Before I went to Fiji I had set several goals for myself. One was to reduce my workload; another one to write a book, actual several books, and one was to get physical fit. Meet the man that makes me sweat, laugh and scream of frustration; Tadeo Vulaca fitness expert and rugby player.
-Did you believe I was going to come back to the gym after our first training session I asked him before Christmas. No, he said. What Tadeo didn’t know was that when I set a goal, when I have made up my mind to reach something, I always follow it through. I might complain every now and again, but I never give up. Three years working as a fitness expert with a diploma in sport science from Fiji national university, a degree mixing theory and practical segments for two years, I have met my match. A professional fitness expert who will get me physical fit. Rugby is the number 1 sport in Fiji, and rugby is played everywhere. In every village, and even though most of the players are men, there are women playing the sport. Going to the gym is a completely different story. Seeing locals, and especially local Fijian women in the gym is a rare sight. Most of Tadeo’s clients are expats, and most are women.
-Women are not afraid to ask for help getting fit, while many men think they already know everything about being healthy, or are too scared to admit that they need help. Mostly having expats as clients is a problem as they only live temporarily in Suva, even though some of them stay for several years.
– The best way to get fit is cardio exercise: jogging, walking, swimming or even gardening. Weight machines are used to tone up your body, he tells me. Give me your top three tips for getting fit, I ask him.
1. Be confident that you can achieve your goals.
2. Train hard twice a week for 45 minutes.
3. Enjoy yourself. If you don’t enjoy yourself while you exercise it will be hard to reach your goals.
What about losing weight, I ask.
-The best way to lose weight is interval training, which involves a series of low- to high-intensity workouts. Your top three tips, thanks.
1. No pain, no gain – there are no shortcuts to losing weight.
2. Don’t give up; sometimes it takes a while before you can see the results so don’t give up. It will come.
3. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and fish.
-It is very important that you are confident and believe you can do it, he explains to me. Without the confidence it is harder, but it is my job to motivate my clients to reach their goals. My goal is always to help my clients reach their goals, he says with a big smile.
And how does Tadeo stay fit: he exercises five times a week with Poasa Qiri, a former rugby player. Poasa trains a group young men that he believes have a lot of potential to become great rugby players. On top of that, he also runs and does weights on his own and play rugby. He is Fijian after all. What about me? I have met a fitness expert who in a short time has made me stronger, and who makes me believe I can get fit. He also makes me laugh, and I truly enjoy our workouts. Not living in Suva at the moment is no excuse for me not exercising. Tadeo has of course given me a program for me to use at the local gym in Auckland, New Zealand. No shortcuts, I know that. But I desperately miss laughing during my workout. Who would have thought that, not me. // Marianne
If you want to get in contact with Tadeo Vulaca, you find him at Metro Fitness in Suva or you can send him an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: The population of Fiji is mostly made up of native Fijians, (54.3%), and Indo-Fijians (38.1%). The Indo-Fijians are descendants of Indian contract labourers brought to the islands by the British colonial powers in the 19th century. Fijians play rugby, while Indo-Fijians play soccer. Fiji is a great rugby nation and many Fijian players plays professional rugby in Australia, New Zealand, France and England.