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SUP Pro Talk with Suzie Cooney

Improve Balance & Reaction Time: Indo Board Training Gear & Suzie on the New “Gigante” 24″ Disc

Maui Wave Action!

Waves are a force of nature like no other. Susan does a superb job to illustrate this and more. A great read!


Surf Stronger Order This!

Mental Wellness: Why We Need to Have “Hope” for Our Body’s Health and Our Mind’s Health Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney

   August 16, 2011Taken from the Maui Breakfast Club: Suzie Cooney of Suzie Trains Maui, Health & Fitness Segment every Tuesday morning at 7:38 am on KNUI 900 AM. Listen Here:

                 Mental Wellness: Why We Need to Have “Hope” for Our Body’s Health and Our Mind’s Health Radio Segment with Suzie Cooney

 As some of you know, I am a huge advocate when it comes to spreading the word of mental health. With the world facing so many challenges, it’ s no wonder why we’re more stressed, depressed, over eating, under eating, turning to alcohol or drugs or worse yet, some are choosing the sad path of suicide. But, there is one thing that somehow keeps us all going and that is “hope”.

Without it, we wouldn’t get out of bed, practice our lessons, exercise or help another. Hope helps us conquer the unknown, the uncertainty that faces many of us. Hope is also the mantra used in the world of mental health professionals to encourage all of us to believe that there is a tomorrow that will be better. I believe our President’s message also includes the word hope.

The word “hope” defined by Wikipedia: Hope is the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life.

This segment was especially important to me, for I personally manage a loved one, my mother who lives in a world of delusions, hallucinations, and fear, where some of her biggest challenges during a given day is riding the bus and returning home safely. Each day, each hour or each minute can change from function to complete dysfunction. Her disease is schizophrenia and like other brain disorders, it can diminish the feelings of hope and be clouded by thoughts and voices that are not hers.  One thing she holds onto is hope.

( If you missed link above: Listen here )I remember marching on the steps of the capital in Sacramento in 1995 with my mother some years back for a NAMI rally with signs that read, “Don’t give up the hope“.  I marched with her and my shoulder sling from some mountain bike accident or something; holding my sign too. Once again the government was cutting funding to a much needed program. But, we were not giving up hope for a positive outcome.

Speaking of positive, the word “positive” is another form of shaping a healthy mind and adds to our word hope to help us manage our hope. We’re always told to remain positive in times a great trouble or large challenges. This is easier said than done when it’s you that must remain positive. You wonder how it is, why some people are always this way?

I’ve discovered that there is a proven inverse relationship that helps us maintain our physical health when we are able to focus on keeping our mental health fit as there is a relationship to having hope. A  study performed at the Keen University in New Hampshire studied the relationship of hope and having an optimistic, positive outlook when dealing with chronic pain. The results revealed that there is a better outcome of managing illness, chronic pain and other physical challenges if one has hope, optimism and a positive outlook.

As a health care professional, I try to encourage my clients and those I mentor to look at things in a different manner. One doesn’t wake up and say, “I’m going to be positive.” It takes time to reshape one’s behaviors and ways of thinking. It’s a process. Just like losing weight, it takes time if you want to keep it off. It takes effort and a mindful attempt to look at the world, your life, your situation and most importantly,  your health in order to have this thinking stick.

I hope you enjoyed the radio segment. A special thanks to the Maui Breakfast Club and to you for spreading the word of mental health and wellness. It does a body good.


Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui and Mental Health Advocate.

Previous Radio Show: August 9th: Shred to Shed Losing Weight with Stand Up Paddling.

Follow Suzie on Facebook for up to the minute updates:

Resources I recommend:

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Health: See my article for NAM here: Standing Up for Mental Illness

“Inspiring Hope Through Research” by  Dr. Robert M. Post, M.D.

Columnist for Wall Street Journal: Health: Melinda Beck


ATHLETA Article: Stand Up and Sweep Your Way to Better Health by Suzie Cooney August 2010


photo by Simone Reddingius

photo by Simone Reddingius

As most of you know, SUP or stand up paddling is a big part of my life and I enjoy teaching others and sharing the health benefits of this sport.

Here is an article I wrote for ATHELTA to share my knowledge and enthusiam for how I see the sport shaping the world but more importantly, how it’s getting more people healthy.

I encourage you to read and share how SUP has benefitted your health!  Click here to read the full story:

Well, by the overwhelming response and stories I read as one of the judges for  the most recent ATHLETA and SIREN SUP contest, one can say that any age, any person  can “sweep” their way to better health, just about anywhere there is water. People all across the world are “sweeping” their way to better health and having more fun than they ever imagined. “Sweeping” is a slang term used to describe the sport that is going viral faster than any social networking media and changing the world of sports on any body of water — and just about anyone can hop aboard.

Stand up paddling, paddle surfing, or SUP is helping people of all ages and  sizes catch the surfer’s glide, and helping people in all walks of life get fit and healthy, faster and safer. People are simply getting addicted. The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the rise in popularity — not just for those, like me, who are fortunate enough to live in Hawaii or California, but anywhere there’s an ocean, lake, bay, or even river rapids, you can find this world phenomenon catching on. There are SUP fitness boot camps and clinics popping up anywhere there is water. You may have noticed more races and events happening in your community too.

Below are some photos of a recent FREE women’s Sup clinic last month, and these gals were wonderful.  In the first hour, there were smiles across the ocean and a new found ticket to health.  I do these monthly to ensure the health of our community and introduce women and men to a new way to get fit! For “fun” I had the girls attempt a few push ups. They were amazing. On the right is Amy Hampton, the Director of Maui’s American Heart Association, getting her heart pumping!




According to Wikipedia: Stand up paddle surfing (SUP), or in the Hawaiian language Hoe he’e nalu, is an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage. The sport is an ancient form of surfing, and began as a way for surfing instructors to manage their large groups of learner surfers, as standing on the board gave them a higher viewpoint, increasing visibility of what was going on around them — such as incoming swell. To begin with, this started with using a one-bladed paddle, whilst standing on a normal length surfboard. The popularity of the modern sport of SUP has its origination in the Hawaiian Islands. In the early 1960s, the Beach Boys of Waikiki would stand on their long boards, and paddle out with outrigger paddles to take pictures of the tourists learning to surf. This is where the term “Beach Boy Surfing”, another name for Stand Up Paddle Surfing, originates.


Not only can you lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol and feel more energized after a session, but the overall experience of being on the water is often touted as “aqua therapy.” The benefits of having a sport you enjoy and can do on a regular basis can alter many of the morbidity factors that decrease our health and plague our society.

I use this sport as a cross-training tool for almost all my clients who are comfortable in the water and who can swim.  It is low impact on all joints and is also being used to improve balance and core strength for people recovering from serious injuries.  I used my stand up paddle board to recover from a serious bilateral leg and ankle accident.  I have also witnessed this sport transform people’s lives overnight, by instilling a new found level of confidence and achievement, making them feel invincible!

As a sponsored team SUP rider for Naish International, instructor, and SUP clinic organizer, I love to introduce the sport to everyone who visits Maui, and help others perfect their paddling stroke  — from flat water fun to waves, and the really popular coastal long distance down winders we do here on the North Shore of Maui.

But, before you hop aboard, I’d like to offer my professional experience and expert resources about water safety, board and paddle selection, and how to maximize your fun to maximize your health so you can glide into your later years with a smile and healthy body!


Continue reading ATHLETA Article: Stand Up and Sweep Your Way to Better Health by Suzie Cooney August 2010