The Bu­la­li­cious Guide to The life of a Pa­cific Ath­lete

mailife - - Fitness - Pho­tos by IS­LAND EN­COUN­TERS PHO­TOG­RA­PHY FIJI

Bu­la­li­cious is a ladies ac­tivewear com­pany spe­cial­is­ing in surf, swim and gym wear based in the Fi­jian Islands and we have the ex­clu­sive on what it’s re­ally like to be one of the fittest fe­males within the Pa­cific. Have you ever won­dered how a pro­fes­sional ath­lete trains? What meals they eat? How of­ten do they eat? What’s their se­cret to be­ing so fo­cused on their goals? Bu­la­li­cious has all that in­for­ma­tion and more from our very own Bu­la­li­cious Am­bas­sador Stef Carruthers. Stef is a pro­fes­sional ten­nis player who has com­peted in the women’s pro cir­cuit all over the world. When you meet Stef, you wouldn’t be blamed for think­ing she was ev­ery­thing you read a fe­male su­per­hero would look like. With her chis­elled torso, lean physique and the mus­cle def­i­ni­tion to make any­one want to put down that donut, she is ev­ery inch the fe­male ama­zon. How­ever, Stef is more than just a toned physique, with her strong Samoan back­ground and hav­ing be­ing raised with four other sib­lings Stef is as down to earth and as hum­ble as they come. We caught up with Stef to get the low down on how you too can live on even the re­motest of islands and still keep fit, fuel your body right and get that killer body you’ve al­ways dreamt of. A wo­man true to her is­land roots, Stef is a role many to so many women in the Pa­cific with her work ethic, dis­ci­pline and sheer de­ter­mi­na­tion to knock down the stereo­types and break through those glass ceil­ings in sport. Sport can be a fickle place of work es­pe­cially when we look into equal op­por­tu­ni­ties and equal pay, but Stef has demon­strated the willpower to suc­ceed and she doesn’t seem to be slow­ing down any time soon. Now for all of us that don’t have a mean back­hand swing or that out­stand­ing nifty drop shot, we feel we can take just some of Stef’s train­ing qual­i­ties and help to in­spire our work­outs here in the Islands. Here’s what a typ­i­cal day in the life of Stef Carruthers looks like:

06:00AM - “Rise and shine - I say my morn­ing prayers and help with the clean­ing - this helps to get me fo­cused be­fore I rush into my day” 07:00AM - “Break­fast usu­ally con­sists of oats with ba­nanas and honey to fuel me for the day ahead” 08:00 - 08:30AM - “Fit­ness train­ing - I play an all over game in ten­nis, which re­quires me to have high en­durance which is why I love to get in a morn­ing work­out to fo­cus on other key ar­eas such as my agility, power and speed” 08:30AM - “I al­ways en­sure I am fu­elled be­fore and af­ter I work out and of­ten grab a piece of fruit be­fore my next ses­sion al­low­ing enough time for it to digest to en­sure it doesn’t hin­der my ses­sion” 09:00 - 11:00AM - “Ten­nis train­ing - dur­ing this time I work on my game, foot­work and shots. This is phys­i­cally and men­tally drain­ing as ten­nis is a quick game and you have to be one shot ahead of your op­po­nent. I love push­ing my­self in this time and see­ing what I am re­ally made of un­der pres­sure” 12:00 PM - “Lunch time - this nor­mally con­sists of chicken with brown rice and veg­eta­bles” 1:30 - 2:00 PM - “Nap time - all of that strate­gic think­ing and train­ing wears me out and I need to rest” 3:00 - 7:00 PM - “Coach­ing time - I love be­ing able to train the fu­ture ten­nis stars. It keeps me fo­cused as I know I al­ways have some­one look­ing up to me and I want to in­spire them, as many peo­ple did for me whilst I was grow­ing up” 8:00 PM - “Fam­ily time - I love noth­ing more than catch­ing up with my fam­ily af­ter a long day on the courts. I usu­ally eat veg­eta­bles and lean meats such as chicken, avoid­ing heavy car­bo­hy­drates such as rice which would be dif­fi­cult for me to digest”

