7 dos & don’ts of creating a career you care about

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7 must-read dos & don’ts of creating a career you care about

Looking to inject some more meaning into your career? Read these tips from Julia Capon, founder of New Zealand’s #1 ethical jobs board, Do Good Jobs.

In her final year of university, Julia realised she didn’t want to work in the corporate world. Instead, she decided to travel South America.

“I saw lots of great social enterprises and cooperatives coming together to change the lives of the poorest in various countries, and came home knowing I wanted to help in this area.  My first job was at Trade Aid as the Marketing Manager, and from there I got addicted to doing ‘good.’”

Upon returning from her OE, Julia struggled to find a job she wanted through platforms like Trade Me and Seek. This led Julia to create an ethical jobs board for New Zealanders who, like her, who want to do ‘good’ in their career.

“To me, a good job has two parts; (a) a job that makes you happy and come alive and where you feel you’re successful, and (b) a job that has purpose.”

Julia shares her seven most important dos and don’ts of getting into a career that does good.

DO: reflect on what makes you tick before applying for a job.

“In my early 20s when I reflected on what I did and was passionate about as a child (the environment and conservation), I realised that this passion had gotten lost somewhere in my teen years. Think about what you wanted to be when you were younger (and why), and what got you fired up. These reflections can help you understand your values set, rather than just being focused on making money or getting the most prestigious job.”

DO: get to grasps with financial basics

“People will probably roll their eyes at this, but if you want to have a leadership role in the future or even better, run your own organisation in the future, then having some grasp of financials is crucial.”

DON’T: start a charity (please!)

“New Zealand has over 27,000 charities and one of the highest numbers of charities per capita in the world. I can’t emphasise enough that people should research whether anyone is already doing what they want to do.

If we want better outcomes, we need to create a movement of people who are dedicated to solving the issue together.

There is only a limited pool of funds in the charity space to go around. If you want to start something, consider how you can make a financially sustainable social enterprise instead. My advice is to take it slow and steady to achieve success as I don’t want you to burn out!”

DO: look at your career as a puzzle to be put together bit by bit

“I love the Japanese idea of Ikigai – finding your reason to get up in the morning. Ikigai also recognises that “your passion” is only one part of the puzzle.”

“Question what parts of your current work you love doing (I read an article once that defines this as the things that you enjoy doing so much that it makes you forget to pee). Next, think about the small steps you can take to explore possible pathways. For example, if you’re a lawyer and want to change into a “good” career, maybe join the governance of a charity to get an inside scoop on how things work before quitting your job.”

DON’T: dismiss the value of your current job

“Try to help make change happen from within, from policy changes to help value mental health in your workplace to reducing your business’ carbon footprint.  I highly recommend checking out 80,000 hours.com (the number of hours you’ll spend working in your life!). It helps you make the career choices, while solving the world’s most pressing problems.

Secondly, be generous – with your time, talent and treasure. It might be joining the governance board of a local charity and gifting your time and talent, or gifting your money (treasure) to causes you believe in.”

DON’T: expect smooth sailing all the way

“A lot of people say that entering the do-good workforce often means a step down in salary. Other benefits that you could negotiate to help offset this include flexi-time, remote working and extra holidays.

Another common challenge to expect is the constant razor’s edge between having enough funds to keep everyone employed and the organisation afloat. In most charities everyone has to play a role in fundraising or capital raising.

In most small to medium charities or social enterprises you also need to be a bit of a generalist. Don’t expect to specialise in just one skill – be ready to be flexible and open to learning new things too.”

DO: your research on what good advice is out there!
“Careers.govt.nz is a surprisingly useful New Zealand resource. I also highly recommend 80,000 hours, mentioned above, idealist.org and escapethecity.org.nz – and Do Good Jobs of course!”

Crafted by CHIA blogger, Anna Watson

Bay Bakery

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32 Monk Street, Whitianga

Bean On Thames

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175 Thames Street, Oamaru

Cacao and Coconut Mousse with Chia Berry Coulis Recipe

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Cacao and Coconut Mousse with Chia Berry Coulis by Madame Lu’s Kitchen


This cacoa mousse is refined sugar free, gluten free and vegan, yet is rich and decadent.

