Stories of Courage

 Stories of Courage

Courage My Love Clothing legskins are the ultimate in fitness to fashion gear. Beautifully adorned with commissioned designs from NZ artists, these are literally moving pieces of art.

This unique range of clothing for men and women mixes technical fabrics with highly functional design which is then blended it into stylish, comfortable and resilient fashion pieces. We were so impressed with Courage My Love clothing that we approached Owner and Yoga Instructor, Persephone to support entrants and trainers on this year’s Challenge.

courage my love

Check out the range in this video

Persephone kindly agreed, as building positive communities and connections is part of the Courage My Love ethos. She suggested we provide a space for our entrants to connect with each other by sharing their own ‘Stories of Courage’.  She also offered to put up a a $200 voucher to spend on Courage My Love gear to one of the entrants who shared their story.

By the way, courageous moves aren’t always about saving lives and leaping tall buildings. In this game some of the most important moves of courage are the ones that stretch us into new and positive habits. They’re the moves we could so easily back out of and no one would know.  Often indeed they are seemingly little things, so little we might be embarrassed even to say that it took courage to do them.  Little things however all add up to help grow us or hinder us and with each one we leap over it becomes exponentially easier to leap the over the next :-)

So celebrate your courageous steps, small or big,  and if you want to take another leap of courage, share one with us, whether it’s a few lines or a novel, or the caption to a great picture or a video email your story to  before September 18th, 2017 and you’ll receive our cheers and pats on the back and in 2017,  maybe a $200 voucher with Courage My Love.

All our usual T & C’s apply and by submitting and entry you agree to let ourselves and Courage My Love Clothing to publish it and inspire others with it.

 courage 3


Stories of Courage from 2017

Some of the stories courageously sent in at the end of the 2017 challenge.  Winner will be announced October 27th, 2017.


Perry on the Sky TowerI have but a handful of real fears in life and the 20 week challenge has taken head on in confronting one of my main fears, that being I’m absolutely petrified of heights. Although there were other elements along my journey that took courage, such as ordering chips in front of Kellie Oliver-Morrish my 20 week buddy, and receiving the look that could sink a thousand ships, I’d say my fear of height I addressed more throughout this challenge and took a lot of courage, at least for me.

My first encounter with a near death experience was back in May at the Buller Gorge swing bridge. It started like any other day, sun shining, birds singing as the clear crisp water played on the rocks as it trickled along the river bed. I eyes forward had only made it half way across the bridge, then the bridge rocked with the force of a 7.2 earthquake, my eyes glazed, a few colourful words escaped and there was a bubble that popped in my underpants. Turning I could see my good friend Tim Jackson jumping up and down rocking the bridge with all his might, all the while with a big toothy smile. If anything it actually sped up my pace to get off the bridge, and I was still alive!

To this day I’m not sure why I then found myself harnessed in and clipped to some flimsy wire that went back out over the gorge. Still not wanting to seem chicken I took a leap of faith to fly across the gorge like superman…. or so one would think at least. Reviewing the video of the event tells another story. Count down 3…2…1… jump I think is what is meant to happen and then leap across like a super hero. I started my run on 3 it got to 1 and I came to a complete stop at the edge. It must have looked spectacular as the camera man was shaking in a fit of laughter and behind me Kellie is bent over laughing with tears streaming down her face. I don’t think they could see the drop I could and again don’t forget the flimsy wire. Still I calmed myself and then just jumped. It was a blur and again I think my mouth was more colourful than a rainbow. But I had done it.

Next I took it upon myself to try once again to confront my fear. This time alone, out at Adrenaline Forest in Christchurch. How hard could it be I thought, I’d be strapped in, my kids had all completed the highest levels in the past and the only one around to prove anything too was myself. There are 6 levels, the highest being in some small twigs high up in the top of the pines, maybe one day I’ll see them, but it wouldn’t be today. I started on a comfortable level 3. This wasn’t too high off the ground or at least I knew I’d survive the fall and allowed me to practice the clips and navigation of the course. Having achieved this and feeling confident it was time to attack level 4. This was high enough for me to be concerned and although some would say I was shaking a little, I’m sure it was more a light breeze that whistled through the trees that made it appear that way. I got most of the way through the course before low and behold I had to be rescued. More due to a mistake with the clips than myself. Once resolved I carried on to complete level 4 and felt very proud of what I had done and set the challenge to beat later in the 20 week block.

I did return to Adrenaline Forest with my children in July, and went straight to level 5. It wasn’t so much the zip lines that sent chills and sweat down my back, it was the rickety ladders that didn’t seem to be attached to anything miles up in the trees. I had the ground far below, the trees swaying and these dodgy ladders, with the only way down to keep going forward and complete the course, or so one would think. Come in my second rescue! Not looking as I thought that best, I shot across the highest zip line only to see my son stuck part way across. I’m screaming, wind rushing across my face, which explains the tears and my son looking in horror at his father hurtling down this line towards him. Hence both stuck, on a wire, high in the air. Luckily our rescuer lowered us down and we both lived another day.

Lastly while in Auckland for a ½ marathon I thought it would be a good idea to do the Sky walk at Sky tower with Kellie. This would be a true test of courage in confronting my fear. Things didn’t go well from the start as in my mind I had already calculated how unsafe the tower actually was. It was a 328m high structure built over 20 years ago and from what I could see no real footing to hold it up. I’m no engineer but it didn’t add up in my mind. Still I was here, so put on the suit and took the lift up. Once harnessed in we were taken outside and onto the walkway where we were to walk around the tower. How best to describe the horror…..

