I was coming up to a big change in life – retirement.
I decided to look for something to be part of now that I would have more free time. I didn’t want to only be around the house all the time (although I often wished for this when I had busy days at work).
I had considered various volunteer roles and looked at different groups for retirees BUT these things didn’t grab my attention.
I had seen a segment on The Great South East in 2017 about Women’s Fitness Adventures and I joined a social walk as a non member not long after seeing this on TV. I enjoyed the city walk and the company of the ladies.
The group appealed to me as a lot of the local training hikes were at Mt Cootha. It was a place I used to play and go walking in as a child. I have always enjoyed the bush. Perhaps those childhood memories of fun helped in my decision to join as a member.
In 2018 I started part time work so I had more days free. I decided to find something for myself and get in the mood of retirement. I took the challenge to myself and joined Women’s Fitness Adventures. I immediately signed up for an Introductory Hike bundle. These 4 half day hikes and one full day hike really demonstrated to me what Women’s Fitness Adventures was all about.
These days I am doing things I would never had thought possible
My biggest achievement is joining the Multi Day hike for Cinque Terre, Italy in 2019 which also gave me a goal to work towards. The training for this became addictive as I really wanted to achieve hiking many days in a row. This hike in Italy, on the Mediterranean was my 60th birthday gift to myself.
This is the most amazing cake that was created to celebrate my 60th birthday on the Cinque Terre. Not only did the girls have to organise for the cake to suit everyone – gluten free, vegetarian and a surprise, they had to do it all in Italian!!
I am now going to look for a new challenge to myself to achieve each year.
Like we all say “life is busy”
I knew I should have been doing some sort of fitness especially as I get older. I kept looking at my mother who made the effort for the last 30 years of walking with a group 3 times a week for 1 hour. She was getting fitter and I did feel a little guilty – I was doing nothing.
I also had been a member of other groups earlier in life and I found now the children had grown up, my work did start to take over my life leaving very little time to join any groups to share a common interest and belong.
Life before Women’s Fitness Adventures was a little different. Before I became a member, I would try to exercise by walking /joining a gym but I would always never carry through with it. This would annoy me.
The decision to make the time for me came about as my husband had been seriously ill.
I devoted a lot of time to helping him recover. A lot of my friends and family kept encouraging me to make time for myself.
Today, these are many things I do that ensure I make time for myself.
- the opportunity to be “me” and to join in the chatter at hikes/multi-day and social activities with any member without judgement.
- to enable discovery – It is amazing what things you find out on these hikes. We share many ideas.
- To enjoy the cup of coffee at the end of some of the hikes – a great way to replay the day
- To enjoy my love of the bush and nature – which gives me a sense of calmness when out hiking.
- To spend time with the new friends I am making
Life can get too busy to remember the simple things we enjoyed in our childhood.
You may ask yourself am I fit enough to join. You will find you are fit enough at your level as you enjoy the environment when you venture out with the group.
When you are in the outdoors, enjoying great company, chatting and laughing, you do not realise how far you have hiked. Each time you hike there will be a different group of women. Some you may recognise and others will be new like you were once. Everyone makes you feel welcome.
It is amazing how hiking and having fun can make you fitter and happier.
Margaret has been an active members since January 2018 and has completed many adventures in that time.
Women’s Fitness Adventures helps women become stronger and fitter for life through an adventure that combines fitness, travel and a social connection to a like minded community. For more information visit our website, email [email protected] or call 0412 121 420
Since 2014, Yvonne Shepherd, Founder & CEO has shared her passion of helping women 45 plus get fitter and stronger through outdoor adventures and in turn, lead stronger and fitter lives.