Serves 4 or 2 if you can’t stop

– 1 can of Trade Aid Coconut Milk
– 1 cups of dates, soaked in hot water
– 1/3 cup cacao powder
– 1 bottle of Blackcurrant or Blueberry CHIA
First, seperate the coconut cream from the milk by simply stopping the cream from the top of the can. Put aside in a bowl.
Add the dates and 1/2 cup of hot water to a high powered blender or food processor and blend on high until dates create a paste like consistency.
Add the coconut cream and the cacao and blend again until combined.
Pour into four glasses and chill in the fridge for four hours, or overnight to set the mousse.
When ready to serve, add 1/3 of a cup of CHIA to each glass.
Serve immediately.

CHIA + Cacao Cookies by 7010

Located in: News & Recipes · Uncategorized ·

CHIA + CACAO bites of goodness crafted by our very own 7010
-vegan, gluten free, and refined sugar free-
Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup of smooth nut butter
1/2 cup your favorite CHIA drink
3 tablespoons (45 mL) virgin coconut oil, softened but not hot
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Dry ingredients:
1/2 cup (50 g) gluten-free rolled oats (add coconut flour for substitute)
3/4 cup gluten-free baking flour (your own or a great substitute)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
150g 55% non-dairy non-sugar dark chocolate (about 1 1/2 bars)
OR 150gm of Coco & Cacao mix


  1. Preheat oven to 180degrees and line a large (approx. 21 by 15 inch) baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the wet ingredients until smooth.

3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, one by one, until thoroughly combined. The dough will be a bit wet/oily, but this is normal.

4. Chop the chocolate into small chunks. Set aside 3 tablespoons (for topping the cookie dough later), and stir the rest of the chocolate into the batter until combined (add cacao here).

5. Use a large cookie scoop (or a spoon and your hands), scoop mounds of dough (about 2 1/2 tablespoons of dough per cookie). Add each onto the baking sheet, about 8cm apart, as they’ll spread while baking. (If the mixture is too crumbly add more chia or coconut oil until you get a cookie dough mixture).

6. Press the remaining 3 tablespoons of chocolate onto the tops of the cookie dough mounds, evenly distributed. (Reshape the cookie dough mounds if they flatten a bit.)

7. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes (I prefer 8 1/2 to 9 minutes for gooey and soft cookies), until the cookies are spread out. If you prefer a crispy cookie, bake for about 12 minutes.

8. Cool the cookies directly on the baking sheet for about 5 to 6 minutes. The cookies will be super delicate until they are cooled. Using a spatula, gently transfer each cookie directly onto a cooling rack for another 10 minutes, where they’ll firm up even more.

9. Melt down in the microwave the rest of the chocolate & some chia drink and mix together drizzle or drown each cookie once they have cooled and then place in fridge to set the Chia Choco icing..

IMG_6943 (1)
10. Enjoy!

CHIA blueberry muffins

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These gooey blueberry vegan, refined-sugar free, plant based and dairy free CHIA muffins are created by the woman behind Wellness with Taryn 

Blueberries are one of my staples in the kitchen. They’re so incredibly delicious, loaded with antioxidants and the perfect snack being not too high in sugar. I always have a bag of frozen blueberries in the freezer, and generally like to have them in breakfasts, as well as with coconut yoghurt as an after dinner sweet treat. Today this kitchen staple is starring in this Blueberry Chia Muffins recipe!

Combined with the delicate blueberry flavour of CHIA drink and the softly baked whole blueberries, these muffins are the shizz nizz! They’re not light and fluffy, but instead they’re decadently moist, gooey (without seeming uncooked) and full of the most delicious flavours. They really are so delicious, that I could not get enough of them and this batch did not last very long at all! Woops!


  • 1 Cup Organic Almond Meal
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Wholemeal Spelt Flour
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Organic Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 2 Tsp Organic Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Desiccated Coconut
  • 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Large Banana – Mashed
  • 1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 TBS Organic Cold Pressed Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberry CHIA Drink
  • 3/4 Cup Frozen Blueberries



  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan forced) and lightly grease you muffin tray with olive oil spray (or coconut oil).

  2. In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix well.

  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the remaining wet ingredients (all except the frozen blueberries). Mix well.

  4. Gently fold in the frozen blueberries until fully combined.

  5. Spoon the mixture equally into each muffin mold and place a few of the frozen blueberries on the top.

  6. Place into the oven and bake for 15 mins. Rotate the tray and turn the temperature down to 140C and bake for a further 15 mins. These muffins don’t give much of a rise, but they are so delicious non the less.

