Luatola Semisi | Being alone with your thoughts is OK

Learning to be comfortable in her own thoughts, is one of the key benefits that Luatolu Semisi gained from her time at Outward Bound.
Lua is a Year 12 Hastings Girls’ High School student who rose to the challenge of a 21-day Mind Body and Soul programme in June at Outward Bound, supported by Moore Markhams.
A keen sportswoman playing volleyball, basketball and netball at senior A and rep levels, and in July was at trials for the NZ volleyball Under 18 squad to play internationally, Lua didn’t find the physical aspect of the OB challenges too daunting. Although jumping into the sea very early in the mornings for PT sessions did come as a bit of a shock, she says.
Instead, it was being on her own for her solo two-night, three-day challenge that caused her some angst. Being out in nature, on her own, with nothing but limited food meant that Lua had plenty of time to think.
“I’m always surrounded by people, my family, friends and team mates and it was hard just being with my thoughts. But I’ve learnt that it’s Ok. And it’s Ok that they’re not necessarily all positive. Our motto was that you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain and now I focus on the fact that good things are going to come, that things happen for a reason, and it’s Ok, I’m Ok.
“I’ve gained more self-belief, more self-acceptance. I’ve learnt I’m so much more capable than I knew, I can do more.”
Juggling school, sport and family can be challenging for Lua, and she says her time management has been taken to another level through her OB experience. It’s going to help her in her future studies as Lua is keen to pursue either physiotherapy or chiropractic studies at university.
She is keen to work with and help people. Helping sports people challenged by injury to regain their strength and mobility so they can get back to their previous performance levels would be “pretty cool’.
The 13 young people from throughout the Hawke’s Bay region worked together well and was very supportive. “When people were struggling others would help and everyone was encouraging. We’re keeping in touch through social media and keeping that support going.”
Lua was one of two students selected to speak at a celebratory event with family, partner schools, and OB supporters two weeks after completing the programme.
Image caption: Lua Semisi, Outward Bound graduate and Hamish Pringle, Moore Markhams director.