Name Nick Ray Works Owner, Onesector Construction Age 37 (“And proud of it!”) Lives Mermaid Beach
Nick joined Elevation when we first opened more than year ago and has fast become one of our favourite faces around the gym each week. His commitment to training to achieve some major goals is inspiring to see, as are his efforts to raise funds for his charity of choice. We can’t wait to see Nick’s hard work pay off when he next takes on the Bass Strait (for the second time!). Such a mammoth achievement from one of our most humble members.
Janelle Estreich caught up with Nick to get the backstory on his training efforts…
How did you come to be training at Elevation?
A friend told me about their Altitude Training Rooms, which interested me. I tried it out and liked it, but once you’re in there you kind of become part of the family.
Ali and Cal know what you’re doing, they know what you’re training for and everyone says ‘hi’ to each other. It’s not like some of the gyms around where you’re surrounded by “roid boys”! Everyone is so friendly, which made all the difference for me.
How often do you train and what do your sessions involve?
My training fluctuates, but at the moment I’m training to paddle across Bass Strait at the end of the year so I’m training six days each week.
I’m building up my endurance by doing interval training. I’ll do an hour on the treadmill and every two minutes I’ll jump off and do 10 sets of push-ups or pull-ups.
Every second day I do strength training, using the weights to build up my shoulder muscles so they don’t give up halfway across!
I get in the Altitude Rooms and work on my cardio in there. I get on the rowing machine or the treadmill for half an hour at a time. I struggle with breathing so training in the Altitude Rooms puts your lungs under a bit more pressure. I find if I train in there a couple of times a week and then do, say, a 10km run outside on a Saturday, I’m leaps and bounds ahead.
Tell us more about this Bass Strait mission…
This is a second attempt — a friend and I tried to paddle across back in March and got stuck on an island halfway, due to weather. Now I’m back on my feet and going back for a solo attempt early next year, weather-depending.
I’m hoping to be the first person to make it across Bass Strait on a stand-up paddle board.
It’s 300kms and there are islands in between, so you’re paddling for up to 8 hours each day and then stopping overnight on an island. A safety boat drops gear on the island and the support crew will pack it up the next day then catch up to me and drive alongside to make sure nothing goes wrong.
I’m training for it to be a 7-day crossing, which allows for a bit of weather. Bass Strait is very unpredictable so you can end up sitting on an island for 10 days, which is what happened last time. We ended up running out of boat hire, food and water. I’m just hoping to get the weather forecast better this time!
I need to get back there – I can’t move on until I do.
That’s one heck of a challenge, what’s your motivation?
I have a construction company called Onesector Construction and was looking for a charity as a way to give back to the community. I was introduced to Men of Business on the Gold Coast. They run a program to help out youth who are not fitting in with the traditional school system.
I found it fairly relatable because I was a bit of a delinquent. I dropped out of school in Grade 10 and really didn’t respond to traditional learning. I could have gone down the wrong road pretty easily.
It’s great to see these kids who’ve been in a bit of trouble have access to mentors and training that gives them options. It’s not hard to see that it’s a good thing these guys are doing.
I started doing these paddles to raise money for them. I did the Molokai to Oahu paddleboard race in Hawaii last year. We (Dan Carruthers and I) raised $25,000. The second one was the first Bass Strait crossing in March this year, when we raised $40,000. I’ve since been added to the (Men of Business) board and we’re about to release plans to build a school on the Gold Coast that’s designed for these disengaged youth.
There’s a luncheon coming up on September 7 which will help raise funds but the paddles that I do are really important for our fundraising as well. It’s a win-win because it’s something that I really want to do myself, but at the same time we will raise good money and get us a step closer to building that school. We’re aiming to raise $60,000 from this next paddle.
How has training at Elevation helped to achieve your goal?
I’ve been to four big name gyms on the Coast and I’ve never experienced anything like Elevation. It really is like a family in there. Everyone knows everyone, and everyone feels welcome. Especially for paddlers and surfers, it’s really well set up.
There are so many different people in there from all walks of life, and Ali and Cal manage to connect everyone up. It’s like networking without trying!
What’s your favourite post-workout food?
Religiously, I head straight to Espresso 151 (Elevation’s in-house cafe) and get the smashed avo on toast with two poached eggs and the Post-Workout Smoothie.
When you’re not at the gym, where might we find you?
You’d definitely catch me in Tallebudgera Creek, paddling up and down on my SUP, or surfing out the front of my place at Mermaid Beach.
- To purchase a ticket for the September 7 luncheon (Nick is guest speaker), make a tax-deductible donation or find out more about sponsorship, contact Nick at email@example.com with ‘Bass Strait’ in the subject line.
- To take a tour of the Altitude Training Rooms, you can visit Elevation Fitness at Shop 2/151 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads. For membership options, call 0422205752 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.