SHORTLAND STREET STAR running hot
Fitness is a crucial part of 35-year-old Pua Magasiva’s life and his latest pursuit involves putting on the running shoes. LORAINE THOMSON finds this actor has a lineup of fitness goals still to fulfill.
Anew fitness pursuit for Shortland Street actor Pua Magasiva, has seen him running his first half marathon in Queenstown.
“It was the first and longest run I have ever done in my life. I could not sleep the night before. My lungs and head were fine. It was just my legs were killing me. The course was awesome – Queenstown is a beautiful place. I like hills, but the pathway was narrow.”
Pua ran with his two cousins, but managed to beat both, coming in with a time of one hour 59 minutes. One was his cousin and best friend Faatonu Fili who has played rugby for Samoa, the Lions and for Japan.
“We have always been two physical guys, but during the race he started to slow down due to chaffing. I had cramps running up my legs, but I changed my running style, putting more weight on my heels. Once the terrain changes, you have to readjust things. Then there are times when there are people in the way. If there were people I knew running a good pace, I would stay behind them to maintain that pace.”
With just 1km to go to the finish line, the music Pua was listening to as he ran, reminded him of his five-year-old daughter. Recently Jasmine had run a cross-country event at her school. Pua was videoing the event and was super proud as she won the race. He later put the video together with the music
Shot Me Down by Vince Harder. “This song came on during the last 1km and I kicked into gear.”
Pua had been wearing the latest TomTom fitness watch, for which he is an ambassador. The watch stores music that you can listen to with wireless earphones.
“My training had not been as good as it could have been – I get really bored if I run too much – and so the music helped.”
Pua admits for a full marathon, he would get training from someone who has done marathons before. With work
“I like being beaten up [with boxing] because I learn.”
commitments [odd hours and no set times] he does find fitting in training a little hard.
He nevertheless, has set his sights on running a full marathon overseas, possibly at the end of this year.”
“I would like to do New York as I have never been there. Running a marathon is something I have never experienced before. When I play sport or when I am in the boxing ring things come instinctively to me. When you run a marathon the only thing is to go forward and follow the course. After a while you think about your legs and you talk to your body mechanically to go.”
Pua’s goal is to complete the whole marathon without stopping or walking.
Running and indeed fitness, is something that has helped Pua through tough times. Some years back and with a little help from his now ex-wife, Pua was pushed into a personal training course.
“I had finished Shortland Street, first time round and had nothing to go to and no qualifications. I was doing labouring at that time. It wasn’t making me happy. I was binge drinking in the weekends and deep anger would manifest itself. I got into some dark places within myself.
“When I found personal training I learnt how fitness works your body and how it makes you feel good. I started to grow a passion for it. When you understand how things work in your body, you find the benefits and how you can use that to create a better life for yourself. That’s how it all started and I have never turned back from there.”
Pua’s family has always been a sporting family. His brother Robbie had been a good rugby player, but acting was what he wanted to do.
“We all grew up being an outdoors family. We were always at the beach and diving. This often involved walking to secluded locations carrying diving gear and food. We would do that every weekend. For holidays we would go camping.”
Pua’s early years were spent in Wellington. The big shift to Auckland came in 2000.
“I got a taste of the big city and my brother was up here. Once I got a taste of the big city, I had to move. Wellington was too small. It was a lot more exciting in Auckland and I like exciting and big.”
The excitement was fuelled by his staring role in the long-running television series
Shortland Street, which he has seen him on and off the show for nine years.
“The first time I was on for three years. Then I had six years off.”
It was during this time that Pua trained as a personal trainer.
“I went to Sydney and worked as a personal trainer for two years and then travelled to the UK. I was young and I was driven and had what it takes.
“Fitness has helped me with a lot of things mentally. Fitness is good to release anger. It is a lot more safer way than battling stuff in your mind.
“We grew up as Pacific Islanders. It is in our blood and in our families. We do not talk about it. Violence is what we were brought up with and so it came to finding a positive way to be able to deal with it.”
Although born in New Zealand, Pua’s parents are from Samoa. The tattoo on his arm represents both his mum and dad’s family.
“I have not been back since my wedding four years ago,” says Pua, whose marriage lasted just three years.
Asked about where he does his fitness, Pua says: “The world is my gym.”
He does train at Shane Cameron’s gym and at Ludus Magnus gym “every now and again”, admitting he likes variation.
“My greatest passion at the moment is boxing. I have been doing that for a while now. I do it everywhere. I don’t like to stay at one place. I like to learn all different types of fitness regimes, techniques and teachings. I like to think of fitness as being open minded.”
Asked about entering a boxing competition, Pua says: “If Shortland Street allows me to. It is one thing I have to do in my life. I love the training, the mind games and the physicality of it. I have played group sports all my life. In the ring you have no one else to blame but yourself. Once you step in the ring you are there to fight.”
Pua goes to a number of people for training, to take tips and to spar with them. He likes to ask lots of questions.
“I like being beaten up because I learn. I like getting my face bashed up and beaten. I like that. There is always strategy and I like the mind games of it.”
If a fighting bout were to be written into a Shortland Street scene, Pua says that would
Shortland Street is a full time job for Pua, for five days a week.
“I am really enjoying my character and I really enjoy working on the show.”
Pua also enjoys spending time with his daughter Jasmine and for this reason he is not looking for a Hollywood role, like so many of his fellow acting mates.
“Things are going really well for me here.”
Big brother Robbie, a former Shortland Street star [and someone who has previously graced the cover of New Zealand Fitness], was one who went to Hollywood. Currently he is working in Melbourne on the television series Wentworth.
Pua, meantime, is content with eyeing up his next holiday in Fiji or Hawaii.
Pua Magaziva . . . “The world
is my gym.”
When found personal training I learnt how fitness works your body and how it makes you feel good.”