20 seconds of insane bravery!

I work in the outdoors helping people develop their leadership through practical experience. It’s an awesome job, and I work with awesome people (we have a pool of staff of 38 professionals from all walks of life). One of them owns a trekking company (which I’m now a partner in).

After a particularly difficult program in Margaret River, he asked me if I’d like to join his Everest Base Camp trip – the problem was it was only four weeks from there. I thought about it for a nano-second – it was never really on my bucket list (and being over 50, didn’t think I would ever do it). And I said yes.

I trained like a mad woman – at the gym four times a week, leg pressing up to 170kg to gain the leg strength I needed to make it. And suddenly it was time to go – pack the bags, head for Nepal. The trek was everything I thought it would be – and more. And it was even more wonderful that I can ever have imagined. Trekking through blizzards in -15 degrees to get to the base camp at over 5000m…. exhausting and totally life-affirming. I would have missed this experience had I been too scared. It took 20 seconds of insane bravery to say yes…. the courage to commit to it and complete it came later. I help women to find the courage to say yes more often. Life is too short for no’s.

Submitted by Sheryll – visit her website, find her on Twitter and Facebook or email her.

Cycling on the road

A lot of women are apprehensive about road riding because of clip in pedals, cars, finding the right fit, wearing lycra…..Men go off and don’t give it a thought. There are clubs just for you girls!! Come out and enjoy the ride, the sun, and ride with your girlfriends!! YES YOU CAN!!

Submitted by Marion Clignet – visit Marion’s website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Female “adventurers”

You don’t have to be an “adventurer”, you don’t have to be “epic” or “badass” – if you love the outdoors just do what you love whether big or small if it is important and significant to you that is all that matters.

Submitted by an anonymous but wonderful woman in adventure.

Recovery from injury

Eighteen months ago I was knocked off my bike and fractured my hip socket, pelvis and elbow. I spent eight weeks in a wheelchair and had four months of rehab.

I think my lifetime of doing outdoor activity helped my recovery, I was determined to get back on my feet, start swimming, am now back Park Running, have joined a running club and about to start x country this season. I am taking part in my first trail race next weekend. I think the fitness and determination built up over many years alongside with support from my friends who are all outdoors people helped in my recovery and my mental strength in doing so.

Submitted by an anonymous but wonderful woman in adventure.

Mud, Sweat and Tears by Moire O’Sullivan

After a recommendation from a good friend I recently read the book ‘Mud, Sweat and Tears’ by Moire O’Sullivan.

Without giving too much of the plot away, this is the story of how Moire came to, and ultimately fell in love with mountain running, leading her to made a solo attempt on the Wicklow Round. This is a gruelling endurance run spanning a hundred kilometres over twenty six of Ireland’s remotest mountain peaks. After twenty one and a half hours she collapsed, two summits from the end. Battered and bruised, yet undeterred, she returned a year later to become the first person ever to try again.

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Without a doubt my favourite bit of the book is early on in the story when Moire describes her first fell race and how she tried to dress accordingly for the event to look like she was a ‘regular’. This had me grinning as I totally did the same thing!

I have no hesitation in saying if you love fell running or have a passion for the outdoors this book is for you. I was really gripped by her story and finished the book in about a day! Something that really stood out for me is how humble and honest Moire is about her feelings and emotions, there are so many points in the book I felt myself relating to how she was feeling. Despite not being a training book or guide in anyway or form I’ve certainly noticed some of her observations and pointers pop into my head when I’ve running since. Well worth a read!

Book available from Amazon

Visit Moire’s website

Skiing lesson with Charlotte Evans MBE – Paralympic Gold Medallist

Kit Shack recently ran a competition to win a skiing lesson with Charlotte Evans, British skier and sight guide Paralympian.  We talked to Charlotte and competition winner Jade Shields after their day together.

Charlotte Evans won the English Champion title in 2009 before becoming a sight guide in 2010. Charlotte and her partner Kelly Gallagher won Britain’s first ever Winter Games Gold medal in Skiing. In 2014 Charlotte was awarded an MBE for her services to Paralympic Sport.

Jade Shields (29) is from Surrey and works in the Super Yachting industry as a stewardess. Jade has just finished a ski season in Val D’Isere. It was her second snow season having done one in Andorra in 2012.

Jade says “I started skiing in Andorra but didn’t ski at all between the end of the first season and start of the second! I’m comfortable on blue runs and some reds but sometimes challenge myself on black runs. I would class myself as still beginner/intermediate level.”

