Wild Wishes ...
'It takes a long time to become young'.- Pablo Picasso
Hot Flush Off! Life begins at 51
Sometimes I wake up giggling and wonder if my life really is as fantastic as I think it is. Buddha says ‘we are what we think’. I think I’ve unleashed myself.
I’ve done my share of crying; known the heart ache of ending my 25 year marriage. I’ve wondered if I would ever find true happiness again; hated myself for being obsessed with food; and spent days sobbing in the fetal position over lost love.
When I was at my lowest, agonizing over the best way to protect my children from the emotional turmoil of separation and addiction, my sister said to me “Tough times pass.” So simple, and so true … and ever so helpful.
I thought I’d die climbing the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere. And then, two years later, just before the birth of my surprise third baby at 41, I decided my life was pretty much over. I was about to become an udder again. Then I discovered Secret Women’s Business.
I don’t think I’ll ever be offered a Playboy centrefold again, but I do plan to climb Mt Everest when my kids give the OK.
Now I’m 51 and life has just begun.
Ive chosen NOT to be invisible.
It seems I have survived being married to a delightful alcoholic; sacrificing my career for him and the kids; and taking up rock climbing at 45.
I laughed a lot as one of John Law’s Handmaidens, producing talk-back radio in the obligatory skirt (OMG … yes, I chose to see the humourous side). And apparently I’m now an entrepreneur. And I also think I’m an Adventure Philanthropist – I love that - a fitness coach, an author and a Managing Director. Ha ha ha … he he he …
I’ve got three amazing kids that I feel so privedged to call mine... because as mums know giving birth is an unmistakable “I wish I was dead now” primitive pain, but the bond is a timeless and enduring love…. and definitely my raison detre’ – I think they’re awesome.
And it seems I run a successful business that empowers women. We train women for wild places, for world class treks. We help put ‘wild women on top’ cos it’s awesome fun. And it seems to be going gang busters.
And we, me and the girls … run an event that has raised nearly a million dollars for The Fred Hollows Foundation to restore sight.
But wait, there’s more.
Today a friend told me I look better at 51 than I did when I was 25, and I’m far more sexy. (Never believe a gorgeous red head PR consultant … )
But … it seems I have the new hot man with a washboard stomach, perfect lips and chiseled features. And no, he’s not married, divorced, rich, a workaholic or a toy boy.
Most importantly he’s honest, reliable, does his own sewing and washing, sharpens my knives and cooks me dinner in bed. Sadly, he doesn’t live in Sydney, which is a serious issue when my 51 year old hormones are racing. (sorry kids!) But remember … healthy body, healthy hormones.
I agree with the saying, “Men are like wine. Some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.” C Joad. So, I think the best is yet to come.
According to scientists at Stony Brook University, New York, when people reach 50, their stress, anger and worry fade gradually and feelings of happiness start to surge. Dr Arthur Stone, said "You would think as chronic illness threatens life would get worse” … but he found “they focus on the good things in life like family and friends."
Now, given that I've been told I'm forgetful, disorganized, bad with money, poorly read, culturally illiterate, a bad speller, deluded and that I eat far too much honey … yes, I do consume about a kilo a fortnight … I think it must be true:'We are what we think.' Buddha is right.
That’s not to say that I don’t have bad hair days. Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed.
But I think we should CYA: Choose Your Attitude. Every day I have a choice: I can choose to be positive or negative, happy or sad, chirpy or grumpy. Once you realize you have a choice, there’s no going back.
I also think we should turn “Obstacles into Opportunities”. When I went to Tibet for my 50th birthday, I had a valuable lesson. After 10 years of training to climb Mt Everest, I got altitude sickness and failed in my bid to climb the North Col, a 7,000 meter ice face leading to the summit.
I then spent 5 days imprisoned at Base Camp, chasing an elusive radio interview with Adam Spencer, 702 Breakfast. He finally agreed to chat. This interview turned the heartbreak of failure on the mountain into the success of the Sydney Coastrek, 50-100km Team Challenge. I love working with with teams of women who are passionate about Big Hairy Audacious Goals.