  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool fully. Use a non scratching implement to help remove them from the tray. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes

Use Organic wherever possible

 Health Benefits of chia seeds Their high concentration of the plant-based omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is one of their major claims to fame. Chia seeds contain up to 40 percent oil, with 60 percent comprised of omega-3. ALA is considered essential because your body can’t make it, so you need it in your diet—or its long-chain animal-based derivatives (like the omega-3 found in seafood and krill oil).

Trying to avoid using refined white flour (due to it being high GI) along with not wanting to use a gluten free flour blend (as these tend to send my sugar levels on a roller coaster ride), I opted for using spelt flour. I know spelt flour is not gluten free, but I find I can tolerate this flour quite fine in moderation, with no discomfort in the stomach region.

Spelt is a wholesome nourishing flour that is super high in fiber, as well as having high levels of iron and copper which can significantly boost circulation. Spelt also contains essential vitamin Niacin which plays a key role in the adrenal glands in the body and thus hormone regulation and creation.

Chia Jam Thumbprint Cookies

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Thumbprint Cookies

Recipe by Jess the author of Choosing Chia – a blog that aims to inspire finding healthier alternatives to satisfy sweet tooths (these cookies are a case in point – trust us). 

These vegan thumbprint cookies are one my favorite, and they’re 100% vegan, gluten-free & clean-eating.  They’re even healthy enough to eat for breakfast! (I mean, cookies for breakfast, sign me up.)  Now, before you run off and say “huh? how can a cookie that’s all those things actually taste that good?” give these ones a shot.  They will not disappoint!

Raspberry chia jam
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (or mixed berries)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds

Shortbread Cookie

  • ½ cup gluten-free oats (or regular)
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  1. •Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. •Start by preparing the raspberry chia jam
  3. •In a saucepan, cook the raspberries on medium-high heat for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. •Once the berries begin to bubble, turn down the heat to medium-low and allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. •Add the maple syrup and chia seeds and cook another minute.
  6. •Remove from heat and let cool.
  7. •Prepare a baking pan with baking paper, set aside.
  8. •In a food processor, blend oats, almonds and salt together. Transfer to a large bowl.
  9. •In a separate bowl, melt coconut oil, then add maple syrup and almond extract.
  10. •Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients and stir until a dough forms.
  11. •Using your hands, roll small balls of dough, and then slightly flatten into a patty shape onto your baking pan.
  12. •With your thumb, press down into the centre of each ball to form a little indent for your chia jam.
  13. •Place a small spoon of jam into the centre of each cookie.
  14. •Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cookies are golden around the edges
  15. •Let cool and enjoy!
Vegan Thumbprint Cookies with Raspberry Chia Jam

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse

Located in: News & Recipes · Uncategorized ·


Recipe by Taryn, wellness facilitator, health enthusiast, blogger, food photographer, recipe creator and life loving devoted foodie.

A deliciously healthy and decadent chia pudding recipe that is perfect for breakfast, or spruced up to create a jaw dropping dessert. Using only a handful of ingredients, this recipe is simple, affordable, nutritious and so good.


  • 6 tbs organic white chia seeds
  • 2 cups coconut milk – or plant milk of your choice
  • 1/3 cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbs organic raw cacao
  • 1 tsp organic stevia (or maple syrup/agave)
Raw Chocolate Drizzle (optional)
  • 1 tbs raw cacao butter
  • 1 tbs raw cacao powder
  • stevia/agave/maple syrup (optional)
  • frozen rasberries
  • raw cacao nibs
  • coconut yoghurt


Chia Pudding

  1. In a medium bowl, add the white chia seeds and coconut milk. Mix well until all seeds are submerged in the milk and leave overnight in the fridge to swell.

  2. In the morning, divide the swollen chia seed mixture in half.

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse
  1. Place one half of the swollen chia mixture in the nutribullet/blender along with the, frozen raspberries, raw cacao and stevia.

  2. Blend until a thick mousse has formed. If you find it needs a little more liquid to blend better, add a tiny bit of coconut milk and blend further.

Raw Chocolate Drizzle
  1. Slowly  melt the cacao butter. Add the raw cacao when the butter is fully melted and whisk until a creamy smooth mixture forms. Lastly add sweetener if you choose, however a sweetener here is optional.