The rope used on the harness did look very old and worn and one would have to think it was almost like an old shoe lace thrown over an overhead wire. Didn’t brim me with confidence. Then the walkway which appeared to be a grate type structure held to some protruding bit of steel by a couple of bolts. Looked like a cleaned up old car radiator and it was unsure if it could support my weight. Then there was the wind. All this while 300m above the ground on a structure that might tip. Although I did walk perhaps 2 meters out onto the walk way it was truly too much for me. It took me a lot to get that far but simply couldn’t push myself to go any further. So opted to return as it was truly a cod brown moment. Kellie on other hand completed and was inspirational enough to know that I will return and try to build up the courage again to try once again. Though it does seem safer to order the chips at this point!

I think if it wasn’t for the 20 week challenge and having such great encouragement from friends, family and the Pumped group I don’t think I’d have even looked at doing any of the above or trying to broach my fear of heights. I’d have avoided instead of simply just giving it a go.


When I first read this request for stories of courage I immediately dismissed it in my head, but then something I have done throughout the 20-week challenge is to try and challenge myself with everything and especially with my thoughts and self-belief. Which led me to think about the word courage and what does it actually mean? By definition, Courage is “the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery.” – Have I done something or anything that has taken bravery? It is so easy to dismiss ‘the small things’ and belittle all the things that you have achieved, by telling yourself someone else will have done better. So here are the things that I have achieved over the last 18 weeks that have taken bravery:

– I got comfortable at jumping on the scales and not letting it affect my day, and telling myself there is more to that number. Up until the 20-week challenge I would never weigh myself and try and work by how tight/loose my clothes are, but having this healthier relationship with the number that comes back has given me the courage to step on up!

– I have had the courage to get on a road bike. Again something people do all the time but I would always look at them and think ‘my god it’s so light and thin, that’s just not safe’. However, having been cycling a lot over the 20 weeks to be able to achieve my target of doing 2000 km’s in the 20 Weeks I was confident on my mountain bike so it was time to get out of that comfort zone and challenge myself to progress – Today is only day 1 of commuting on it so I am still very nervous but am yet to fall off and am delving into my bravery! Next challenge is to get the proper clip in shoes and overcome that BHAG too!

– I have had the courage to run up hills, this is something I would always just say, ‘no not for me, I am not fit enough to do running up hill’. But do you know what I AM fit enough and I can do it! I might not go super-duper fast but I can do it. I’ve even gone as far as to add them into my 2017 exercise plan, so post 20-week challenge, so I can get quicker at going up them! Eeeek!

– I have had the courage to run with faster people. I arrived in Christchurch in January and knew nobody, I wanted to lose some weight get in shape etc and let 2017 be MY year, so I started to run again. I had previously had a go at running at home (UK) and would do the run but not enjoy them and would always go on my own because of how unfit I was. I was embarrassed to run with other people as I knew I was slow and wouldn’t be able to talk due to being so puffed! However, as I needed to meet people in Christchurch, so I started posting on my gym Facebook page every Tuesday and would ask whoever to join me. I was open to the fact I was going to be slow but would just appreciate their company more for accountability if anything, despite asking for this company making me feel super nervous. There are some super speedy ladies at my gym that I was just in absolute awe of and would have fear if they said they were coming as I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But now several months later by sticking with my plan and my Tuesday morning runs with people of different abilities I can now keep up with those ladies AND talk whilst we run!

So yeah, I have been brave and put myself out there, and what is more exciting is that by doing it has given me, even more, courage to follow all the other things I want to do. <3


My story of courage

This involves me climbing in trees at Adrenaline Forest: something I have managed to avoid all my life up until now. Before our school closed down, we were given a grant to take the kids to do fun things – there were four trips to Adrenaline Forest – I pulled rank and went to Laser Strike four times! I don’t have a fear of heights but I’m not that keen on them. What I concluded, when I thought about why I didn’t want to go, was that it is a fear of falling rather than being up high. So of course they go together – the higher you go the further you fall. I sometimes have nightmares about falling or trying to catch something that is falling. Thrown in there is a touch of being out of control of a situation.

So how did I end up at Adrenaline Forest? Well, last year I participated in the Adventure Category of the 20 Week Challenge doing a lot of new activities like go-carting, horse riding, snorkelling, aquafit, dancing and biking. Around came June 4By4 this year and I need to find four more new activities to do. There didn’t seem any way around it (when in Christchurch doing new activities – Adrenaline forest always comes up) – I had to climb trees!

Pete was keen to come and support me. I was very nervous but once it had been talked about I couldn’t back down. I even mentioned on Facebook that I was going, to reinforce it! When the instructor was demonstrating the harness and we had a bit of a practice, I was trying to do my yoga breathing, hoping my body wasn’t going into flight mode! It worried me at first that the instructor just said, “Level one is over there,” as I thought we would have someone showing us what to do. I was really pleased that it was a wet day and there was hardly anyone there. I could see some barrels strung high up with a girl lamenting to her parents about going through them. “I’m not doing them!” I stressed to Pete. He replied, “Oh no, you won’t have to!”

