Rachel Grunwell inspires us to move more and live well.
Making changes in your life is never easy, but Rachel Grunwell shares her advice on how to, which not only makes sense, but is achievable.
Rachel’s encouragement comes from a place of experience – it wasn’t that long ago the mum-of-three was a stressed-out journalist, unfit, and with a diet that was average rather than awesome. Skip forward several years and she now lists health and wellbeing writer, yoga teacher, personal trainer, and motivational speaker in her suite of skills, in addition to being an accomplished marathon runner of over 20 events.
The catalyst for her new path was a string of assignments for a weekly wellbeing column, where she tried a range of fitness, health and wellbeing activities, from a flying trapeze, to boxing and surfing in Hawaii.
This opportunity gave Rachel a kick-start towards healthier living and a change in her career, which would ultimately inspire others to make changes too.
After spending a lifetime thinking she was missing the ‘fitness gene’ and simply could never be a healthier, fitter person, Rachel started listening to the experts she was interviewing and to the science around health and wellbeing. She began running, taking her first steps by walking and jogging around the block for twenty minutes, twice a week. “I thought, I’m just going to try. The start of the journey was horrendous; it was really hard, and I didn’t enjoy it at all. I wasn’t any good, and I didn’t really think I could ever be any good. But I just kept showing up.”
“Balance means something different to everyone,” says Rachel, who doesn’t strive just for perfection. She prefers instead to be grateful for progression. Balancing food, health, and happiness is not about all or nothing, it’s about taking small steps, being kind to yourself, eating healthy, having treats on occasion, and finding your flow.
Rachel’s book Balance came from a desire to clarify some of the confusion around what it means to lead a balanced life, and to provide a realistic starting point for change.
“Balance decodes everything! There’s an art to simplicity, and the book is very readable. It gives the pieces to complete the wellness puzzle — nutrition mastery, physical mastery, and emotional mastery.”
According to Rachel that’s the book’s superpower, you don’t need to buy 31 wellness books, just buy the one.. It’s other superpower is that it helps people know where to start.“ You have to be brave to start, and
be kind to yourself on the journey.”
Rachel says if she can go from unfit mum to multi-marathon runner, then it’s possible for others to do the same.“ People are capable of so much more than they dream.”
One of the chapters in the book looks at giving back, which Rachel considers one of the major keys to happiness.“If you want to feel happier, give back authentically. It uplifts someone else, and uplifts your heart even further.” Rachel encourages others to share her passion for running through her own coaching business, as an ambassador for the Rotorua Marathon, and as a run guide for athletes with disabilities through her work with the Achilles New Zealand charity.
“It’s a way for me to give back. It’s a joy to run my own race, but it’s even a more beautiful thing to share a journey with someone else.”
Demonstrating kindness also shows those around us how important it is to give back, without the expectation of receiving something in return.“I don’t preach giving back or kindness to my kids, but they see it. If you want to start inspiring your kids, then you have to do it first. They’re watching you!”
Progress not perfection
When you’re looking at making changes, big or small, forget about trying to be perfect and move to a place where progression is the goal. Rachel says people often think they can’t be a runner because they can’t do it perfectly, and so they give up and walk away. “I like sharing my journey because I never worry about being perfect. It’s always about progression, and it’s always about the journey.”