A Year of Yes, Week 8: Wild Women on Top – Mental Health Week Hike

Wild Women on Top (WWOT) is a great organisation that supports adventurous ladies achieve their hiking / trekking goals with the added bonus of a social network. I found this event listed on Eventbrite and thought it would be a good experience best enjoyed with my daughter who is 11. It’s a brilliant way to introduce healthy exercise to young girls amongst strong female role models. I asked her and she immediately said yes.

The hike was in honour of Mental Health week and commenced at Biddigal Reserve in Bondi at 6:45 am on a Sunday morning. It was very dark and stormy out. In fact, we’ve had rain in Sydney for weeks now and were becoming very accustomed to wet weather outdoor activity as of late. My alarm woke me at 5:40 and boy was it hard to get up. For a brief moment I thought do I really want to get us both up and drive to Bondi…yes. Twenty minutes later, coffee in hand we were in the car.IMG_0310

Di approached us immediately after arriving and welcomed us to the group. In short time, I realised she knew everyone by name and was the leader of the group. Many people introduced themselves to us. Maryanne, the cookie lady, offered up sustenance fortifying the masses for the walk ahead. Anne handed out great “Wild Women on Top” sports caps to us and our new friend, Kathy, a newbie to the group shared her recent WWOT experience with us. Our morning entourage included a famous journalist and even a politician. We were hooked, it felt like we had found our tribe.

 

IMG_0313The walk was an easy one and one we had done many times before. It stretched along the coastal path from Bondi to Coogee. Today we walked about 3k to Bronte Beach and then looped back around. We watched the many surfers enjoying the early morning waves and even spotted a whale swimming off the coast. The rain poured down on us for half the time and I reflected on my gratitude for my new WWOT hat. I noticed many of the ladies knew one another already and chatted along the way. I loved the camaraderie most during our walk and realised that my past athletic expeditions were always made better because of the companionship of those who joined me. Di worked her way up and down getting to know the newbies and catching up with returnees. She and Fiona got to know one another as they walked back together from Bronte discussing goals and life. Fiona was a big hit this morning as it was mostly an adult crowd of early risers. No one could believe a tween was up and at it so early and many commented on her enthusiasm.

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I approached Di at the conclusion of the walk for a short chat about encouraging other women and teenagers to get up and out together. It’s such a fun and easy way to feel happy and stay connected with the community, our own way of combatting depression. We also hit Maryanne up for a couple more of those delicious oat and nut butter cookies before we departed. We earned it!

I loved the inclusion of young girls and how miss Fiona was doted on by the others. What a gift to do this together and raise a strong girl in such a supportive environment not to mention what an awesome way to start the day. Endorphin giving physical activity combined with a community of strong, smart ladies. We will be back.

Fiona’s thoughts on the day: Everyone should feel as good as I do after having finished the walk. I felt free and wild and healthy. The ladies we met were really nice. I feel like there’s this whole world of people outside doing activities like this every day and like I’ve been missing out. I’m now awake to it and I want to be one of these lucky few. I felt so accomplished by 8 am and said to my mom how much we had done already today and it’s still so early. Others are just waking up and look what they’ve missed out on.

 

 

 

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