Having him to follow was encouraging as I could see that he was ok and also I had to keep up with him so couldn’t spend too much time wimping about. I started off very nervous about the clipping on and off system but soon got the hang of it. One of the hardest was the high wire where you walk on one, holding onto the other: they are quite wobbly, especially the one you hang on to so I was worried about falling forward or back then slipping off. My strategy was to focus on a point in front of me and edge slowly, using my yoga breathing (that I learnt when I started going to classes in the 2016 Challenge). It got really tricky near the end so when I finally stepped onto the platform I could feel the relief surge through my body.

I realised there was no way of avoiding any of the challenges: I’m sure they must have ladders or something for those people that slip or have a panic attack but it was pretty much the only way to get down was to do the tasks! And what do you know? We reached the barrels! No way to avoid them!! Turned out they were more awkward than scary as they were quite stable rather than dangling as I had imagined!

I was proud of myself for facing up to the challenge and finding the courage to complete it.



Hi there,

I would like to enter myself into the Story of Courage Competition.

This years 20 week challenge has been one of a major mindshift for myself  – rather than just say I want to be fit and healthy I have really analized myself and my long term goals.

One of the things I recognized in this process was that one of my jobs was not the best fit for my personality – creating un wanted stress for me – however on the other hand I had quite a feeling of accomplishment as this is a job with a portfolio I had built up myself – it was providing a good income to my own business – and was proving to be a lucrative sideline, improving in value every month. There was no problem with the job itself or the people around me – but it was consuming my life outside of work.

One of the things that took a lot of courage for me this 20 week challenge was resigning from this job. I really ummed and ahhed about it – but at the end of the day – deep down I know that this is what I needed to do – I just had to have faith in my decision and go for it.

6 weeks on I still know this was the best decision for myself and my family.


Well just wow is about all I can say . This 20 week challenge has been a roller coast for me thats for sure.I haven’t achieved everything I wanted to or set out to.
I’m not going to beat  myself over it either, in life we win some and we lose some. It makes us stronger and we should all learn from this. I talked to my wonderful personal trainer (Julie Doak) about how is was going and what did she say to me.
No Sarah you may have not hit the goals set out on paper but what have you achieved.
I’ve seen you have the courage to jump on a box which at the start of the 20 week challenge you couldn’t get your feet even off the ground in fear. Even buying yourself a box to do so.
You’re had the courage to run two full marathons and 1 half to date in this challenge that’s good going. Stopping in one to get someone else across the line with you.
Most of all you’ve given up your spare time to study part time to learn more about something you believe in. Helping others. And becoming a personal trainer yourself.
So as you can see goals on paper are all well and true but sometimes you need to think out side the box to see what you’re achieved . Great things come when have the courage to take on your fears.

Stories of Courage from 2016

Some of the stories courageously sent in at the end of the 2016 challenge.

Sarah's Story

Hello my name is Sarah

sarah-wattsI’m the kind of person who stands back and watches everyone else doing well around me and doesn’t say much just wishes I had it in me to do it. In 2012 I gave up smoking, big move after 10 odd years doing it . Yes well my weight gain was terrible ( something around the 15kgs mark 😳). Working as a cook I served a few Zumba instructors on Saturday morning after there classes after about six months I got the courage to ask about there classes . This is where my fitness journey started after lossing 20 kgs doing five classes a week. One class that was three days a week shut down . So for weeks I talked about going to the gym and joining until I finally did it. Once joining I finally contacted JD training (JUlie Doak) and here we are today. Just finished my first 20 Week Challenge and pulled off amazing results not just on my body but mind, heart,passion, grit and drive to. I’m now fitter than ever and starting to training for my first ever marathon and start studying to be a personal trainer myself to help others like myself stand up in the world.image2

Thank you to everyone for sharing your amazing stories.


Brogan's Story

My story of courage is a wee bit off beat.

This 20 weeks I completed a bucket list goal of fundraising for charity which to do this it actually became a BHAG that I am still in shock that I actually completed! For this BHAG & bucket list goal I chose to run 100 km to raise money for the New Zealand Gynaecological Cancer Foundation.

This was a hugely ambitious goal and one I am so pleased I can say I survived! Especially given that I really only had 15 weeks from goal setting this mammoth distance to train and complete the run; and the furthest I had even run was 42.2km in my first marathon November 2015. It took me a great deal of courage to even contemplate going through with this, let alone tell others about what I was hoping to achieve.

I went into this BHAG / bucket list goal hoping to be able to raise $1000.00, with the idea that each km would be work $10.00, however I was completely blown away with the final figure being over $3000.00! -I also went into the day having no idea what to expect and no real incline as to how my body would cope; thankfully it coped well and I managed to pass my goal for running at least 50 km before slowing down. In actual fact I am chuffed to say I actually managed to run over 70 km well before I gradually slowed. Even managing a sprint finish at the end!

I chose to support and fund raise for the New Zealand Gynaecological Cancer Foundation for a number of reasons. These reasons include wanting to spread more awareness for the foundation, being extremely passionate about the cause, as well as knowing a number of people affected by these cancers by either having known someone who died / battled one or having been diagnosed with a gynae cancer themselves.
brogans-runOn an even more personal level I chose to support the foundation because for the past year I have been back and forth from doctors and hospitals myself for testing and treatment for a gynae cancer. Being only 25 and having been through so much of the testing process and having had small procedures myself, I fully understand and appreciate the importance of early detection and just how hard these types of cancers are to detect in women. I have only just started sharing this openly with family and friends recently so that in itself has taken a lot of courage for me.

brogan-and-support-crewCourage for me was committing myself to such a massive goal so publicly with know real clue of how I’d really pull it off. The risk of failure was terrifying but the success from completing this BHAG & bucket list goal is exhilarating and rewarding.

