Today we talk all things hiking with Wild Women on Top and Coastal Trek founder Di Westaway.
Why are you passionate about your hiking activity, and where did your passion stem from?
I am super passionate about getting women walking together in nature because it transforms lives. It certainly changed mine. I experienced the benefits of walking in nature first-hand. As I approached 40, I found myself in a crisis. I wasn’t happy and I was well and truly in a slump. But I found a cure to my sadness in hiking adventures and the rest, really, is history. Walking in nature exhilarates me, it excites me, it keeps me strong and healthy, and it’s a hell of a lot more fun than working out in a gym. Hippocrates once said ‘walking is man’s best medicine’. Well, I believe hiking is a woman’s best medicine!
We know women so often put their health and fitness at the very bottom of their priorities list. It’s essential for women to prioritise their health with daily physical activity because women are our primary nurturers and role models in the community. The main barriers to getting women outdoors are guilt, time, money, pain and family commitments. We want women hiking with friends because it allows them to integrate fitness and social connection and it brings natural exhilaration. Not only do they get fitter and stronger, but they also feel better.
Why should people attend to your hiking activity?
Our trek training is a mix of everything you need to be happy, healthy, fit, and fabulous. It’s a perfect blend of fun, friendship and fitness. Hiking is even better for you than exercising in a gym and it’s a whole lot more fun than running on a treadmill or doing boring, repetitive workouts. When you’re outside you have the wind in your hair, the sun on your skin, birds chirping, and all those things that make you feel good inside. When you do it with friends it brings pure joy and exhilaration.
The uneven surfaces and physical obstacles that hiking presents improves your reflexes and muscle responses. Add weather and you have a great adventure fitness experience. Wild Women don’t get scared away by a little rain or wind. Challenging weather conditions help test our mental tuffness and push us out of our comfort zones.
What makes your treks extra special?
The women who join us for trek training are in the best possible hands. Our coaches are highly experienced hikers and fitness professionals who always come armed with fresh, fun, and fantastic workouts. But most of all, the women who join us become part of our Wild Women community. Some of our members have had some truly god-smacking mental and physical transformations. One that springs to mind is our Wild Woman Margaret Gosper. When Marg first joined us, she had barely hiked before and was at a particularly low point in her life. Now, she is a regular at trek training, she’s joined us on adventures around Australia and all over the world, she’s kayaked across Greenland and she was our Most Inspiring member for 2018.
What do people take away from the trek?
Our trek training sessions are designed to leave your totally exhilarated. We want to leave your smiling from ear to ear with a spring in your step. We want you to remember the beauty you saw, the laughs you had and the workout you smashed!
What are you looking forward to the most when it comes to running your classes?
For me, the best part is being surrounded by awesome and inspiring women and seeing the smiles on their faces as they fully immerse themselves in nature’s challenges and discover what they’re truly capable of. It’s a look of exhaustion and natural exhilaration that comes from overcoming fears and being in the wild!