10:30 PM - “Prayers and lights out - with­out a good night’s sleep, my body can­not re­cover and my mind can­not rest, there­fore I like to en­sure I have a good sleep be­fore I rise to do it all over again in the morn­ing. Stef has given us some of her top tips to pro­mote a more health­ier, ac­tive you and po­ten­tially give your fit­ness regimes a lit­tle vavavoom…. 1) BE AN EARLY RISER - Stef wastes no time in lay­ing in bed once the sun is up she grabs that ex­tra hour of train­ing and knows that ev­ery spare minute she can get in train­ing is an­other minute closer to her goal. So many of us waste so many hours in bed when we could be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing more of the day. Set your alarm one hour ear­lier for a week and see what you can achieve with an­other seven hours of your life. 2) TRAIN WITH A PART­NER - Stef’s other half is Manu Samoan player Kaino Kasi­mani, whom she says helps her to push her­self with their com­pet­i­tive work­outs. Train­ing with a part­ner can help add va­ri­ety to your work­outs, as well as help­ing to keep you on track and hav­ing some­one else to mo­ti­vate you. 3) LET YOUR FAM­ILY KNOW YOUR GOALS - One of the many ben­e­fits of so many peo­ple here in the Pa­cific is that ev­ery­where you look there’s a rel­a­tive, the Pa­cific sup­port net­work is huge. There­fore let your fam­ily know your goals, this will en­sure there’s al­ways an aunty check­ing up on you or

a dis­tant cousin ask­ing you about your next work­out. 4) LIVE OFF THE IS­LAND - As a pro­fes­sional ath­lete Stef mon­i­tors what goes into her body as she knows that this is her fuel for her next ses­sion and what she eats will ef­fect her per­for­mance. One of the main rules she stands by is that if it didn’t come from the land she’ll think twice about putting it into her body. Nat­u­ral food sources such as meat, fruit and veg­eta­bles are what the very first peo­ple on the islands grew up on and it shouldn’t be any dif­fer­ent now. 5) VARY UP YOUR ROU­TINE - Although Stef is a pro­fes­sional ten­nis player, a lot of her work­outs con­sist of sprint­ing, ply­o­met­rics, cir­cuit train­ing and con­di­tion­ing. If your fit­ness rou­tine leaves lit­tle to be de­sired and you’re find­ing it hard to take your­self to the gym af­ter a long day at work be­cause you lack mo­ti­va­tion, then you need to vary up your rou­tine. Take your­self on a 30 minute power sprint on your lunch hour, this way you know you can’t sneak off home when you get tired and you know you have to get it done or your boss will be search­ing for you. 6) STEP OUT OF YOUR COM­FORT ZONE - Stef is a true be­liever that noth­ing worth hav­ing should ever come easy. Do­ing the same thing ev­ery day will just get you the same re­sults. It’s time to shake up your fit­ness regime and wake up your body. Hikes up the near­est moun­tain, box-fit on the beach and week­end aerial-pi­lates classes are a great way to add va­ri­ety to your regime. 7) GET IN­SPIRED - Stef’s ul­ti­mate role model is St­effi Graf whom she was named af­ter and who has been a key in­spi­ra­tion to her life af­ter win­ning 22 grand slam ti­tles through­out her ca­reer. Stef is also in­spired by Graf’s life af­ter pro­fes­sional ten­nis, through her com­mit­ment to coach­ing and run­ning an academy, some­thing Stef now does on a daily ba­sis back home in Samoa. It may be their body con­fi­dence or their abil­ity to train ev­ery day even with their high power job that in­spires you, but what­ever the rea­son choose some­one who in­spires you to want to be a bet­ter you. 8) KNOW WHEN TO REST - Stef has over­come a se­ries of in­juries through­out her ten­nis ca­reer, how­ever the key to her speedy re­cov­ery and lim­ited loss of game time was know­ing when to rest. Train­ing seven days a week may sound good in prin­ci­ple, how­ever your body has no time to re­cover and will be­come weaker, mean­ing you are more prone to in­jury. 9) TREAT YOUR­SELF - We all have a vice, for some it’s cof­fee and oth­ers it’s choco­late cake, but for Stef she loves noth­ing more than a home­made ham­burger with fries. If you train hard then you shouldn’t de­prive your­self of the things you love. Life is too short to not eat your favourite foods once in a while. 10) BE CLEAR WITH WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE - So many times peo­ple head to the gym only to re­alise they don’t ac­tu­ally know what they want to achieve when they are there. One of Stef’s main pieces of ad­vice is “I knew from the get go that ten­nis was my call­ing and still to this day I let noth­ing stand in my way. Be sure that you go out and get what you de­sire from your life and don’t let any­one tell you oth­er­wise.” Now, the life of a pro­fes­sional ath­lete or the idea of train­ing six hours a day isn’t for us all, but hope­fully with our in­sight into Stef’s life as a pro­fes­sional ath­lete you can take some of her health and fit­ness tips and add them to your life in a way that suits you.

Happy train­ing... Loloma Levu, The Bu­la­li­cious Ac­tivewear Team

Bu­la­li­cious is sold world­wide via our on­line store www.bu­la­li­cious.com, Es­sen­tials Port De­na­rau, Essence of Fiji Re­ju­ve­na­tion Cen­tre Nadi, RFx Boutique Suva and Prouds in both Suva and Nadi.

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