The Mastering Mountains Charitable Trust and MS Society of NZ are proud to announce our inaugural Mastering Mountains Grant recipient, Sue Dela Rue. Sue applied to the Trust for funding to receive specialised guidance, needed for her to rebuild fitness and attempt a traverse of Mt Maungatautari. The trustees and the Grant’s sponsors are excited to support Sue as she pursues her goals. Macpac is outfitting Sue with the gear she needs for her mission and MitoQ is supporting her with a year’s supply of supplement. Overcoming MS has given her George Jelinek’s latest book on lifestyle management. The trustees are deeply grateful for the generous support of these sponsors.
Nick Allen caught up with Sue and asked a few questions:
Nick: Sue, tell us about you day job?
Sue: I work as the Administration Manager at the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust in Pukeatua. I love the role and I often get called into the visitor centre, where I talk with visitors and tell them about the sanctuary and it’s tracks. The only problem is that I have to rely on second-hand information when I tell them about some of the tracks.
N: What do you love the most about working at Maungatautari?
S: I love being in nature, I love the bush there, and I am passionate about the Maungatautari’s mission as a sanctuary for all New Zealand plants and wildlife, restoring New Zealand’s biodiversity. The project is enormous and it’s amazing to be part of such a wonderful place — in amongst the passion of all involved!
N: Tell us about the goal you are working toward.
S: My goal is to walk over Mt Maungatautari from the north to the south side. The track’s about 13kms, ascends 500m, and I think this will take me around five hours to complete. It’s a big mission! The MS and my current lack of fitness are the only reasons I have not yet done this.
N: How long have you wanted to complete the traverse?
S: For at least 3 years!
N: Thinking about your goal, what’s the part that makes you most excited?
S: The goal excites me because it means that I will be able to experience what I truly love: nature at is finest. I am also excited about it because I will finally be able to do what our other staff and visitors have experienced first-hand. I won’t have to rely on second-hand information any more! More significantly, I am looking forward to that feeling of achieving something that is out of reach, with the support and encouragement of others. To me, it’s also really important to be able to make memories with my young daughter. She is very active and I want to be able to participate in outdoor activities with her. Walking over Mt Maungatautari will help me achieve this and I believe that it will set me up for future adventures.
N: What will it take for you to achieve this goal?
S: Lots of fitness training, support from others, and sheer determination.
N: How are you going to use this grant?
S: I will be using the grant to cover the cost of a personal trainer over six months. I’ve done a bit of testing with the trainer and we think that six months of regular gym work should be enough to get me fit. It is going to be quite a long journey, but it will be worth it and I have an awesome team of friends behind me, supporting me.
N: If you could tell other people with MS one thing, what would it be?
S: I have multiple sclerosis but I will not let MS have me!
N: That’s awesome. So what’s your life motto?
S: There is always a way – you just have to find it!
Mastering Mountains Charitable Trust exists to enrich the lives of people affected by Multiple Sclerosis by helping them get outdoors. Please consider supporting the cause by donating through our Give-a-Little page.