Putting it all together
  1. Using two deep glasses, add a handful of frozen raspberries to each glass.

  2. Divide the remaining swollen chia mix in half and pour ontop of the frozen raspberries.

  3. Next scoop over the chocolate raspberry mousse, and spread evenly

  4. Next top each glass with 2 TBS coconut yogurt, a few frozen raspberries and sprinkle over some raw cacao nibs.

  5. To spruce up the recipe, drizzle over the raw chocolate sauce and serve.

Facts you didn’t know about Chia Seeds

For this recipe I used the Organic White Chia Seeds from the awesome team at CHIA NZ. You can get some either online here, or check if your local store has them here.

They are so affordable and stretch so far (don’t be fooled) as you only require small amounts at a time. Be sure to soak you’re overnight for the best results.

A few facts you didn’t know about this superfood:

  • •The chia plant (Salvia hispanica), sometimes referred to as chia sage, originated in the central valley of Mexico and is a member of the mint family.
  • •Records indicate chia seeds were used as a food source as far back as 3500 B.C.
  • •It was the third most important crop for the Aztecs, who recognized it as a “superfood” and prized it so highly that it was often used as currency.
  • •Aztec warriors and runners are believed to have sustained themselves for an entire day on just a tablespoon of chia.
  • •The word chia is derived from the Aztec word chian, which means “oily.”
  • •Chia seeds have more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant food, including flax seeds.
  • •Chia seeds are about 20% protein.
  • •When soaked in water for 30 minutes, chia seeds form a thick gel. This gel also forms in the stomach when chia seeds are consumed. That sounds bad, but researchers believe it actually slows down the rate at which digestive enzymes turn carbs into sugar, making it especially beneficial for diabetics and others with blood sugar issues.
  • •Chia is hydrophilic and can absorb more than 12 times its weight in water. This makes it helpful in maintaining body hydration, something that is especially beneficial for athletes who need to remain hydrated during races and endurance activities.
  • •Chia seeds are so high in antioxidants that they do not spoil easily and can be stored for long periods, unlike flax seeds. Source

Coast to Coast (pre-race)

Located in: News & Recipes · Uncategorized ·

Last month, CHIA director Floss got us buzzing with inspiration at her goal to compete in the Kathmandu Coast to Coast. We check in with Floss to hear how she’s doing at the coalface of one mighty big goal.

What has been going really well – what small wins have you been celebrating?

I visited, via kayak, the Waimakariri Gorge on Sunday. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Think aqua water, steep cliff faces, blooming rata and waterfalls without a road or person insight. But a bigger win than the scenery was the fact I managed to paddle the Gorge without falling out.

I’ve also met a bunch of inspirational people while training. One that springs to mind is Dan Busch, one of Nelson’s top kayakers. Even though it dramatically impacted his race result Dan let me be his partner in a double kayak in a 3 hour race on Saturday to gain experience #thanksfortowingmeDan

What are the challenges that have been really tough (since we last interviewed you)

It’s easy to see a finish line photo of an athlete and think ‘wow they look fit, they must have nailed their training.’ So it’s been a challenge to become ok with feeling off as the training load gets heavier. Some days I’m flying and others you could only describe it as plodding.

On a lighter note, an unexpected challenge is fitting my tshirts as my biceps have doubled in size thanks to all the training I’m putting in.

What goals do you have in mind to smash on race day?

The first two are definitely all about me and how I race. I want to make it through the Waimakariri Gorge without falling out of my kayak; and I want to place in the top 10 women.

But I also have another goal: in the true spirit of the two day event I want to treat my competitors as comrades. The chances are someone around me will need help at some point. Maybe they need a sugar hit or an extra gulp of water. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone needs a hand when they get stuck between a rock and a hard place (literally) mid-way down the Gorge or up Goat Pass. This comradery is something that drew me to the event in the first place, so I’m keen to get amongst it on race day.


Talk to us about race food.

I’ll be gulping my way through more than a few bottles of Chia and Awaka Sparkling Coconut Water over the Coast to Coast weekend. The magnesium is awesome for muscle recovery and the electrolytes keep me hydrated.

Em’s Power Cookies will keep me going on the run and paddle with Pure Nutrition and a handful of chia seeds in my drink bottle.