I refuse to believe in menopause. I’ve chosen to eat and exercise my way out of hot flushes and extreme mood swings. I choose extreme adventures instead. And, I no longer need contraception GULP … I think … HIP HIP HOORAY!
I think that exercise is THE wonder drug for everything. Governments agree. The American Council on Exercise says "… regular physical activity can help manage many of the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause as well as the related health concerns, such as heart disease and osteoporosis."
Other benefits of exercise include: Reduced stress. Weight loss, reduction of hot flushes, increased bone mass and reduced risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. WOW! What a drug!
The North American Menopause Society says: "Exercise may cause the same magnitude of change as that induced by estrogen therapy." So get moving sisters. With good food and exercise, you can balance your hormones.
Fitness and walking opportunities are all around if we choose to see them.
I reckon we should all refuse to become invisible, turn those hot flushes off with exercise and healthy eating, and focus on choosing our attitude, doing interesting things with interesting people, adding value AND taking on Big Hairy Audacious goals.
Then, life can begin at any age.
If you havn't already, begin it now by entering the Sydney Coastrek 50 – 100k team challenge. It is guaranteed to keep those hot flushes OFF! Register HERE now and don’t miss out.
Director, Wild Women On Top
This is an edited version of an article from “The Hoopla” website. Check out more HERE
Wild News ...
Go Glamping, visit schools in Nepal, raise funds for the Australian Himalayan Foundation and trek to Everest Base Camp Trek with Di Westaway 22 April - 11 May 2012
If you're into GLAMPING, glamourous camping, with the girls, dont miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a truly extraordinary adventure.
We are delighted to release the most amazing classic Nepal trek itinerary, with 5 star camping in heated tents, sherpa support carrying your gear, a gourmet dinner party overlooking Mt Everest and an optional side trip to the historic Everest Base Camp.
This is truly a privilege to trek this iconic route, and have the opportunity to experience the finest possible views of the world's highest mountain. You will need to be the fittest you've ever been for this trek AND we will help prepare you every step of the way.
We will also have the great privilege of visiting schools in the Everest region and helping change lives by ensuring that the young girls have a path out of poverty through education. This unique adventure will raise funds for the Australian Himalayan Foundation. For more details click HERE!
Coastrek 50k almost FULL - DONT MISS OUT!
Enter your team online TODAY to make sure you don't miss out on this awesome team goal to keep you fit over Summer. Click HERE to enter.
BOOK NOW FOR TERM 4 TREK TRAINING NOW. Some groups already full so dont miss out on your favourite training time. Click HERE to book. Term 4 starts 10th October 2011.
DI CORPORATE SPEAKING:
Di Westaway has been offered an opportunity to share the Wild Women On Top culture through corporate speaking engagements. If your company is interested, please check out this link HERE
Wild Tips ...
Trek Training: To increase your cardiovascular fitness, you must get your heart rate into a training zone - 75% max - at least three times a week. This means you need to be puffing for at least 30 minutes.
Gear: Ask Santa for a yoga mat so you can experience the core and stretching component of your training in comfort!
Nutrition: Dont be fooled by food fads, superfoods and "NEW" products claiming incredible health benefits. There is no substitute for whole foods with everything, except saturated fats, in moderation.
NOTE: For hundreds more Wild Tips, purchase your copy of "How to Prepare for World Class Treks". Only available online HERE
Training and Wild Events ...
NEW! Girls Night Out: Bubbly Wild Walk
Fri 14 October 7-9pm, for OXFAM
Join Di and Lisa for a great night out - a Wild Walk ending with a glass of bubbles in an amazing setting with views of Sydney. The perfect girls night out! All proceeds will go to Oxfam, to help our Trailwalker teams to reach their fundraising targets. Book HERE, limited places.
Meet car park at end of Cutler Rd, Balgowlah Heights (nearest cross street - Tabalum Street) for 7pm start.