Being a part of the 20 week challenge and having the support and guidance from my PT Kate gave me the courage to even dream of doing the 100 km, let alone complete it. Thank you to Catch Fitness and Kate, here’s to many more challenges and courage to complete them :)

Stephanie's Story

Courage By Stephanie
Having had to show more courage than I have ever mustered up before going on a world class record breaking roller coaster in Japan a week prior to the challenge starting, I was in the zone for adventure.

In Week One I battled my nervousness of the sea and breathing under water and snorkelled in Hawaii.

Then realising I needed to keep conquering the water issue I decided to try Aquafit as one of my 4By4 challenges.

I was very nervous about going to an Aquafit class but I thought it would be good for my dodgy knees and I used to love aerobics. But I didn’t really know what to expect – the website said the class was high intensity. I haven’t been great under water since three broken noses from sport created scar tissue and made it difficult to breathe while swimming. Did I have to go under water? Or swim fast? Would the water be deep? Lots of questions. The class was 7.15pm, dark, cold and raining. No parking close by but found the extra carpark. I changed feeling very self-conscious but wasn’t sure where to put my clothes. I wandered though and saw lockers with a digital system that took me a while to work out. I needed to wear my glasses to read the digital screen and what to do but then I put my bag in the locker and realised I was still wearing my glasses that need to be in the locker! Oh dear – this added to my stress. Then when I walked through to the pool I saw cubby holes against the walls! I wasn’t sure where to go but there was a class on in the pool so I assumed that was where to go. This was all way out of my comfort zone as I sat on the seat waiting for when my class would start. But the instructor was lovely and said not to worry. The class was fun and I really enjoyed it. The chlorine was very strong and getting changed awkward. But I think I will come again and I will cope with things better next time.

I have been attending the classes regularly and pleased that I pushed myself and found the courage to be in the water.

Jenny's Story

On 3rd August I was informed that my job would disappear during restructuring of the firm that I had worked for over five years and on 12 August I was made officially redundant for the first time in my life. I also received a $50 voucher from Catch Fitness to use with Courage My Love Clothing but thought it would be frivolous of me to spend it on active wear when I had outstanding bills. I assumed I could get another job quickly but I am now in my seventh week of unemployment. I apply for jobs daily and have had interviews but still no job offer. My inbox is full of rejection emails.

Throughout this I have retained the lessons I learnt during the 20 Week Challenge. I still eat healthy, still do my 10,000 steps for Steptember and I still train for the marathon in November and do weights twice a week. Today I am going to bite the bullet and apply for the unemployment benefit – but before I do that, I am going to go for my run. This is what has kept me going.

This is not about winning a prize or a pat on the back, but if I can help someone with my story and show that you can still get through the tough times if you keep to your goals and carry on with your exercise, then that is enough.


Sasha's Story

sasha-boxing sasha-fighting sasha

My courage story is I am now a fighter. Literally and metaphorically.

As a shy, reserved person I never spoke out in a crowd. I always felt scared about sharing my opinion and getting hurt. After picking up gloves 20 weeks ago -I picked up a passion. I am now really passionate about muay Thai kickboxing and cannot wait to grade and get into the ring. I wouldn’t have tried this if not for my trainer Rachel Taniwha and 20 Week Challenge. Now I am not scared to be punched or punch back! I can kick high and have higher self esteem. I feel great about myself and braver than before at work and social life. I feel much stronger and love passing on my courage to other people. Especially shy girls that need an extra leg up.

Ps Rachel has been involved in Courage My Love Clothing my promo and I absolutely fell in love with the legskins.


Fiona's Story

Sometimes the courage is simply in starting.

When my daughter put me forward to win a free entry for mothers day I thought… oh yeah… never mind will never win anyway (secret yay)… but yes I did…5 years ago I had a knee replacement and had to change my job because of it.  I went back into office work.  My specialist told me I wasn’t allowed to run as it would affect the life my knee and so, to my pleasure, I thought the life of exercise is something I would never have to worry about.  Then this happened, the 20 week challenge.  My daughter, Leea Hirst, won overall a couple of years ago and I was sooo proud of her and her achievements.  She looked amazing.  Now I had the chance to make a change in my life, I never thought I would have that ‘want to get up and do it (exercise) attitude ever.  And here I am now- 54 years old & I am up at 4.30am every morning aqua jogging except for Thursday, which is a PT session at 6am.  I have another session on a Monday evening – and a couple of core sessions during the week, I also walk 6 kms on a Saturday and Sunday…. I am loving it and sooo miss it if I can make it…. I automatically wake early and am ready to go…. Thank you 20 week Challenge, my daughter & PT Tanya McEwan – you have literally changed my life… & I love it!



Briar's Story

In this story there is no significant illness or injury or circumstances. There is however the blessing of significant mess, busyness and challenge that has snuck into our lives since our family arrived one by one.  There are two things that I try to teach our children on a daily basis – to be kind and to have courage. These things I am also learning myself – to be kind to myself when I make mistakes and to keep myself well and happy. To have the courage to get to each day and take what comes and to push myself to be the best me possible. I’m never going to be the perfect mother, wife, friend or person but I take that challenge to be courageous and kind each day. I hope in turn I will inspire our children to face the world in the same way.

