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Thursday, 24 April 2014 11:56 am

Wellingtonians get the run around from wild workout business

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REAPING BENEFITS: A Wild Workouts group does the Tongariro crossing as the finale to training sessions in Wellington

A WELLINGTON woman is getting people moving all around town.

Duck Patten, 33, leads a variety of workout groups around the city – running, morning “boot camp”, boxing and lunchtime aerobics to name some – as part of her business, Wild Workouts.

Ms Patten also connects people to events beyond the sessions she leads. “I’m pretty big on making it not just about when they are there,” she says.

Ms Patten used to work in a gym, but was never too keen on the mirrors, lights and the “dull drone of music”.

Duck Patten at the 2013 "Tough Guy and Girl" challenge

Duck Patten at the 2013 “Tough Guy and Girl” challenge

After a stint as an outdoor trainer in London, she came back to Wellington hoping to do something similar, making use of the outdoors, building community and “doing exercise that doesn’t make you feel self-conscious”.

However, starting up a largely outdoor workout business in Wellington hasn’t been without its challenges.

“The weather here was a massive challenge. It got a lot colder in London, but it’s been the rain and the wind here that has been the challenge.”

She finds it is best to lead by example and just get wet herself first.

With Wild Workouts, Ms Patten has walked up to the top of Mt Victoria with groups many times to look out over the city.

She recently took a group through the Botanic Gardens at night, and they all turned off their lights and admired the glowworms.

“It’s awesome. It’s been really cool taking people to parts of Wellington they don’t know.”

Her running group meets up and runs outside of the scheduled group times after she made it a priority to foster an environment where participants would do this.

“It’s quite relaxed. We all go out for coffee afterwards.”

An early-morning ‘boot camp’ exercise group at Kelburn Normal School hall is well attended by local mothers.

Suze Keith, 45, enjoys the 6am Kelburn bootcamp. “It means you are mentally engaged before [the kids] wake and before you have to start addressing other people’s needs. It’s really empowering.”

Locality is another reason Ms Keith attends. “I don’t like to drive to do exercise,” she says. “I see an ethical problem with driving, using fossil fuels, to then be in a heated room and using electronic machines just to get exercise.”

Two participants practice their boxing on the Wellington waterfront

Two participants practise their boxing on the Wellington waterfront

Like her Kelburn boot camp, Ms Patten’s Wadestown boot camp is mostly attended by mothers getting their exercise out of the way early.

She says it gives the mothers something more than just the physical benefits of being part of the group.

“Hopefully, it at least inspires them to take the kids out for a walk somewhere. That’s what you want really, you want it to filter down through people’s families so everyone can be fit.”

Wild Workouts groups are open to all ages and fitness levels.

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is a journalism student at Whitireia. She previously studied at the University of Idaho and has a degree in Anthropology and International Studies.
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