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Finding new challenges the perfect way to stay motivated

MOTIVATED: Angel and Conni Parra are constantly looking for challenges to keep them active and supporting the community.

I have spoken previously about setting targets to maintain motivation where your health and fitness is concerned and last week I met a Lake Macquarie couple who do it well.

Warners Bay husband and wife Angel and Conni Parra like to be active and also like supporting charity events.

If they do not have a challenge then they get online and find one.

And they have been doing it for many years.

“When the kids were little we did a fundraising ride for the PCYC for a whole week from Broadmeadow to Muswellbrook and back,” Conni said, tellingme that was the start of it.

“For many years we’ve done Loop The Lake on our bikes and we always do the MND walks and Alzheimers walks. We like doing challenges.”

They see it as a way of staying active while also doing “our bit”.

“We like doing our part for the community and this is our way of helping, just fundraising and challenging ourselves and it’s also a way to get a little bit fitter by walking,” she said.

Next month the pair, along with their daughter and her friend, will be among 3700 people to take part in the Wild Women On Top Sydney Coastrek.

It isa 60-kilometre trek from Manly Beach to Bondi Beachto raise $2.8 million for TheFredHollowsFoundation.

Each year, teams of four, including at least two women, aim to raise at least $2000 for The Foundation.

It is the second time Conni and her daughter have done it, after completing the trek in around 12 hours two years ago.

“We just found it on the internet,” she said.“Two years ago we went looking for challenges for something to do.

“I really like walking. I walk every day on the foreshore with the dog and at least if you have a goal, a challenge, you tend to want to do it more.”

It involves covering varied terrain but comes with plenty of rewards, including obviously helping others in the form of The Fred Hollows Foundation, which restores sight for vision-impaired people.

”It’s a really beautiful walk and it goes to an amazing charity,” Conni said.

“It’s just fantastic what [Fred Hollows] did and what his wife and daughter havecontinued.”

The event is just one ofmany on the list for the Parras this year. The biggest challenge will be the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker, which Angel will doin August with Conni as support crew.

It aims to help tacklepoverty and involves taking on challenging trails along The Great North Walk between the Hawkesbury and Sydney.

When they are not doing events they are exploring the many bushwalks in our area.

“Years back, when we initially started all of this, we researched what walks we could do around here,” Conni said. “It’s always good to find new places because it’s boring if you walk the same places every time.

“It’s just exciting to find new trails. There are so many beautiful places to walk in and around Newcastle and you don’t find them unless you go looking for them.”

Since Coastrek began in Sydney in 2010, nearly 19,000 trekkers have raised more than $14 million for TheFredHollowsFoundation.

The funds have restored sight for hundreds of thousands of people and also helped prevent avoidable blindness by training local eye doctors and health workers.

This year’s fundraising goal of $2.8 million could give the gift of sight to up to 112,000 people.

Wild Women on Top Coastrek founderDi Westawaysaid the Sydney event was also a way for women to come together for their own health and well-being.

She reported that astudy by Griffith University found that training for events such as Coastrek createdsustained behavioural change for trekkers from negativeto positive thoughts about getting outdoors.

Hearing what other people are doing is also inspiring and motivating to me and,after meeting Conni and Angel, I left wondering if I could wrangle a few of my close friends for next year’s 60km Coastrek.

Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three. [email protected]苏州夜网.au.

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