HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 584: 05 October 2011

Couch. Pause. Engage.
Jessie and Madeilene Sword talk to the Cook Islands Herald about their journey with the Round Raro Race.

"Couch, pause, move. It’s what we decided to use,” says Jessie Sword in line with current Rugby World Cup as a motivator to get people off the couch, turning off the TV and engaging in some sort of exercise. “Because anyone can do it, if I can do it (round raro race) then so can you,” she emphasizes.
An idea that originated over Christmas is what spurred on Jessie Sword of Cook Islands General Transport to take on a new lifestyle change that saw her competing in this year’s Round Raro Race with younger sister Madeilene and her husband Marcel, “all I knew is that I had to get out of this unhealthy sate that I was in,” explains Jessie, “and I thought you know what, that’s a bloody good idea I’m gonna join you,” chips in Madeline finishing her sentence.
Sitting chattering back and forth between the two it becomes quite clear to me early into the conversation that my mind is going to be racing just trying to keep up with the two charismatic sisters not only do they subconsciously finish the other’s sentences they work well in prompting the other too, a quality that translated over to their 5am training sessions, “there were lots of mornings that I would have loved to stay in bed,” says Jessie, “but I knew that I had to go because Mads would be waiting for me.” Agreeing with her sister Madeilene explains that, “having someone with you definitely encourages you.”
The pair, both from sports based backgrounds, confess that it had been a while since getting back into any serious exercise for the past 7 years, “I had been thinking about it, but it was the action part that just never followed through,” says Sword. After a month of early morning training the sisterly duo found that their workout regime had become, “stale,” and so decided to push themselves further and joined a gym, “ it was just a place to go to exercise,” say Mads, “incase it rained,” pipes back Jessie. “But,” she adds triumphantly, “it was the first time I’ve ever stuck at my gym membership for its entirety,” says Madeilene.
The pair soon became a trio with the addition of Madeilene’s husband Marcel, who after attending a Mike Pero conference decided that their apparent lack of a challenging goal to work toward could be quelled with this year’s Round Raro Race, and so their gradual 10km run training began. While they did come up against plenty of physical blocks , eyeing each other in agreement they both believe that it was the mental blocks that truly tested them, “for example for me,” explains Mads, “when we started I thought oh my gosh 10km’s!! Oh my gosh that just so far.” “But as we got a little bit further and we done the run a second and third time, it became a bit more Oh, ok I can do this,” laughs Jessie. Sensing a bit of sisterly rivalry between them Madeilene was determined to be the winner out of the two and says it’s definitely what “motivated” her, so much so that at one point during their training on an injured ankle she hobbled ahead of Jessie, “I never wanted her to beat me so I had to keep going,” she says between laughs. Cheekily Jessie adds “Yeah well I let her win didn’t I.” And again they’re running circles round my head.

-Maria Tanner

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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