April 2014: Hotorene knew he had to do something and thus began a three year journey that has seen him take control of his health and his destiny.
His Whānau Ora plan, played a key role in this says Hotorene, "making a plan and detailing my goals made me look at my reality and by doing that, I couldn't ignore my health any longer."
Initially, Hotorene's goal was to get off of the medication he needed to keep his blood pressure under control but it was the medication that was keeping him from having a stroke. As a result he had to work out what key goals would enable him to get there.
First thing he did was get a bike and begin to take the 32k journey from Mourea to Rotorua and back each day, he began to find the control he needed to eat a balanced diet and make healthy eating choices.
"The support I got from my paeārahi was important because having someone there who understood how to navigate those initial challenges meant I could get over some of the speedbumps I encountered early on," said Hotorene.
Paeārahi support those on their Whānau Ora journey by helping them work out the strengths they already have and use those skills to move themselves forward. "It wasn't easy" Hotorene continues thoughtfully, the challenges were huge, but drawing up his Whānau Ora plan forced him to look truthfully at himself, where he was and where he wanted to be. It turned out, it was a life saver.
Looking back on it all, it still seems like a dream, but when he looks in the mirror he can finally SEE the effort. Something that Hotorene didn't anticipate were the many whānau, friends and strangers that are now looking to him for guidance, support and inspiration.
"It feels good to be able to help others by sharing what I've learned," he says humbly. Once thing he is proud of is knowing that his three boys are learning habits that will stay with them for a lifetime, healthy eating and working together as a whānau to stay healthy and fit.
"Teaching my tamariki how to stay fit and have good eating habits is a legacy I look forward to giving them," says Hotorene.
Now there is no stopping him, going forward, Hotorene's plan is to take on a Powerlifting competition in July this year. Ka mau te wehi!