July Athlete of the Month- WHETU!!

Interview by Paddy Compter

Name:   Whetu Hau (nee Hetaraka)
Age:  really ummm… 444449
Occupation: Bakery Assistant, storeperson, supervisor, delivery driver, office duties list goes on.

Lives: Massey

When did you join up at CFW? 

November 2013

And what was the thing that motivated you to start?

Many things, been looking for a while to start training again. One of my work colleagues told me about a gym opening next door to us, went for a look, did a open class actually attended 2 open classes and thought yeah I can do this, started elements and 7 months later still here. Motivation was there it was just getting my A into G.

How many times are you training a week?

4 days a week

You have the shortest commute to work out of all our members (even Brian who works right across the road). Is this a factor in getting to the box regularly or do you like to get up at 5am in the morning?

Working next door helps and 5.45 classes are just perfect for me, and great start to the day, but it took a while to get up so early.

How would you have described your physical condition when you first started? 

You know I thought I was ok but this training soon put me in my place, didn’t really realize how unfit I was.

Is sport and exercise something you have always done?

Out of 5 siblings my younger sister and myself were the only ones who really took to exercise and sports. My parents also helped us through training, supporting and just being around love them for that. My main sports were Netball, softball, rugby with a little bit of squash thrown in. Done a half Auckland marathon wow that was a while ago.

Do you remember your first workout and what it felt like afterwards?

OMG do I if we are talking about my 1st element training, I’m not sure what we did but I remember waking up the next day in so much pain… too frightened to sit on the loo (I laugh about it now but at the time man o man). My 1st ever class was the next day after finishing my elements and as above but 2x worse, nearly cried I was so sore.

I really admire your great attitude. No challenge seems to faze you. Have you always approached life like this?

I suppose I think life is too short to dwell. This approach hits me as I get more mature each year. The challenges faze me every morning when I arrive at the box, I do what I can and give it my best. When I can’t or I just sometimes say to myself if you can’t you can try something else.

Has your life changed since you started cross-fitting?

Life has changed in my home, I focus a bit more on me for once, my kids are adult now, my husband has his motorcross riding so that’s him and I’m loving the changes in my body, I GOT MUSCLES so cool.

What is it like being one of the older members of CFW (if you don’t mind me asking)?

I don’t think apart from a few members anyone really knew how mature I was but alas they do now, I sometime use to giggle to myself when I hear them talk about how young their kids are and their the same age as my grandchildren. My mobility is not the greatest but as before, I try. I sometimes wish I was 20 years younger or if crossfit was started years ago I probably would have been…well who knows.

Who or what motivates you through a session at the box?

Everyone (members, coaches) they all inspire and motivate me, I’m just in awe in seeing some who started with myself just excel. Even watching the newbies start you just know that they will do well.

Favourite exercise? Deadlifts

 Least favourite? Umm OHS

If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering starting out at CFW, what would it be?

So much advice where to start

You’ll never know until you try, never ever judge a book by it cover, mind over matter, don’t let others fears become yours….Hey if I can do it anyone can.

3 facts about me you may not know:

1. Got selected for the New Zealand United softball team in 1982.

2.Don’t quad bike anymore, the whoops hurt my back so now I watch my grandboys race motorcross.

3.Did a television ad (based on easter when I was 30) got paid pretty good money, got asked to do more ads but pregnancy stopped that.           

Just a final note from myself…

I nearly never started at CFW, my 1st open I walked passed the window saw them doing box jumps, freaked out ran back to my car ducked down when I saw Devon walk out I’d met him before briefly. Sat in my car knowing that its starts in 5 minutes said to myself GET YOUR FAT A…. in there and harden up. Nearly lost my breakfast doing though burpees a run in between after each three. But then had the nerve to ask Genice if I could come back next weekend… there you go I was hooked.



  • Janelle — July 23, 2014

    Why to go Whetu, you are awesome!! its great being in teh same class as you 5:45 whoop whoop!!

Leave a comment