Classic Nepal and Everest Base Camp Trek 22 April - 11 May 2012
We are delighted to release the most amazing classic Nepal trek itinerary, with 5 star camping in heated tents, sherpa support carrying your gear, a gourmet dinner party at Kala Pattar overlooking Mt Everest and an optional side trip to the historic Everest Base Camp. This is truly a privilege to trek this iconic route, and have the opportunity to experience the finest possible views of the world's highest mountain. You will be the fittest you've ever been for this trek AND have the opportunity to raise funds for girls education in the Himalaya. For more details click HERE!
Shirt Sale: Technical shirts 30% off. Great for Term 4 Trek Training.
Dont miss out on a bargain - get the latest Wild Women On Top technical shirt which wicks sweat away from your skin, keeping you fresh and odour free for days! Click HERE to order.
Climb Mt Kilimanjaro & Mt Meru with Lisa 8 - 23rd June 2012: Wait list
This world class trek, up the highest mountain in Africa is now full, but we will take a wait list so check out the itinerary and ask World Ex to put your name on the wait list in case a spot comes available. This is a MUST do and truly extraordinary adventure embracing an incredible cultural and adventure experience. BOOK HERE
Mt Cloudmaker Wild Weekend: 18 - 29 Nov with Vic: Wait list
Join Vic for a stunning wilderness weekend in the remote Kanangra Boyd National Park. This is a challenging endurance day pack walk with a spectacular rock scramble in truly spectacular country. You'll camp by the fire at Boyd's Creek and climb Mt Cloudmaker, then spend Sunday relaxing by the Kanangra Falls and enjoying gourmet treats at Cottage Rocks. Book now and give yourself a great goal for Term 4. Book HERE
Wild Adventures - Diary ...
14 Oct: NEW! Girls Night Out - Bubbly Wild Walk. Book HERE
18 - 20 Nov: New Wild Weekend: Mt Cloudmaker Adventure with Vic. Wait list only
4 Dec 2011: NEW! Sneak Peak Christmas Party, 7pm, Primrose Arts and Crafts Centre, Cremorne
2-3 Mar 2012: Sydney Coastrek, 50-100k Team Challenge. Register now!
22 April-11 May 2012 NEW! Trek Nepal & Everest Base Camp and raise funds for the Australian Himalayan Foundation! HERE Bookings Open!
8-23 June 2012: NEW! Climb Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru More details HERE! Wait list only
Coaches Corner ...
Fuchsia returns from her climb of Mt Kinabalu in Malaysia while Roz and Lisa just got back from the iconic Machu Picchu trek in Peru. Stay tuned for more stories on these two adventures in next week's WWW.
Unfortunately, one of our favorite and most fabulous coaches, Roz, has ripped her hamstring off the bone and is needing surgery to have it reattached...ouch! The good news is, Roz's groups will be taken by the gorgeous Nicola Moran (Monday am) and our delightful new coach Mel Barton (Thursday pm), giving Roz's girls an awesome opportunity to experience some great new energy. AND... Roz will still be available via email or phone for any questions or queries while she recovers. Please don't hesitate to contact your new coaches; Nicola - 0413069892 and Mel - 0403584907.
Wild Inspirations ...
This week's most inspiring member is 72 year old Margaret Sheridan .... She truly embodies the spirit of Wild Women On Top. Margaret took her sons to Everest Base Camp when they were in their early 20's and she has rafted down the Franklin River before many of us were born. She has had both hips replaced and continues to train and trek in amazing places. She really is a legend. Congratulations Margaret. And thank YOU for continuing to inspire all the members of the Tuesday night Trek Training group and everybody who hears your story.
WILD WOMEN ON TOP SYDNEY COASTREK 2nd March 2012 - get your team together now!
Start organising your team for the Sydney Coastrek now. Entries open for members 19th September, non members 21st September! Click HERE to enter
UNHCR LITERARY LUNCH:
If you're interested in joining the girls for a literary lunch in support of the UNHCR, please contact Penny Gerstle on email@example.com