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Like Jade, lots of people are serious about their skiing but have limited free time to train. Charlotte’s advice is “try and make sure you stay fit and any evening you get free, go to your local dry slope as skiing on there is better than nothing.”

After the lesson Jade said “The aspect of my skiing that I felt most improved was my stance. I was able to gain confidence in leaning forward and body positioning. This improved my speed, balance and also helped with my confidence. The most enjoyable part was the final runs where Charlotte and I were synchronised slalom skiing.”

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We asked Charlotte about the dynamics of skiing as a pair. “Skiing as a pair is still individual but there are two of us in one team. Trust is vital and takes time to get, but once you have the trust it is easier to push the speeds and limits.”

Charlotte believes the characteristics that have led to her success are that she is very patient, competitive and a good listener. “My next goal is undecided yet. However everything I have done so far has been incredible and a lot of fun so would like to keep fun and being happy as a priority.”

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We asked Jade what advice she would give to others considering taking up skiing as adults. “Skiing is a fantastic sport allowing you to explore some amazing scenery in various resorts around the world. Have lessons, stick with the sport even when you feel you’re not improving. Skiing is a challenging sport but maybe the next pro hasn’t even started to learn yet!”

Kit Shack is a specialist retailer of Buff products.

Shanaze Reade sets a new Guinness World Record

For those of you who have not heard of Shanaze Reade check her out – this girl is awesome! Starting aged 10 on the BMX track, by the time she was 17 Shanaze was Britain’s number one women’s rider, having competed in the elite men’s category throughout the British series to improve her skills. Soon world titles followed alongside track cycling to keep fit for BMX racing.

As it turned out Shanaze was pretty damn good at this too and found that her power and strength worked well in the velodrome. In 2007 she was chosen to be the lead-out rider in the women’s team sprint with Victoria Pendleton which lead to the pair winning world titles in 2007 and 2008.

I could easily go on to list a whole host of further achievement Shanaze has achieved but I wanted to point you in the direction of her latest feat – setting a new Guinness World Record! A few weeks ago Shanaze became the fastest person ever to cycle around a ‘Wall of Death’ on a pedal powered bike.

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A ‘Wall of Death’ is a silo or barrel shaped wooden cylinder, typically ranging from 20 to 36 feet in diameter and made of wooden planks, inside which motorcyclists, (or a cyclist in this case!) travels along the vertical wall and perform stunts, held in place by friction and centrifugal force.

For more on this badass woman check out the full article by Road.cc. or follow Shanaze on Twitter.

Image main credit to Bristol BMX Club.

 

Mother and Daughter Kayaking Adventure

The winners of this year’s Sean Conway Adventure Scholarship are mother and daughter Addi and Athina (age 8). Together they will be kayaking down the Leeds-Liverpool canals, a distance of 127 miles (204km), which they expect to take 6 days.

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The kayaking trip is part of a year of adventures that will also include a half marathon, an iron man, and a Mini Olympics for schools. They have even arranged an international Mini Olympics at a school while they are on holiday in Madrid! For their kayak-swim challenges, Athina will sit inside the kayak and give support along the way.

Team AA hope to create a world where more children can be introduced to the benefit of sport, as well as raising funds for the Jane Tomlinson appeal.

They are fantastic role models and are sure to inspire young people with their active lifestyle. We can’t wait to see more of their adventures! Follow them on their Team AA website and blog, and on twitter @Ourgreatproject.

 

 

 

 

Sarah Outen – cycling, rowing and kayaking around the world!

Back in April 2011 Sarah Outen set out from Tower Bridge on her London2London: Via the World expedition. Her goal was to row, bike and kayak around the northern hemisphere, inspiring children and fundraising for charities.

Reading about her journey is so inspiring, in everything I have read about Sarah, she comes across as totally down to earth and really relateable which is so cool to see. I have no doubt she has inspired a lot of individuals young and old to take on their own challenges.

One of the best things – Sarah believes anyone could do it too according to her interview with Cooler before she finished! I loved her comment:

“You get to meet wildlife on its own terms. You’re not a big scary noisy vehicle that’s going to run it over. You’re right up close and personal in it. You’re not intimidating on a bicycle. You’re just a bit tired and smelly. People really connect with that,  it’s really powerful.”

Sarah completed her journey on the 3rd November 2015 arriving back in London, England after 1676 days, 23 hours, 25 minutes and 0 seconds – that’s 4.5 years covering over 25000 miles! Her book ‘Dare to Do’ about her expedition will be out in May 2016.

You can read the full interview with Cooler here.

Visit Sarah Outen’s website click here.