Who or what has been inspiring you as you chug through the training?

Last week I met a 16 year old girl who has entered the individual event. She was riding in a bunch for the first time and is yet to ride 70km – the distance of just one of the bike legs at Coast to Coast – but has no doubt she’ll nail it on race day. Not to mention her Uncle David who using the race as a chance to raise money for four charities.

And even though it’s only me racing on the day, I couldn’t do it without the support of family and friends. I’m in debt to Graham Dawson and David Ayre who took me and training buddy Frances down the river in full flood for the first time, Dad and Wei Wei who will be my support crew, and Mum for keeping up my supply of her homemade muesli.

You’ve mentioned the kayak is your greatest challenge. What have you been doing to prepare for race day?

For the last 4 weekends I have embarked on a 3-5 hour paddle, either in the sea or down the river. At times, it’s been tough. The minutes snail by and my arms feel like lead for the rest of the weekend. I am hoping that I’ll feel some improvement in my last big paddle on Sunday.

I’m also grateful for the advice I have been given by Chris of Kayak HQ. Some of his top tips for newbies are what I have been living / paddling by:

  1. 1. Don’t expect to master the river straight away. Allow plenty of time to learn and grow your confidence.
  2. 2. Start with flat water skills and work on technique and fitness later.
  3. 3. Doing a course is the best way to learn the skills, but don’t assume you’ll be a pro after 4 days.
  4. 4. It’s regularly said that “it’s the paddler not the kayak” and this is very true. Choose an entry level race kayak, or a sea kayak and you are setting yourself up for a good paddle.

Last words for people wish they could set and keep to a scary goal?

Break it down. When tiny achievable goals come together, good things can happen.

Photo cred to Hollie Woodhouse (the awesome woman behind Say Yes to Adventure), the Kathmandu Coast to Coast team and CHIA photographer Marc Gutenstein.

Crafted by Chia blogger, Anna Watson.

Domain Cottage Cafe

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Te Aroha

Four Square Aro Street

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Aro Valley, Wellington

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How to make the most of your Mondays

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Wellness guru and Mindset coach Sunniva Holt shares some practical advice on how to turn Monday into the best day of your week.

Do you find Mondays hard? Are you looking at Monday thinking, it’s not you; it’s me? Sunniva suggests that in fact, it might be a case of looking for love in the wrong places.

“It’s draining knowing you’re going to something you’re not passionate about.”

Your challenge is to answer this question truthfully: Do you love what you do? If the answer is ‘no’, perhaps that’s why Mondays are a drag. Here’s how Sunniva went from living for her Fridays to loving her Mondays:

“For me it was taking the leap into self employment which was obviously a scary move – giving up a stable and regular income for the unknown! But it was the best thing I’ve ever done, I really think I’m unemployable. It’s my rebel personality, I don’t do well being told what to do! But you don’t have to be an entrepreneur, you just have to love what you do. If you don’t love what you do, MOVE IMMEDIATELY. Life is way too short to spend that much time doing something that doesn’t make you happy.”

Now the tone has been set, let’s look at three rules that will help you stop living life by default and start living by design (your Monday-itis won’t stand a chance).

Rule #1: Movement means energy

“We can create more energy by moving our bodies, meditating, eating and drinking the right foods. And let’s not forget coffee – a good double shot is usually part of my morning!”

Rule #2: You deserve to “be it all, do it all, have it all”

“To me, this mantra means not settling, ever. We absolutely can have everything in our life that we want but we also have to be willing to put in THE WORK. It takes discipline, it takes commitment, and it takes consistency. Nothing changes if you don’t.”

Rule #3: one bad Monday won’t break you

“It’s just one day so don’t beat yourself up. But if it’s a reoccurring pattern in your life then it’s time to stop making excuses and put some disciplines in place! Commit to getting out of bed as soon as your alarm clock goes off, no matter how dark or cold it is and how tired you feel. Don’t let your excuses be bigger than your dreams.”

Bonus: as for the rest of the week…

Sunniva invests in herself; and not just on Mondays: I’m constantly investing in coaching, masterminds, programs, trainings, books, energy healings and anything else that will uplevel my mindset, learning and environment.” Whether it is trying out a new recipe or reading an energising book, it could be just the thing to lift up your week (not to mention your life).

