Spreading a healthy message
CHILDREN should have Australian role models, but the fitness world is too dominated by American trends and products.
That's according to Stanthorpe athlete Amarina Nhaynes, who is so passionate about health and fitness she's running a marathon to raise awareness of a leading health and fitness organisation.
Nhaynes is competing in all five events at the Warwick Pentathrun next month, and will run a total of 42km.
She's launched a GoFundMe fundraising campaign and is urging the community to back her, and support what fitness and wellbeing education group Blackfit is doing to help children live healthy lifestyles.
"You see a lot of American fitness people, and it's all about protein shakes and different workouts, and how to get abs real quick,” she said.
What Blackfit teaches is more "wholesome and community-orientated”.
"I just love what they're doing, that they're incorporating culture and fitness,” she said.
"They've got some people on their team who know about the natural foods from Australia and how they can benefit health and fitness.
"They're going out into school groups and educating all ... kids at all different ages.”
A Bundjalung and Gangulu woman, Nhaynes said when she was a child, visits from indigenous educators who inspired her on a cultural level were once per year at best.
"That doesn't really keep your motivation up,” she said.
She said Blackfit's programs helped build and celebrate a sense of community while promoting health and fitness.
Blackfit is planning to expand into mental health and focus more on men's issues.
"I feel it's something that isn't addressed both in the indigenous community and the western community,” Nhaynes said.
"A lot of men tend to bottle it up or be strong and ignore their emotions, but everyone has that emotional side of them.
"To be able to be emotionally intelligent and also understand how that affects your health is really important.”
Nhaynes is $250 toward her $2000 goal. To donate visit gofundme.com and search 'Amarina's Pentath Run'.
Amarina is stepping out for Blackfit
SHE'S never run 42km over two days before but Amarina Nhaynes is going to give it a crack at next month's Warwick Pentathrun.
"I've been running my whole life...but this is different,” she said.
"The last few months I've been really trying to step it up.”
The event comprises five races over two days, with the distance totalling a marathon.
A half-marathon early morning on Saturday, May 18, is followed by a 4.6km cross-country event. Then in the afternoon there's a 5km road race.
On Sunday morning Ms Nhaynes will compete in the 10km uphill road race in the early morning, then a final 1500m sprint to finish.
"I definitely run that distance over the course of a week but to get it into two days it's going to be a lot more challenging,” she said.
She and her partner's dog have been training every day.
The Warwick Pentathrun on May 18-19 will be the first competition Ms Nhaynes has been in since leaving high school.
Miss Nhaynes is fundraising to support the healthy lifestyle educators at Blackfit.
Blackfit founder and owner Josh Toole said he was "stoked” Miss Nhaynes was raising funds to support his team's work.
"Not everyone can drop what they're doing and go out to these communities and give their time and effort,” he said.
He said Blackfit's work was helping indigenous and non-indigenous people.
Blackfit started as a gym and online fitness initiative, but soon expanded to run programs in schools and detention centres.
Traditional knowledge about wellbeing, fitness and health underpin his work.
"We link (healthy eating and nutrition) with bush tucker and the way we used to eat back in the day,” he said.
Meditation practice is linked to the Dreaming, and some of the men's mental health practices in traditional culture where men would "go walkabout” and spend time on their own, being in nature and having time for reflection.