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Five minute breather with… Kelly Hanlon

A perfect day for massage therapist Kelly Hanlon consists of sailing, hopping on the jet ski to tow the tubes, and then having a well-earned rest on the beach kicking the footy. With a huge love of being around water, getting outdoors, and willing to give most things a red-hot go (apart from bungee jumping; but she has a good reason for that!), this year Kelly’s focus is on getting stronger so that she can take her sailing to the next level.

“The first catamaran I had ever been on, it was fast and was such an adrenalin rush that I have been addicted ever since”

Occupation: Remedial massage therapist at NQ BodyFix, studying to be a personal trainer. My future goal is to help people regain control of their life from obesity and other chronic health conditions.

What activity makes you the happiest and why? My favourite activities are on the water: My passion is sailing.

How did you discover it? I was 12 years old and my sister dragged me along to Navy cadets. They sail an old tank of a boat called a ‘Corsair’. It was the first time I went out on the water in a sailing boat and I fell in love with it. I joined the sailing group at my first high school in northern NSW. At the age of 14 I moved to Hervey Bay, joined the sailing club and started crewing on a Tiapan 5’7. The first catamaran I had ever been on, it was fast and was such an adrenalin rush that I have been addicted ever since.


Have you always been active? Yes: I did swimming and netball as a child, sailing and boxing as a teen, running and gym in my late teens/early 20s, and now I’m back to sailing and gym.

“The hardest step is always the first step and to be there and share that moment with them is incredible and inspiring”

Are you a morning or afternoon mover? I’m a little bit of both. Getting up out of bed for the first minute is a struggle and settling at nighttime is a struggle. The hardest part of the day would be after lunch when the tummy is nice and full: that’s the perfect time for a nap!

What’s your favourite thing to do on a weekend in Townsville? If I could choose absolutely anything, it would be out on the water. Sailing, jet skiing towing the tube, and then taking a break on the beach while kicking the footy.

Your most motivating tune? Wow – tough question. At the moment, it is Headstrong by Trapt. Works wonders giving me energy and lifting my spirit.

Motivational quote? “Imagine, believe, achieve”. Always remember if you never give up then you will never fail – you will simply be one step closer to success.

“Fitness isn’t about flogging yourself crazy to look good: It’s about being active, healthy and enjoying life”

How do you pep yourself up when you’re craving the couch? I don’t so much pep talk myself; I send my body into automatic mode, stop thinking of excuses and get up and do whatever it is that needs to be done.

Do you prefer to get active solo, or with a buddy? A little of column A and B. All depends what I am doing.

Most annoying fitness fad? Selfies at the gym – I just don’t understand it.

What’s your greatest fitness achievement? Completing a 42km run. I got to 30km and thought that it was never going to end!

Most memorable active moment? I have two: While sailing in heavy conditions on a Tiapan 5’7; cart wheeling/capsizing the boat in a 35knot gust across the finish line while Channel 7 news was filming. Less dramatically, I also love that feeling at start of a marathon race where everyone is pumped and ready to go.

What activity have you always wanted to try (and what’s holding you back)? I would absolutely love to try bungee jumping, but I fractured my spine at the age of 15 and some things probably aren’t the best idea. However, I rarely – if ever – let it hold me back from being active and outdoorsy.

What’s something we don’t know about you? I can’t believe I am admitting this to all the readers out there – but – when my close friends found out that I like doing Pergamano parchment craft, they looked at me in the most bizarre way. It’s much more common to see me with a drill or hammer.

Trail-Run-18kg-vest-2013What’s your next goal? Get stronger, leaner and yet heavier to sail my boat better in heavier conditions: Currently anything above 15 knots and I struggle keeping her upright.

What are you doing to get there? Gym, following my meal plans… mostly (a lot harder than you think when people keep putting chocolates on the lunch table at work), and sticking to a routine to make sure I perform as close to 100% all the time.

Most embarrassing moment on the go? I can be rather clumsy at times, so I’m sure for someone watching me jogging on completely flat ground, tripping over my feet and face-planting; it would be quite amusing.

Who would you most like to train with? I would prefer to train with someone who is a regular everyday person: I find the people who motivate me the most are the people who need help getting started. I look up to them because it takes a lot of will power to want to change your life. The hardest step is always the first step and to be there and share that moment with them is incredible and inspiring.

The training advice I wish I’d listened to was… Rest and recovery is just as important as the training itself. This is something that I am still trying to listen to.

Most treasured piece of fitness gear? My headphones.

My best local fitness tip is… Get outdoors and enjoy the things you love doing. If you don’t want to run, then don’t. Fitness isn’t about flogging yourself crazy to look good: It’s about being active, healthy and enjoying life.

Tell us a joke (why not?) Something that you’ll NEVER hear a sailor say: “We have enough beer for everyone!”.

Last words? Go have fun, live life today because there may never be a tomorrow.

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Carly Lubicz

Carly Lubicz

Carly Lubicz is combining two of her great loves — writing and getting active. Previously working as a journalist, sub-editor, and editor in newspapers and magazines; she is editor and co-founder of TheGo Townsville. She stays active with the staples of road cycling and yoga, but has recently discovered triathlon. And become addicted (apart from the swimming part). She also has a Cert III in Fitness and is passionate about improving mental health through physical activity.

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