Opportunity: Women’s Outdoor Leadership Course

Here at the Outward Bound Trust we believe that role models matter to the young people we work with and so we want to play a part in providing opportunities for the next generation of great female leaders.

50% of Outward Bound course participants are female, yet our instructional team is not representative. We recognise our traditionally masculine roots and in 2019 are committed to taking action to redress the gender imbalance in our workforce. We don’t know if this is an answer to increasing representation by women within the outdoor sector. But we do know that if we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll likely get what we’ve always got. This is an opportunity to challenge ourselves, tread new ground and hopefully learn a lot through the process.

Shared on behalf of Outward Bound Trust – find out more on their Women’s Outdoor Leadership Course here.


I am training for my first two 100m rides, after having had a kidney transplant (which is failing) and a heart attack. I am 47 and have never felt fitter. The determination to succeed at being as healthy as I can is what drives me, bearing in mind that just two years ago I was also three stone heavier. Explore what you can do, go out there and make a start, and enjoy your journey; this is about achieving something for yourself.

Submitted by R C Armstrong-Buisseret.

Getting lost but not

To quote Emil Zatopek the great Olympian distance runner of the 1950’s

“If you want to run a mile, run a mile . . . . . but if you want a different life, run a marathon”

I see this every day on my wall planner and I suppose this has inspired me to believe in what you think is impossible is possible with training, foresight and a great plan. So Go For It!

Submitted by David or Rusty Robinson – follow him on Twitter.

1st-time mam to 1st-time Ironman in 18 months!

Having been to spectate at Ironman Tenby, I was inspired, I wanted to have a go! I bullied my husband into it in 2016 when our baby was 5 months old. My husband was the guinea pig!

He had trained well and I wanted him to tell me if he thought I could do it. He loved it. So a year of hard work preparing, juggling training, baby, and back to work, I did it!

It has given me more confidence than I ever excepted. The sense of achievement and empowerment I now have to take on new challenges in all areas of life is something hard to explain. So many people miss the point and focus on weight loss and being skinny and getting a certain time. I loved every second and smiled all the way around the course! It’s about enjoyment! I am strong mentally and physically as a result. I have met some inspiring people who support each other and do not judge. The challenge was a personal one, against myself! And I certainly won!

Submitted by Elinor Morgan – follow her on Instagram.

Just do it – you’ll surprise yourself

If you have ever thought about trying something, just go for it. Even if you are older or less fit than you used to be you may well surprise yourself at what you are capable of. And it is such fun and so rewarding – you don’t have to be an athlete, just get out there. Don’t put it off – live life!

Submitted by an anonymous but wonderful woman in adventure.

You can go further than you think

In December 2016, my life caved in. Facing new physical and mental health challenges, I felt like I’d lost everything. Except, I still had my bike.

I started cycling everyday – come rain or shine – even if it was just around the block or the local park. It got me out of the house with a purpose, it got me exercising, it got my endorphins racing, it built my confidence, it built my self-esteem. It helped me get my life back.

Fast forward to July 2017, and the woman who couldn’t get out of bed seven months before ended up completing her first Century Ride. Now I’m part of a great cycling club, getting to know my local community, and planning a solo bike tour for next year.

If things seem impossible, change your perspective – a bike ride is a good place to start.

Submitted by Emma – follow her on Instagram.

Sold the house, quit the job at 40

After sitting at a desk for 25 years and contributing to a “normal” way of life, my partner and I gave it all up to pursue personal wellness by doing what we want to do.

We have been at it for 3 years now and while the original plan has changed drastically, that has made us realize even more that we continue to change, and that’s okay. Everyone changes and as long as you manage your own expectations, you can maintain your sense of balance.

Submitted by Amanda Prenty – visit her website or follow her on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

There’s always a way

4 years ago my left knee was operated on – MPFL reconstruction. I couldn’t weight bear for a month and had a hinges splint for 3 months. I couldn’t cycle for a year.

There are still things I can’t do, but plenty I’ve adapted:

I can’t row but I can kayak, I can’t run but I can speed walk. I changed body combat to Zumba gold and now adjust Zumba fitness. It takes time but it’s possible to come back and do even more.

Submitted by S Ahern – visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

Getting into cycling at 42

As a child I had a bike and would often be asked to take messages to my father – so I would have to cycle to the other side of the farm, or had to deliver eggs using the basket on the front of my bike. Later in life when working shifts as a nurse in London, I commuted to work by bike, so I was not affected by public transport strikes – it was often quicker and obviously cheaper (I was given the bike!)

I had a rigid mountain bike when I lived in Devon and used it when there was no surf, but it made my neck and shoulders hurt, aggravating an old injury. I then didn’t ride a bike for several years due to change of jobs and location. After this, I bought a hybrid for bike rides with my partner and baby in a baby seat. Then got a tagalong for our second child as I did school run/preschool with them on bikes. I was surprised to have done 50 miles by the end of the week!

I got a part-time job 6 miles from home and commuted by bike even though I had a car. Then got a lighter bike, but still a step-through ladies one with panniers. Then I bought a second-hand Trek entry level ladies race bike. It was probably too small, and gears didn’t work that well so I just didn’t change gear much!

I started to go out with a local cycling club on Sunday rides. Took my teenage daughter to a ladies BC training session and used my drops for the first time since having a road bike for two years! I went back for more training sessions; my daughter didn’t. I now have about six bikes – depending on who is asking! I have raced in BC ladies road and circuit races, LVRC road and circuit races and one not very successful TLI road race. I have done 13 open TT’s this year and was the fastest lady in 5. I manage a ladies and seniors race team for that local cycling club!
I’m probably a bit obsessed with cycling now and average 150 miles per week on a bike as I don’t have a car anymore. My holidays all involve a bike!

I’ve never been fitter or leaner in my life, and I am now 50 🙂

Submitted by Sally, member of Beeston Cycling Club – follow her on Twitter or Instagram.