Why Wild Woman Jodi Is Our Most Inspiring Member For 2019
By Sophia Hatzis
When Jodi Fisher won our Most Inspiring award for 2019, she was shocked. But her coaches and fellow Wild Women weren't so surprised.
Jodi has been a long-term member of the Wild Women community. Her journey with us started back in 2012 and since then she's gone from strength to strength. A woman who used to shake before rock scrambling, now throws herself into every challenge and regularly pushes herself out of her comfort zone. Jodi ran 21.5km in the New York Marathon to celebrate a milestone birthday and hiked the Haute Route in Switzerland in 2019 with Wild Women.
"She loves the challenge of those out-there moments, when she's quivering inside but refuses to be defeated," coach Wanda says.
Jodi embodies the Wild Woman spirit. She faces her fears and perserveres, inspiring the other women around her to do the same. She also volunteers her time to help others and spent months training to be a Lifeline crisis support worker.
Jodi reminds us what we can all do to support eachother - especially when we're out on the trail.
You’re our Most Inspiring Wild Woman for 2019. Congratulations! How did it feel to win that award this year?
It was very humbling and an unbelieve shock. It was just one of those moments you didn’t expect. It was an unforgettable, surreal moment.
What do you love most about being a Wild Woman?
I love Wild Women, it’s really a lifeline for me. Aside from the health and fitness benefits, it’s the self-discovery, the learnings, the developing of confidence that I love. There’s a deep connection of community and camaraderie.
There’s no other experience like it, to be a Wild Woman.
Your first Wild Woman trip was to Bhutan in 2012. Do you have any big, hairy, audacious hiking goals for 2020?
I’ve signed up for Wanda’s Scotland and Ireland trip in 2020. I’m really fortunate and privileged to have completed a number of Wild Walks, Wild Weekends and Wild World trips, so that’s been fantastic. They’ve all been unique and different in their own way.
I am really looking forward to Scotland and Ireland, that’s been on the bucket list for a while.
Who inspires you?
It’s collectively all the Wild Women, there's no single person. They’re all quite unique and supportive. I draw strength from that.
All the Wild Women coaches, in their own way, have made me a stronger, better person.
What made you want to sign up for the New York Marathon?
That was a couple of years ago. I had a milestone birthday coming up and I just thought, ‘Let's just go do something that’s a little different’.
Six weeks before I was due to take-off, I twisted my ankle. I strapped it up, took painkillers, persevered and just ran. It feels exhilarating once you’ve crossed the finish line.
You’re a Lifeline crisis support worker. How did that decision come about?
I work in Human Resources. We have a lot of conversations about mental health issues... some people shy away from that and don’t know how to have a conversation with someone who says, 'I’m not okay' or 'I’m struggling'. That can be quite confronting for someone who wants to help but doesn’t know how to.
I thought, ‘How can I help them or respond to challenges in a positive way?’ I went through a strenuous, comprehensive training program. It was very revealing. It was a journey of self discovery, first times and ways to assist people who experience stress, anxiety and depression.
What I found, after about four or five months of training, is really it’s 70% being nice and 30% skill. It’s giving that time and presence to that person in need, sitting down and listening to them. That’s the big piece.
Can you tell me the best hiking advice you’ve ever received?
It comes back to my crisis support volunteering - listening to what people are saying. When people are walking and you are in the moment, in beautiful nature, people share their stories.
If you’re walking with groups of people, it’s listening and hearing what their journey is about.
Want to meet more inspiring women just like Jodi? Join us in the Wild Women Community on Facebook.