Lisa's Story

This is “My Story of Courage”   

        Lisa Press 

I posted the following request on my social media pages at the beginning of the 20 week Challenge. This is my report on this and the results of it…….

“I need your help and support”

As most of you will know, I have completed x4 20 Week Challenges and these have been an instrumental part of keeping ‘the new and revised healthy Lisa’ here. Every year this challenge keeps me motivated over the winter and helps me achieve amazing things.

This year I am looking to have my exercise and events count towards something, more than just my waist line or strength readings.

This is where I need your help.

I have a goal to raise $2,000.00 for the “Look Good Feel Better” Charity.

Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) is the only worldwide cancer support charity providing free, practical support for people dealing with the side effects of cancer treatment.

I would like you all to think of an event, an exercise, a challenge or a task that you set for me. In exchange for completing this task, I would request you donate to this well deserving charity.

I have set up an account for you to donate into, once I have completed your challenge. Your request and donations can be sent to me by private FB message or as a public post, whichever you are comfortable with.

I am very focused as you know, and I would love as many of you to support me on this journey. It will help me remain fit, healthy and strong and help a Charity that some of my friends have had to use. They do an amazing job for people who need to ‘Look Good and Feel Better’ during cancer treatment.

Thanks to all of you for supporting me with all my crazy ideas.

I am here to be challenged, so bring them on!!


Now it is ‘Week 20’ of the 20 Week Challenge.                       14/9/16

This story of Courage for me has been not only about having faith that my friends, family and acquaintances would support me, it was also about having the courage to attempt something I have not done before, and that is raise money on my own, for a great cause. Along with the trepidation of these factors, I also had to trust that I would be able to complete whatever crazy ideas people challenged me to. It was like opening a can of worms.

During this 20 Week Challenge, I have set and achieved many goals outside of this fundraising challenge that were extremely daunting. One of these was training for, and running without stopping, one of Christchurch’s hardest and steepest half marathons. This was called “The Epic” and it certainly was! At 54 yrs old and having lost 45 kg on my journey over the past 4 years, this was a goal I never thought possible. Along with my Fundraising Challenge, inside my 20 Week Challenge, I have relied on my own strength, determination and courage to achieve some amazing feats.

My Fundraising Challenge results;                        

I have completed my target of raising $2,000.00

I received amazing support from the people in my life

I have learnt that anything is possible with courage, support and a ‘never give up’ attitude

I have completed all challenges that were asked of me, that I initially thought, were not achievable

These are some, but not all, of what I was challenged to do, in exchange for a donation to

“Look Good, Feel Better”

  • (this was the hardest by far!- bike to the top of Rapaki without stopping ( I am not bike fit)
  • 2 day off road West Coast bike trail ride
  • 5metre swim
  • Bike ride the Summit Rd along and down “The Bastard” Rd, as it is known, down

Gebbes Pass and out to Motukarara.

  • 100km nonstop bike ride
  • Take a friend, who does not run, for a 10km run in Hagley Park
  • Run 12km with a friend at her pace (which is way faster than mine)
  • Have a non exercising friend join me every week for some exercise
  • Walk Rapaki track and then indulge in a full body massage-this was my favourite!
  • Attend Stretch and Release classes with a friend
  • Make and provide school lunches for schools in the community that need help feeding some of their students
  • Cook and provide meals for a week, for a family needing a hand
  • Make baking for a group who were travelling away for weekend and keep them fed
  • Make meals for a friend, who had 8 family members coming to stay, who was not able to do this herself
  • Attend the Clothing Swap, run by 20 Week Challenge, and then drop off any remaining bags of clothes to Women’s Refuge Centre (there were 24 bags of clothes)
  • Drop off food items that were the result of a team Pantry Clean Out, toThe City Mission.
  • I even received a donation for having breakfast with a friend, who I had not seen in ages

There were some very demanding exercise challenges in there and I achieved every one of them. There were some challenging cooking/baking ones in there that proved a hit! The most warm and fuzzy ones were being able to help schools in need, Women in need and the City Mission.

I am blessed to have a very loving and supportive group of people in my life, who not only choose to support my ‘out there’ ideas, but they stand by me and smile at me, feed me, pat me on the back and generally think I am one crazy lady, who will set my mind to something AND achieve it.

I have appreciated this opportunity to not only test myself, but I have learnt a lot about having faith in people around me. I have been able to learn more about others out in the community who need a hand and how I can go about assisting with some of these very worthy causes. I now volunteer weekly at a Seniors Active Class, that is part of keeping the over 65yrs, active, strong, safe and social in their community.