Last words


Sunniva Holt is an entrepreneur, wellness guru, mindset coach, best selling author and mother. She has an open book policy; her commitment to her tribe is “Irreverent. Unapologetic. Raw and real.” You can read more about Sunniva and learn how to be more, do more, see more by visiting her website sunnivaholt.com or liking her Facebook page.

Crafted by Chia Blogger, Anna Watson

How to pick a new summer sport (and survive)

Located in: News & Recipes · Uncategorized ·

How many times have you thought “I’ve always wanted to..” or “…I wish I could do that”. With summer suddenly upon us, the parks are thronging with joggers, the bikers are out by the bucketload and our Facebook feeds are showcasing a reel of people striking sporty and/or adventurous poses. Everyone seems to be taking up a new (or old) sport, entering events or at the very least getting outdoors as much as possible.

If you’re still thinking “I wish I could learn to… [insert fun but seriously intimidating outdoors activity here]”, then read on! This post is the first of a three part blog series about CHIA’s very own Flossie Van Dyke’s journey to picking an impossible challenge (and surviving!).

Tell us about the challenge you have set yourself for this summer

Six weeks ago I entered the Kathmandu Coast to Coast. Everyone has different limits, and this event is definitely pushing mine. The race involves getting yourself from the West Coast of Aotearoa to the East Coast. In summary I’ve signed up to scramble over boulders for 30km, squeeze into a kayak and paddle down white water for almost 70km and top it off with over 100km of cycling. Did I mention that somewhere in there I’m getting myself over the Southern Alps? It’s going to be incredibly beautiful and incredibly challenging.

The course outline: piece of cake!

What made you decide to take on this challenge?

Where it all began for me: CHIA parking up to fuel hungry athletes at Klondyke Corner

CHIA has sponsored the Kathmandu Coast to Coast for the last two years. We spend the day at Klondyke Corner fuelling athletes with Chia as they recover from the hills of Goat Pass and in preparation for the 4-8 hour kayak down the Waimakariri Gorge.

Supporters at Sumner

The mood at Klondyke is unbelieveable. At the event in the past I’ve thought that the clapping, cheering, and morale-boosting vibes was enough to make anyone want to join in. For most competitors the Kathmandu Coast to Coast is the culmination of a lifetime goal and the atmosphere  is certainly a reflection of that. So this year I decided to bite the bullet and enter!

Why is this an ‘impossible’ challenge for you to sink your teeth into?

The event involves 70 kilometres of padding along the Waimakariri River. I haven’t passed my Grade 2 kayaking certificate which is required for entering and am yet to paddle down the Waimakariri rapids. But the kayak component presents some interesting challenges before I even get in the water. It turns out that kayak-carrying is a sport in itself.

Getting the job done with the help of my trusty training buddy

The struggle of hauling my kayak from the water to my car is real. I have been assisted by a range of passerby (including an entire Taiwanese family visiting on holiday) who pity my awkward stumble up the beach. The final mammoth effort in this underrated but highly challenging sport comes with lifting the long boat over my head to the roof of my Mum’s car. The efforts are reflected permanently in the scraped paint along the top left hand panel of her vehicle (sorry, Mum).

The ideal kayak-carrying technique that lasts all of three steps. Also note the absence of paddle in hand.

What are your top tips for other people wanting to set their own ‘impossible’ summer goal

1.Pick a cheer squad who is there for you before as well as during the race. To name just a couple, Chris West at Kayak HQ has been a legend teaching me to kayak, my training buddies Frances, Olivia and Hannah are literally the reason I leave the house to get training and I couldn’t even make a start on said training without CHIA team mate David Ayre (an elite Coast to Coast athlete himself).

2. Start out slow and stay consistent rather than doing too much too soon. Some days I hit snooze three times and I’m not in the mood but if I just get up and get out the door then I know I’m already halfway there.

3.Work on your mindset as much as you workout your body. For me, learning to paddle rivers isn’t a strength test; it’s a “staying-calm-and-collected-in fast-flowing-rapids” test.

How can we follow your journey?

Follow us on instagram @chianewzealand or keep an eye on our monthly blogs at chia.co.nz

Photo cred to Hollie Woodhouse (the awesome woman behind Say Yes to Adventure), the Kathmandu Coast to Coast team and CHIA photographer Marc Gutenstein.

Crafted by Chia blogger, Anna Watson.