How A Woman Who Had Never Hiked Became Our Most Inspiring Member
By Sophia Hatzis
Two years ago, Margaret Gosper had never hiked before. She wasn't into camping, adventure or travel. Just work.
But following a series of major life challenges, including divorce and a cancer diagnosis, Marg joined our community as a quiet, nervous newbie with no idea that her life was about to be turned upside down... in the best way possible!
Since then, she's thrown herself at every adventure we've offered. From Wild Walks to Wild Weekends to Wild World trips, there's not much Marg hasn't put her hand up for. That quiet woman has become this sparkly, dynamic chatterbox who lights up every room she enters. Trek Training coach Jacq Conway says: "If you haven't already met Marg, then you will know when you have. Her endless energy and gorgeous smile will knock you out!"
She's found a community that accepts her exactly as she is, and that support has helped her thrive. Marg now loves hiking (of course), but she's also keen on kayaking, canyoning, abseiling and rock climbing. If that doesn't sound wild enough, she was recently chased by a polar bear while kayaking in Greenland. Seriously, a polar bear. And she just bought herself her first ever tent!
Marg is the definition of 'attitude is everything', and proves you can change your life at any stage - you just have to be a little wild.
Here's our Q and A with Marg.
What’s your favourite piece of hiking gear right now?
My Coastrek buff. I usually wear a buff that matches my next goal. I have multiple buffs in different colours for different events. It's a reminder of where I'm going, why I'm doing these things even when I'm tired. Plus, they have a lot of practical uses, particularly in Mustang when a buff with tiger balm was essential for dealing with the local facilities.
What are five things you always have in your backpack when hiking?
A personal first aid kit, a headtorch, a small treat (usually packet of snakes to share with other Wild Women), spare socks (I hate wet feet and trek training with the adventure goddess Di on a Saturday at Freshwater is bound to involve wet feet at some stage), and I always pack a sense of humour!
What’s your top hiking tip?
Be in the moment and enjoy now. I enjoy each Trek Training session. Each one is a new adventure, something awesome to see or people to enjoy.
How do you balance training with full-time work?
The balance is always an issue. I always remember that my health and mental wellbeing are a priority. I focus on the work so I can get out and about. Being self-employed makes it harder because there's always work to be done. Mostly, I'm super organised and I don't sweat the small stuff. My pile of ironing is nearly as tall as me but oh well!
What’s the best hike you’ve ever done and what made it so epic?
I am a nature junkie, so any time in the sunshine provides something that’s epic. But for me, my time in Iceland with Di Westaway in 2018 represented the highlight so far. It was the first real goal I made with Wild Women On Top when I joined. Something that at the time was a dream and seemed like a difficult task.
Twelve months of training, love and support from the Wild Women ladies, and a whole lot of new skills later, I did the trip and it was a turning point in my life.
Which hiking destination is at the top of your bucket list and why?
I think I need a bigger bucket, because it keeps expanding. The more I explore, the more people I meet, the longer the list grows and the order of priority changes.
At the moment, in Australia I want to do the South East Tasman Track. Why? Because Tasmania’s beauty is literally beyond words. Overseas, I want to go to Japan and do the Seven Temple Walk. It’s a chance to explore another culture and enjoy the spiritual aspects of hiking.
What do you love MOST about being a Wild Woman?
There are so many things I love about being a Wild Woman. There’s the feeling of being surrounded by sensational and inspiring women, all with their own stories, wishes, and dreams, seeking a life less ordinary.
Being surrounded by these women has shown me that anything is possible just by breaking things down into small steps.
Are you ready to follow in Marg's footsteps and join her on the trail? Take your fitness to new heights with Trek Training, now in Melbourne!