Meet Our Wild And Wonderful Coach Of The Year For 2019
By Sophia Hatzis | Digital Content Producer
Trek Training coach Wanda Nicholson is like sunshine. She's positive energy in human form and she truly believes in - and loves - what she does.
Wanda is Wild Women On Top's Coach of the Year for 2019 and while she was shocked when her name was called out, there are so many reasons this Wild Woman deserves the recognition.
Wanda leads booked-out Trek Training sessions and Wild Adventures in Australia and around the world. Her trips seriously sell like hot cakes. Maybe it's because she tempts us with her scrumptious cakes, nutritious goodies and the world's best hot chocolate (yep, we're calling it). Maybe it's because she charms us with her wild and wonderful ways - she's the kind of woman who will jump into the ocean fully-clothed, hiking boots and all. Or maybe it's because she's constantly encouraging her Wild Women to leap out of their comfort zones, face their fears and achieve things they never thought were possible.
"Wanda inspires and empowers our clients in a truly authentic, wise, wild way," Chief Adventure Chick Di Westaway says.
"She helps ordinary women achieve extraordinary things, regardless of age or ability. She's always planning the next adventure to ensure we get fit to live our best, strongest, healthiest lives."
As our Coach of the Year for 2019, Wanda shares her top hiking tip and reveals what keeps her inspired.
How do you feel about being named Wild Women On Top's Coach of the Year?
I feel privileged. I didn't expect it at all. It was a big surpirse, a lovely surprise.
What's been your biggest achievement for 2019?
I think one of my biggest achievements was getting the girls through the Haute Route trip safely and successfully. Another huge achievement was seeing the girls achieve their goals.
Who inspires you and why?
The girls all inspire me. They inspire me because they just love training so much and they push themselves. They always take on the challenges I give them. That makes me really happy because a lot of them have never done anything like it before. I think it's lovely when they do push themselves, afterwards they feel so rewarded and so good about themselves. One woman said just last week, "Wanda, I would never have done this on my own. Thank you for pushing me."
What is the best hike you’ve done and what made it so epic?
The best hike is always the last one I’ve done. I don’t know why but it just seems to be the most focused in my mind.
Looking back on some, you think, “Yeah, they’re great.” But I think it’s the last one you’ve just experienced, because they’re always different in different ways. In saying that, I think my first trek with Wild Women was fantastic. I still remember it because I was with a group of women... I wasn’t with strangers. It was just so much fun. That was (Everest Base Camp) Tibet. I still remember that one quite vividly.
What hiking destination is at the top of your bucket list?
Ethiopia at the birth of the Nile. You travel up to see where the actual Nile starts. It’s the scenery and the people. I just love Africa. It’s an amazing place. The people, the culture, the mountains. Apparently, it’s one of the most beautiful trips you can do.
What’s your top hiking tip?
My top hiking tip would be not to rush and enjoy every step, because you never know when you’ll go there again. You’ll never walk in those footsteps again.
What’s your favourite piece of hiking gear at the moment?
My favourite piece of hiking gear at the moment is my backpack because it’s super light and comfortable. It’s an Ultratlite one from America, it only weighs 0.95kg. I also like my trekking umbrella. It’s a Montbell umbrella. It’s so big and it’s so light, I love it.
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