I’m Soph the second half of ‘Megs and Soph’ and yes I’m the rowing one (that thing Mahe Drysdale does), the blonde curly hair sheepy looking one with long legs and broad shoulders. Enough about looks though here’s a bit about my journey through life, health and fitness so far…
This is where it all began and come full circle back too… I grew up in Marlborough, the top of the South Island in New Zealand, on a high country Sheep Station 45 minutes from the nearest town and a one hour bus ride to school so I have always been used to the really mornings and long days. I did have a few occasions of falling fast asleep on the bus even on the very windy and narrow roads. I ate the classic farmers meal of Meat, potatoes and Vegetable dinners, peas were a household staple too. I often suffered from chronic stomach aches and would stay home sick. No one knew or could figure out what they were from and why I was getting them.
When I moved in to town for my high-school years 13-18years old at Marlborough Girl College (MGC), I noticed the town lifestyle was a lot different and consisted more of Chicken and pasta dishes. I also noticed my pant sized increased those first few months from a tall lanky farm girl to into a more ‘what ice cream flavour can we try now’ type of girl. I still played a tonne of sports like netball, basketball, cross-country and dancing (jazz) plus anything new they were offering like Volleyball, athletics, snow-skiing, and of course rowing. My weight stayed pretty constant thorough those years so did my stomach pains and it would be fair to say they got worse especially after an intense rowing race my tummy would tighten up into what felt like someone tiring a knot in my intestines. I would then be curled up in a ball on the bank after races just waiting for the pain to subside enough to walk again trying to hold back the tears of agony.
When high-school finished I knew I really wanted to pursue my rowing career so I knuckled down and trained hard. At this stage I had rowed for New Zealand in the under 21 team as a ‘heavyweight’ although I have always been about 60kg’s which is what we call a ‘winter lightweight weight’. So the year of 2011 I finally gave in and said I was a lightweight. This is when I started to become more aware of what I ate and for the following 3 years I have researched, changed, tried and tested many difference foods. Some have worked well and some well… lets just not go there.
Now 5 years post high school I have been gluten free for over 2 years and have noticed huge improvements in my tummy aches, as well as the bloating and gas. I prefer to eat whole foods, vegetables, fruits, grains – I am still a farm girl at heart and nothing beats dad’s porridge although I think I can challenge him on making it these days. And of course my beloved meats. A good hearty roast lamb is forever my favourite meal hands down. Thats the one thing I took for granted most about growing up on a farm having homemade roast meals at least five times a week!
2014 was a pretty unbelievable year… in March we launched our website together megsandsoph and Facebook / Instagram pages, to share our kitchen creations and no doubt our occasional failed attempts… winning the Under 23 World Champs with Zoe Mcbride in July… then going on to win the Elite World Champs with Julia Edward in August and we broke the World Record! Talk about cherry on top.
2015 has been right up there in comparison too. I qualified as a personal trainer in March and qualified as a Health Coach in July. Julia and I have been racing in the lightweight double again for the international season and got silver at the second World Cup regatta in June and then gold at the third World Cup regatta in July plus we won overall LW2X event and got to take home the trophy! Now we are in the final stages of preparation for the 2015 World Championships in France in a few weeks time. Megs and I have been chipping away behind the scenes at our new eBook guide called ‘Move + Stretch’ a 10 week workout guide to help you gain new fitness and strength with no gym required – lets just say we are so excited to release this and can’t wait to help people all over NewZealand.
I’d like to thank you all so much for your support on Megs and Soph because I absolutely love sharing our recipes, creations and tips with you and hope that we inspire you too to make healthy, wholesome food decisions and chase your dreams with everything you have. And I am super excited for all the new adventures and projects ‘Megs and Soph’ has installed in the coming years.
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