Jennifer's Story

Without doubt, one of the most universally courageous acts in our Challenge is the starting of a new activity, it’s why we have the June 4BY4 challenge and why we admire everyone that gives it a shot.  Doing what Jennifer did is certainly going next level on this front and then to keep doing it,  even though we know Team CP are awesome, well that’s just incredible.  
Sometime we mistakenly think people who join running groups like this mustn’t be scared.  Maybe we say  ‘it’s okay for them because they want to do it, their good at it, their okay with it’ when in fact they have felt the same fear as the rest of us and done it anyway!  Good on you Jennifer.
Hi Broni and team!
I have been debating with myself about whether I should share this or not as I think other people’s courageousness has far outweighed my own… however….
My courageous feat for the challenge has been to join a run group.  Just before the challenge started I  joined up, through Complete Performance aka Team CP, with a Tuesday morning run group.  We run every Tuesday 6.30-7.30am no matter what the weather is and we focus on interval training.  Initially I had no idea what to expect which, in hindsight, was probably a really good thing – as they say, naivety can go along way sometimes.  Anyway so I rolled out of bed at 6am and rocked up for my first session questioning what the heck I was doing and feeling really really nervous.  Just go for a wee warm up said the coach – in reality the ‘warm up’ was run at a faster pace than I had ever run before all the while marvelling at how the group of fine specimens of athletes could talk AND run.  After warm came long intervals, short intervals, then what felt like some super fast sprints just to make sure my lungs and legs were truly wrecked, to finish. I staggered back to my car reflecting on what has just occurred and seriously thought I was going to vomit. I was tempted to bail on run group then and there but reminded myself that if I was ever going to get faster with my running, I would have to push myself so I went back week after week with my goals clear in my mind.  We usually run between7-10k each session and I have learnt so much about not only about running, but what I am capable of physically and mentally.  I am still one of the slowest but have learnt to keep up and talk during the warm up and sometimes I pat myself on the back just for turning up!  I am in awe of the people I get to run with which includes athletes who have recently represented New Zealand at the World age groups in duathlon and triathlon. These people have helped me improve my running immensely and offer such great support and encouragement.  EachTuesday I am so far out of my comfort zone I want to cry (and it takes a great deal of mental energy just to get there sometimes.)  The sessions are always challenging but am grateful for the improvements it has made to my running and for the opportunity to run alongside some really inspiring people. Besides, what doesn’t challenge us doesn’t change us right?

Aimee's Story

Diana's Story

My journey for the 20 week challenge began when I started thinking about joining a gym.

I wanted to build up strength to sort my injuries out (back, knee & shoulder). These injuries have been frustrating! I haven’t been able to sleep on my back or tummy for over 18 months.  Along with being on prescription drugs, which isn’t a life I’m happy to live.  And Boy do I miss sleeping on my stomach!!

So choosing Fusion Fitness & whacking the 20 week challenge together has turned out to be the starting point of taking my life back!

My strength has increased & I’m moving around more freely.

I’m thankful to the teams guidance in helping me get here.

Fusion has become my one stop shop. With regular Physio, massage & PT, its helped me. I’m no longer living on my meds. And now I can see the possibility of having a pain free life again.

So to keep myself in the zone now the 20 Week Challenge has finished I’ve already signed up for my next challenge. The Motatapu 2017 miners trail.


Your Story

Rest assured, courageous moves aren’t always about saving lives and leaping tall buildings. In this game some of the most important moves of courage are the ones that stretch us into new and positive habits. They’re the moves we could so easily back out of and no one would know.  Often indeed they are seemingly little things, so little we might be embarrassed even to say that it took courage to do them.  Little things however all add up to help grow us or hinder us and with each one we leap over it becomes exponentially easier to leap the over the next :-)

So celebrate your courageous steps, small or big,  and if you want to take another leap of courage, share one with us, whether it’s a few lines or a novel, or the caption to a great picture or a video email yourstory to before October 4th and you’ll receive our cheers and pats on the back and maybe some new flash legskins.  All our usual T & C’s apply and by submitting and entry you agree to let ourselves and Courage My Love Clothing to publish it and inspire others with it.

More stories of courage from 2016

These were some of the stories we received at the start of the challenge.

Roz's Story

I did my first 20 week Challenge in 2012.  Since then I have gone through IVF which was unsuccessful and just a couple of weeks after that I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer which has seen me go through 6 months of chemo, 6 weeks of radiation, a lumpectomy and a hysterectomy. During this time I had a lot of complications requiring hospital stays. My gorgeous little 3 year old boy got me through he really did and I was determined to keep his world as normal as possible. During my treatment I put on 20 kgs and and I was the heaviest I had ever been and was absolutely miserable, depressed  and anxious.  Some days I had to force myself to leave the house.
I think the crunch came last year when we went to Rarotonga and because I was so self – conscious I wouldn’t even go swimming and sat on the beach watching my family having fun kayaking ….. It’s been really hard but I have finally turned things around and my main focus is I want my son to have memories of a fun Mum doing cool things with him not of a Mum sitting and watching on the sideline. And I know I have to be as fit and healthy as I can be.
I have now lost 12 kgs and have started training with my PT and am getting out and about a lot more.  I can’t wait to start the 20 week challenge next week and am looking forward to lots of challenges! During my goal setting session this week with my PT one of my goals was to be able to walk into a shop and buy some really cool pants/leggings that weren’t a plus size so to win a pair of Courage my Love leggings would be fantastic and would be such an incentive to me to have them hanging up in my bedroom to look at everyday and fit into at some stage during this challenge!!

Thank you it’s been great reading everyone’s stories.

