot of time to think about the year and decided I needed a change! A change for the better, to improve myself, to push myself and be the best person I can be!

As of the new year and a relaxing holiday with Sam in Fiji (first holiday not racing in 4 years) I have joined forces with Gavin Elmiger, we are looking at the big picture and improving all the little things to make me the best athlete I can be. I’ve known Gav for a long time now, back when I was 14 in my days of sprint kayaking so I feel like we have a great bond! Half of my training is done with the North Shore kayak squad at Lake Pupuke with a great bunch of paddlers and the other half at the beach! Iv’e also started Pilates twice a week! I had never done pilates prior to this new year and I can 100% say it is not what I thought it was! After every session you can really feel like you have worked the entire body, core, stabilisers, flexibility and also great for breathing! 

The Takapuna Series started back this Tuesday which is a great little local race hit out usually about 6-8kms! It was so awesome to have more women turn up this week including Dene Simpson and Teneale Hatton, soon the women will be taking over!! This Tuesday it was decided that it would be a short race (3.2kms) with a 180 degree turn 150metres into it… crazy having 15 people heading for one bouy! I had a great start and managed to get on the inside turning in 4th place behind the guys, then it was literally hang on until the finish line! Brendon Davey and I had a great battle to the finish where we are currently still debating who took it! Tom took the win for the sprint race, Sam in 2nd and Oscar in 3rd and I wasn’t too far behind in 4th! I was happy with my race as I’m usually not very quick off the start! Hopefully next week it’s a longer race that really tests out the body or even better a downwind!

I’m yet to 100% decide on the events I’ll be racing at internationally this year due to work commitments but definitely on the cards is Molokai at the end of May! I’ll be heading over for my 5th crossing and hopefully I can make it a 3 x win! As for other events I feel like I want to race somewhere I’ve never been before! So keep an eye out for that update!!!!

Happy paddling!

Rachel 

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