For this months Loft Inspiration of the month ("Ms February!") I introduce to you my client, valued friend and inspiration Hollie Woodhouse. I first met Hollie up at Loft, and as I do I try my best to get to know my clients really well. It didn't take long for me to realise that Hollie was some kind of superhuman - she's an esteemed multi sport athlete, the director of her very own magazine "Say Yes To Adventure" (SYTA) and works a full time job.
Hollie has the sort of personality that is totally infectious - her eyes are bright and her laugh is music to your ears. Her commitment and love for what she does shines through when she talks about her latest conquests - when she told me about her "run" (230km through the Amazon Jungle!) I was absolutely blown away by her achievements. She is humble and unassuming, and this February she is racing the Coast to Coast and is sponsored by Kathmandu.
Hollie, you are such and inspiration to me - you are a living example of how staying positive, committed and passionate will get you closer to achieving your dreams. I hope you enjoy reading about this inspiring woman.
**Tell us a little bit about you Hollie**
I'm very much a rural kiwi girl brought up on a farm south-west of Ashburton, in the middle of the South Island. Currently based in Christchurch, I like to think of myself as a weekend-warrior, who somehow manages to juggle a day job, publishing a magazine and training for my next adventure. Now and then I find time to have a blow-out in my social life too, just to keep things balanced.
**How did you become involved in your races, and what training is involved**
I've always had a love for sport, giving anything and everything a go while growing up. After coming home from overseas, I was introduced to the adventure and multisport scene by my cousin and haven't looked back. I just love the thrill of racing and the places it takes me. Setting myself a challenge and then completing something that up until then had terrified me.
I train almost every day. Currently, this is split between running, biking (road and mountain biking), kayaking and swimming as I prepare for the Coast to Coast, and a new event to New Zealand called Breca SwimRun. Running is my favourite discipline, while kayaking sits on the bottom of the list. I find mixing up my training has so many benefits, not only for health and fitness (touch wood I have never had an injury) but it also keeps my training exciting.
**What has been your most memorable race to date?**
I find every race is memorable for different reasons, whether it be the location, the nature of the race or the weather! The Marathon des Sables was insane; my first ever multi-stage race and in the Sahara Desert. 50+ degrees, sand for miles and 260 kilometres, but it was an incredible experience. Another one that stands out is the 2-day Coast to Coast, which I completed in 2014. It was my first big step into multisport races, and everything just seemed to come together over those two days. I still pinch myself that I managed to finish in 3rd place.
**Tell us about SYTA magazine and how it all came about**
I was searching for a creative way to raise funds for For Rangers, an organisation which supports the ranger's welfare across the private wildlife conservancies in Kenya. I’ve always wanted to create a high-quality adventure magazine, so this seemed like the perfect time and reason to start one and an excellent way to combine my love of adventure and design.
Say Yes to Adventure is a beautifully-designed print publication that explores the stories of passionate people and the motivations behind their inspirational adventures. Featuring a broad range of subject matter focused on exploration, creativity, adventure and discovery, we aim to be a source of inspiration for those who seek an active and exciting lifestyle.
**How have you managed juggling a business, a full-time job and training?**
Ha, I’m not too sure. I find the busier I am, the more I get done. Give me an afternoon with not too much planned and I seem to waste it away! It's about setting priorities and being organised. I love a good list and the satisfaction of ticking items off. I work much better under pressure, so as long as I am busy, it seems to work out OK! I also have an amazing family who supports me in everything I do and are always there when I need some advice or the odd extra dinner for the freezer (thanks, mum!).
**Any advice for those interested in trying multisport?**
Just do it. There is always something that will come up and make the time ‘not quite right’, but if you start now, then you will be so much better off further down the track. This not only applies to multisport, but to everything we do. People spend too much time worrying about what could go wrong, why not just do it, maybe it will all work out just the way you wanted it to!
**Do you have a motto that you live by?**
I suppose you could say, ‘Say Yes’ is my motto. Many people comment that they could never do what I do, but I just think that’s an easy out. Everyone is capable of doing it if they set their minds to it. So much of what I do is the top two inches – you have to want it. We can all do it; some just want it more than others.
Now, lets all go for a run!