Show Notes – Cushla Young
Lisa and Cushla met on one of Lisa’s running retreats.
Started running half marathons 7 – 8 year ago. Had run three by the time she met Lisa. She went to one of Lisa’s seminars and was really inspired. She booked a weekend retreat and then helped out on the next retreat. At that point she started doing full marathons.
Talk about not being natural athletes. Also talk about identifying yourself as “a runner.” It wasn’t about speed, or being at the front of the pack, it was about running and what it did for her outlook on life.
Lisa tells the story of when both Cushla and Lisa’s Mums were in the same hospital at the same time. Cushla and her husband turned up with a big bowl and a plan, and kindly washed Lisa’s Mum’s hair. It was a very touching moment of compassion and friendship.
A story of Carpe Diem – seize the day.
Cushla and her husband Richard both had good jobs, loved their lives in New Plymouth and weren’t thinking about any big change. Their friends called up from Tonga and suggested they pack up their dog and come on over in order to manage their second resort. It took a month to make up their minds and then Cushla took a year’s sabbatical from her teaching career.
Cushla and Lisa both refer to their fertility issues. When you don’t have kids you have got to make your own lives; you have to be a bit more active in finding joy in life.
Lisa asks how the reality compares to the fantasy we all have of running away to a tropical island.
12 bungalows and a restaurant at the resort. It is very isolated being based on one of the outlying islands. 18 x 1 kilometres in size. Their local town has one shop – a cross between a $2 shop and a bad dairy. There are long hours and not many days off. Most of the food comes via ship from New Zealand or the main island of Tonga so they have to plan their menus and supplies two months in advance. There is some fresh fruit available. Most people in the island grow food for themselves not for supplying others. When things break you can’t get them fixed quickly and that puts pressure on things. The only water is rain water supply so you have to preserve this.
They have fun with the guests. Often they arrive quite stressed and it is fascinating to watch people begin to relax over the first few days.
Humpback whale season starts mid July. They travel from Antarctica to give birth and take care of their babies. They send out eight boats a day with only four people in the water at any one time. The whales are very curious. It takes your breath away. Whales have a deep mindful eye. Each whale pod has a song and it changes slightly each season.
Cushla is not a natural outdoorsy adventurous person. The first time she went swimming with the whales she had a Go Pro with her. She ended up recording a sound track of her hyperventilating. Then she stopped breathing for about two minutes when the whales turned up.
They have to steal moments in the day to go and enjoy the island. Some days are easier to do that than others.
She has realised that this year is about chilling out and just enjoying the experience. She learned to change her mindset and realise that she doesn’t have to be the best resort manager the world has ever seen.
Tells the story of the two wolves inside us. The bad wolf and the good wolf are always fighting inside. Which wolf wins? The one that you feed. You still have bad days – even if you live in paradise; you’re just a bit hotter. Realise you don’t have to get tangled up in the things that don’t really matter. Learning to focus on the joy of being on the island, of meeting people from all over the world, cooking an amazing meal, spending time with her husband.
Talks about struggling a little without the large support network that she has back home in New Zealand. She talks about having to help herself through hard times.
Lisa talks about how nature helps to ground her and to cope when times get hard.
Cushla walks on the beach with her dog and listens to audible books and podcasts. Reconnecting with herself.
Always remember you are always the same person no matter where you are. Every day you choose what you focus on and same days this can be hard. Forgive yourself when you have those days that just don’t work out like you thought it would. Be kind to yourself. Don’t expect yourself to be superwoman.
Take the opportunities that do come.
We would like to thank our show sponsors
The North Face -
Premier Outdoor equipment specialists who have been kitting out adventurers around the world for the past 50 years.
Specialists in trail running gear - Check out their full range at www.thenorthface.co.nz
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