PROFILE: POHATU HIGGS
-BIRTH PLACE: Wellington, New Zealand
-CODE: NZIFBB Classic Physique Competitor
-CURRENT RESIDENCE: Auckland, Waiheke
-OFF SEASON WEIGHT: 88-93kg
-COMPETITION WEIGHT: 70-73kg
-OCCUPATION: Personal Trainer
Favorite Supplements: Scorpion WPI, Scorpion BCAA, Scorpion Mass Attack
Favorite Food: Smoked Salmon and burgers or pasta for cheat/re-feed meals
I was raised in the village of Sumner after being brought down from Wellington at 13 months and adopted by a lovely family. I fell in love with the beach life, I was the first kid out on the roller blades, the body board and then of course surfing the waves. When I went to high school I moved from football to rugby and I was fast and furious. I kept up gymnastics, played basketball and was a rep in all my sports.
After I graduated from St Bede’s College I felt a bit lost – The earthquakes had changed all our lives. But I went along to Christchurch Polytechnic and found Toa Sports, a course for Maori and Pacific Islanders and I was Inspired. I got to understand how important a mentor is and how one person can change your life. I was awarded Top Student of the Year and given responsibility for meeting and coaching high school students, especially those who needed motivating.
I continued at Polytech studying Exercise Science then I took a leap and decided to go to the School of Physical Education at Otago University. Three months went by, I was in an apartment, I had made some good friends and the course was great. Then disaster struck me.. I was in gym class and something felt wrong. I could not stay on the beam! My legs were losing power and I have tingling and numbness in my hands. I went back to Christchurch from Dunedin and life was going from bad to worse. I saw doctors, physios, osteopaths. I couldn’t run any longer and my back was on a lean. My hopes were drying up and life was getting nowhere. I had lost all my life energy, a scary place to be! It was a year and a half before I finally got a brain scan that showed I had a rare condition called Chiari Malformation. Simply put my cerebellum was growing into the spinal column and blocking the fluids that keep all the nerves in my body alive. After two major operations (brain and spine), over a two year period, all they said was “You may never get full mobility back into your legs . You will never be able to run and don’t think about body building”! My dreams were instantly broken!
This was my rock bottom, stuck in a wheelchair often or confined to crutches. Knowing that I could lose control of my legs without warning, it made me embarrassed to be in public. It broke my heart to remember the feeling of running free and being able to move like everyone else.
I was no use to anyone and I couldn’t see my way forward. One day my parents brought me a movie ‘The Pursuit of Happiness ‘, I wasn’t interested at first until I caught some words that cut deep “Don’t ever let someone tell you you can’t do something. Not even me, all right? You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you, you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.”
Then I played it again and again. I watched it on repeat for a month, moving muscles in my feet, exercising my calves, getting support from Will Smith’s character talking to his son! And that made the difference.
Here I am, two years later having already competed in my first National Bodybuilding Show, NZPROAM which was held in Auckland this past March and I am now in competition preparation for my second body building competition, the South Island Champs which will be held in Christchurch this September. WATCH THIS SPACE!
It has been a path of immense pain and frustration. I know that my body will never be straight and I have to work three times harder than anyone else. But I love that I have found my sport and my place in the world. It has driven me up from the wheelchair and now I share my passion with friends at the gym.
My aim as a trainer and athlete is to inspire others with similar conditions as myself, that it is not the end of the road and that any goal or dream is possible if you are willing to put in the hard work and dedication. JUST OWN YOUR LIFE!
I am here to INSPIRE the UNINSPIRED and to MOTIVATE the UNMOTIVATED!!
POHATU’S TOP THREE RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENTS FOR ASPIRING INDIVIDUALS?
➢ Scorpion WPI (Whey Protein Isolate) – Loaded with all the essential amino acids needed for ultimate recovery, Scorpion WPI is the Purest form of protein on the market and allows for quick and fast absorption and protein synthesis for maximum recovery.
➢ Scorpion Mass Attack – Packed full of high quality proteins and carbohydrates to maximize muscle gains and recovery for all the serious gym junkies out there wanting to put on major size without putting on unwanted fat or weight. Highly recommended for during your off-season preparation if you’re trying to add some serious size.
➢ Scorpion BCAAs – Three vital essential amino acids needed to help your body recovery, faster, from high intensity workouts. Scorpion BCAAs also help prevent the breakdown of lean muscle so that you don’t waste a single muscle fibre while trying to achieve that ultimate shredded look!
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