Meet our Most Inspiring Wild Women for 2018!
By the Wild Women On Top team
Every year we love to celebrate the amazing women who have inspired us most with our Most Inspiring Award. The nominees for this award have been selected by their coaches and teammates for their remarkable achievements throughout the year, demonstrating compassion, strength, kindness, preparation, achievement, resilience, improvement, mental toughness and more. Here's the Most Inspiring nominees for 2018.
Erica Beaton, by Kelly Books
As a long-term Wild Women On Top member and loyal to the Tuesday Mosman group, Erica continues to inspire us all with her dedication and commitment to getting out there with her Trek Training each week. This year has been a particularly challenging year for Erica - with mental health issues on the home front coming at her from left field - and continuing to be completely all consuming... as they tend to be!
Erica is as empathic, gracious and compassionate as ever - always putting others before herself. Despite the backdrop of such challenges, she is acutely aware of the benefits of Trek Training with her trekking pals, and exhibits a huge amount of strength and courage by committing to us every week.
Erica knows of the benefits to her own mental health by exercising with friends, being outdoors and walking in nature. For this reason - with mental health being the theme of the year - I have nominated Erica Beaton as the most inspiring member - someone whose character traits we can and will all continue to learn from!
Barbara Winterbourne by Michele Michel
Barbara is a long-time client with Wild Women and always has a happy face and caring disposition at Trek Training. Although she is the first one to tell you she can get quite overwhelmed with some challenges - whether it's a big rock scramble, a huge mountain to climb with a full pack or leading a Duke of Edinburgh hike at the last minute - she faces them head on!
This year in particular, Barbara set herself the aim of competing in the Coastal Classic. She's not a natural runner, but Barbara trained herself to become one. She is an inspiration to many and showed us all how anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Come race day she never gave up and gave it her all. This is how she approaches much in life: sees the challenge, accepts the challenge, gets anxious about what she has decided, but NEVER gives in to that. Well done Barbara.
Nitu Gupta by Di Westaway
Nitu supports and inspires all she meets with her wisdom and deep, loving kindness. She teaches and shares the benefits of walking in nature with everybody, particularly women in need of support.
In spite of a tough year of personal loss and challenges, Nitu has managed to balance her personal selfcare needs against those of her busy professional life and caring for her young boys. She has shown us all that young mums can and should make time to walk together as well as training for hiking challenges. She has just returned from a lifelong goal of hiking in Iceland which included climbing her first volcano, pushing back against stereotypes of what’s possible for working mums.
Nitu is one of those rare women who inspires us all by leaping out of her comfort zone, living her dreams and encouraging others to do the same.
Joan Sato by Jo Vartanian
It feels like Joan has always been a part of our Wild Women family. She joined us just over 2 year ago and has never looked back.
Joan arrived amidst a chaotic time in her life and decided to fight her way out of darkness through connecting with like-minded women through fitness, adventure and nature. In her time with us she has gone from strength to strength, physically and mentally. She has thrown herself into the Coastrek phenomena… completing two 60km events, volunteering at events and organising teams attending Melbourne Coastrek. Since joining us, Joan has trekked Larapinta and Mt Barney with Wild Women teams, discovered the wonders of hiking in the Swiss Alps and plans to return soon. She is a regular, energetic and smiling face in our Southern Trek Training groups – always making us laugh, working hard to be her best and inspiring others to love and appreciate adventure like she does.
Joan's stories of competing in dragon boat competitions and taking on even more adventure, despite having to manage several very challenging physical issues, are enough to keep everyone in awe of this beautiful Wild Woman and good friend to all.
Margaret Gosper by Jacq Conway
If you haven’t already met Marg then you will know when you have! Her effervescent personality, endless energy and gorgeous smile will knock you out!
What hasn’t this amazing Wild Woman done since she joined us not much more than 12 months ago? She has jumped onto nearly every Wild Walk and Wild Weekend we have offered, trekked in the Bungles with a full pack and trained hard for the incredible Iceland trek. Prior to Iceland, she kayaked 150km in Greenland (a last-minute decision)... and was even chased by a Polar Bear! Marg has also squeezed in a few half marathons, abseiling, rock climbing, canyoning, a Sydney Skinny swim, kayaking, learning to dive and cycling.
Her bucket list is growing larger than her famous shoe collection! She's now preparing for the Overland Track, the Jatbula Trail and Mustang as well as the New York Marathon, all while running her own business, and recovering from a cancer scare last year, as well as some other personal challenges.
Marg’s energy is infectious. She inspires me and all she meets to push past your comfort zone, never say never, and to not let life's hurdles stop you from setting new goals and chasing them. She lives and plays by the Wild Women Golden Rules by helping other members, always sharing, never complaining, and working as a team. Congratulations on your nomination Marg - this journey you are on has only just begun.
Amanda Kidd by Wanda Nicholson
Kiddo, as she affectionately known, is an absolute gem. Being one of our younger members, she is a delight and inspirational to us all moving on from just Trek Training to both indoor and outdoor rock climbing and training fiercely with a full pack for treks in Tasmania. Amanda is a great moral builder within a group, kind and considerate to others and always there to lead a hand to those struggling at training.
She gives me faith for the future knowing we have such great young people like her to carry on what we have begun to the next generation.
Katrina Sims by Wanda Nicholson
Like us all, Katrina has had her ups and downs through ill health and personal sadness but is never one to give up... NEVER!!!
Living with breast cancer she has kept on top of things by continually attending Trek Training, taking on two Coastreks, personal treks to different parts of the globe with both Wild Woman and friends and has signed up for the challenging Haute Route Trek in Switzerland next year.
Go Katrina, you are an inspiration to us all.
Ruth Budge (Millie)
Ruth is our Nomination for the most inspiring member of the Adelaide Trek Training group. After her initial taster, Ruth was committed and came to training week after week. Each week she improved her confidence, fitness and skills, and she signed up to do the 30km Adelaide Coastrek with her friends.
Ruth was very busy making headbands and gaiters for her fundraising but two weeks before Coastrek, Ruth had a heart ‘blip’ which landed her in hospital. She was scared she was not going to be able to start the event. Fortunately, four days before Coastrek, her doctor gave her the all clear to join her team for some of the event.
Ruth joined her team for 20km - an amazing effort. She continues to inspire friends and family, particularly through raising around $5500 for Beyond Blue.
Her journey has had twists and turns but Ruth’s spirit and love of nature shines through, and she has already committed to complete the Sydney Coastrek next year. Congratulations, Ruth!
We would love you to join us for our annual Christmas picnic to celebrate the adventurous year we've had and thank YOU for sharing it with us. We will be announcing the winner of the Most Inspiring Award and congratulating all of these amazing women. You can RSVP here.