Lisa's Story

lisaTwo specifics to pick out of My Story of Courage, that I would like to pass on to others.
For those that don’t know me, I have been on a weight loss and ‘save my life’ journey for the past few years. My first 20 Week Challenge was in 2012. I lost 32kg that year and have continued on to grow stronger and believe in myself more every day.
Total weight loss to date has been 45kg. Some people have more to lose than this and some have a lot less.
 5kg can be a mountain to climb, so we all have our own goals and battles with the bulge and/or getting off the sofa.
So, from my story I think 2 main things I would say that required courage.
Get off the sofa and get out there and start crawling,walking, running, biking, swimming or whatever activity you feel, is going to get you started.
The number of people who actually mock people out exercising is much less than those that are admiring you.
Most people drive or walk past and say “look at that person out there trying to make a difference to their life” They don’t always say it to your face, but they are saying it themselves or others around them. They actually want to have the courage you are showing them.
So get out there and show people how motivated and dedicated you are to your cause.
 Motivation is infectious.
The other point that I feel requires enormous courage is believing in yourself. Sit down with your PT, your family or friends and come up with some goals, that you feel are beyond you. Then take baby steps towards them until you are running at them head on with so much strength, determination and that sense of achievement.
Your goals, that seem out of reach at the beginning, suddenly become achievable. Trust me. Been there, done that!!!
To recap;
1. Get out there and show the community what you’re made of
2. Pick tough and exciting goals and go do them!!
Keep positive and supportive people around you. Believe in yourself. Ask for help when you need it and you can achieve anything you ever dreamed of.
I look forward to reading about all your stories, as we progress on the 2016 20 Week Challenge.

Lorraine's Story

lorraineI often wonder what courage really looks like and I find myself looking back on my life trying to remember times where I had shown “real” courage.
The photo is a time that i felt I showed the most courage but this courage was nothing in comparison to the inspiring soul I was fighting for, her courage is what made me find mine and shave my head to support her journey.
Courage comes in many shapes and sizes and we all have a time where we have endured the courage to make a change if not for ourselves then certainly for someone else!
This is my COURAGE!


Rebecca's Story

Hi guys,

I’d like to put forward my entry into your April Courage My Love competition please:

I had been overweight for most of my life and finally decided enough was enough and that I wanted to change.

In 2010 I joined a weight loss group which offered guidance on healthy food choices and portion sizes. For the first time in my adult life I was within the healthy BMI for my height, losing 35kg. My journey was well received at my support group and I was very proud of my efforts.

Thinking I no longer needed the group’s support or guidance I went off and did my own thing and maintained my goal weight for the next few years.

In 2014 I fell pregnant with my second child. The first trimester I was very unwell and turned to food in an effort to feel better. At approximately 12 weeks I miscarried and was understandably devastated. Again I turned to food.

I fell pregnant a second time, very quickly, but continued on my path of sickness and emotional eating.

I was blessed to have my son in March 2015 but by this time I had put on an additional 60kg, not including the actual baby weight or fluids.

It was not until my son was born that I realised how badly I had let myself go- no longer able to hide behind a pregnant belly I had to acknowledge how unhealthy I had become. I was 140kg and miserable- people didn’t even recognise me as I looked like a completely different person. I didn’t want to go places because I was ashamed that after all my hard work to lose the weight the first time I was now much bigger than before. I desperately wanted to reinstall my healthy habits but I was so nervous to return to my weight loss group as in my mind, I was a terrible failure and I was certain that they would judge me.

It took all my courage to return. I walked in, eyes down, and secretly hoped that I wouldn’t know anyone there- but I did… and they were happy to see me, they didn’t mention my size- they gushed over my son.

I felt like such a fool as I was so warmly welcomed back, but in my mind (and it was only in my mind), walking in that door again was one of the hardest things to do. But I am so glad that I did as it was a much needed turning point in my life and I have lost over 40 of that 60 kg to date.


So for me, my courageous moment was picking myself up again after what felt like failure-it was walking through that door. My life wasn’t in danger, I wasn’t swimming with sharks- To an outsider it may have not looked significant but in my mind it was one of the most challenging things I have done.

Thanks for reading my entry- Really looking forward to starting the 20 Week Challenge.

And my choice would be the ‘Courageous Freedom Legskins’ (the ones with the butterfly print, they’re gorgeous!)

Many thanks,

Rebecca R

Sarah's Story

I joined the 20 week challenge in 2014, obviously nervous of failing and being another ‘I gave up’ story. Now I LOVE it.
Changing my mind-set was the hardest thing about the challenge.

If I could give advice to anyone who is thinking of doing this challenge, or is struggling, remember your reasons.
You are doing this for yourself, nobody else! You want this and you can do this! Vibe off others and inspire others.
Never say don’t. Don’t want to. Don’t know how. Give everything a go at least once! No more excuses!
Be fearless, be limitless and be confident. You have this!
No one ever regrets getting off the couch J
Good luck everyone!!

Badass Bunnie!

Jessica's Story

As I approached the year 2016, the year where I would turn 26, the year where I was back at university studying towards a Bachelor of Criminal justice, the year where I thought I would have my life sorted!
Did I ever think that I would be lost within myself
Who was I?
Where did all my confidence go?
Did I truly believe I was good enough to become a police officer?
Why was I sabotaging myself?
Why did I rely so heavily on food as comfort?
All of these questions were ones that have crossed my mind over the past 13 weeks.
It all started at the start of the year I need something to shake me up, mentally, physically and emotionally.
I needed some sort of change to shake up the life style that I was living, currently it was doing nothing for me. My clothes were getting smaller and my self esteem, out look on life and confidence was too decreasing.
I came a cross the Pumped Fitness Web page and saw their 100 day challenge. I toyed with the idea for a couple of days and then decided to go and approach Kate myself. This was hard as I was becoming ashamed of who I had turned into, doing this meant that had to be honest with myself about my habits that had lead me to this lifestyle, that at the time I thought was healthy.
I joined the 100 day challenge and I can not RAVE enough about how supportive and important it has been to me over the last 90 days.
I have found myself again, my clothes are getting bigger, my confidence is growing, my relationship with food is drastically improving and more importantly I have relised how special I am, yes I love myself! I am amazing.
All of these results are down to that little but of COURAGE that I found that day that I decided to go and approach Pumped fitness, I am so proud of myself for doing that. That was the 1st step in becoming a new and improved me.
Throughout the challenge I have found the COURAGE to push myself, challenge and question myself to make better changes to myself and life style.
COURAGE is what I have daily now it is appart of who I am, I used courage to enter the 20 week challenge and DAM I can not wait to see where this little bit of COURAGE is going to get me!!
Have a lovely day

Rebecca B's Story

This is my story of courage.

My BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) from last year’s challenge was to run a marathon. Before the challenge was finished I had entered the Rotorua marathon and this Saturday I will be off and running. Ive spent the last three months training for this and I’m feeling confident that i will cross the finish line under my own steam. I never thought of myself as a runner and that remains true even though over the past four years I have been running and even completed a few half marathons. A full marathon was for the elite, real runners, not a plodder like me.  I am slowly coming to believe in myself as a runner (and in general).  I am very fortunate in that I have not had to overcome any injuries or illness, I have a very supportive husband and much like the cowardly lion the courage I’ve found is the ability to believe in myself – with a little help from Oz aka Kate.

Very much looking forward to this years challenge and this year for me is going to be all about the WOW factor and speaking of wow, my tight choice would be Steampunk.

Vanessa's Story

My story of courage is not a grand I came back from a feat worse than death but rather I work hard at the gym and every time I just start getting to where I want to be I get yet another injury that sets me back.  Last year I was just get my upper body weights up and felt great about the way I was shaping up when I tore  the tendon in my shoulder.  Out went my training and I was close to just giving up when a new trainer started at the gym I go to and he listened to me and worked closely with me to  rehab my shoulder and work other areas to ensure that I pushed forward and didn’t quite.  Seven months on here I am preparing for the 20 Week Challenge!      So to anyone else out there who is not sure about joining because of an injury my suggestion is to find a trainer like mine and go for gold!

Rara's Picture Story

10505356_10152145858645388_5211366985017389542_n 1382422_10151618287015388_1910079955_n 294956_10150609339345388_1327721829_n 283592_477868898899877_573353561_n















Gen's Story

In September last year, my world was totally rocked – I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I will spare you the gory details – but what I will say is that it has been the most terrifying, breath-taking, horrendous, profoundly beautiful thing I have ever experienced.  It has opened my eyes to how much I had already stopped living.  It made me realize that I had become more focused on who I was supposed to be, and had forgotten who I actually was.  I surprised myself with courage, and discovered that the world is full of beauty and wonder and grace.  Breast cancer saved my life.

I am not usually one to share things and make myself vulnerable, but I am telling a part of my story because I am ready to change and come out of myself.  I am ready to lose weight, get in shape, start a blog, learn to be me.  I’m ready to start living – and I am so excited that the 20 Week Challenge is a part of my journey.  I can’t wait to see where these next 20 weeks will take me.

Thank you :)

Vintage Tattoo Design

Cheryl's Story

Fear. It can be a big thing or a small thing that makes you tie yourself up into knots. It would be fair to say I was really good at living in fear before I did my first 20 week challenge. It was the kind of fear that wasn’t the big stuff – it was the fear that talked to you, telling you you will look silly if you try this, you are too big to wear that, it was the unanswered question what if?
My life was going okay I thought, then things changed – mother fear kicked in as my first born left home to live in another city…the what if questions were loud and persistent. My job hours suddenly lessened and then I get gently encouraged/ cajoled into this thing called a 20 week challenge. All that fear of failing was right there talking to me and questioning me but I had a secret weapon – an amazing group of people who just kept encouraging me to change my story – change it to what you want it to be.
So my first challenge I zumba’ed, I danced (in my dressing gown), I laughed and I worked hard on changing my story. And I did not fail. In fact as a team we were successful. So I came back. I still had unfinished business with my headspace – again I had a fantastic group around me and my headspace changed – I have gained greater confidence when faced with any challenge big or small, but more importantly my story has changed and continues to develop. I used to walk past or watch people doing fun activities and wish that I could do that too. Fear stopped me and now in 2016 I am coming back to do a third challenge and live our family goal #2016experiencesnotstuff.
Courage has seen me take on new things again this year and my goals for the challenge have been inspired by other challengers reaching their goals.
I gave my trainer a quote after the first challenge – Life begins at the end of your comfort zone – my goals this year will push me out of the zone a little further and where I once would have just preferred to sit and wish, I now am looking forward to stretching myself. Those questions are still unanswered, the fear of failing is still there – but I know I just have to take the leap and trust the landing spot will be there – right where it needs to be.
A thousand mile journey begins with one step – no matter how hard that one step might be or how steep the climb might be at times, once started, your whole outlook on life changes.

Entries close April 28th.  Winner drawn and announced May 1st.

Prizes are not transferable or exchangeable for cash. Winner agrees to promotion of their story and image by 20 Week Challenge and/or Courage My Love. Entrants give permission to receive promotional emails from 20 Week Challenge and/or Courage My Love from which they can unsubscribe at any time.

A huge thank you to Persephone and the Courage My Love team for all their support.

happiness is courage