Di Westaway’s Mid-Wife Crisis
Twenty years ago, Di Westaway was fatigued, fed up and seriously unfit. With nothing but an impending 40th birthday and bottomless washing basket to look forward to, she started wondering: is this all there is?
Then, out of the blue, an acquaintance invited her on a hiking expedition to remote South America. It wasn’t just any old hike… it was climbing Mt Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere. Impulsively, surprising even herself, she said yes. She was a former athlete, how hard could it be?
A Big, Fat, Fail
The mountain climb was a big, fat, fail. They didn’t get to the top.
But the experience transformed Di’s life. She realised there was more to fitness than sweaty, soul-destroying gyms or pounding the pavement.
OMG, Fitness Can Be Fun
Di discovered that fitness allows you to get to places most people can’t go. When you’re hike fit, you can enjoy a cuppa tea on a remote mountain top, plunge naked into a glacial lake surrounded by squealing friends, jump off a waterfall in the shadow of an active volcano or scale a jagged rock tower in time for the sunrise.
Di skilled up and started ‘Trek Training’ for women in her local national park. She trained coaches and clients, and together they travelled the world hiking iconic trails such as Mt Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu.
Develop Resilience… And Find Real Joy
When you’ve been on the side of a mountain, thinking you might die, things like whining teenagers and impending divorce are a mere trifle. You’ve faced far tougher challenges before sunrise, and you see the world through a different lens. One that says: Don’t f**k with me.
But it was more than that. Di had discovered something that made her really, really, ridiculously, annoyingly happy. Even at 6am. She’d found that ‘something to look forward to’ she’d been missing, and it turned her world technicolour.
We Need A Goal For Everyone
The thing is, we can’t all jet off overseas to climb mountains. But Di knew she’d discovered something magical and she wanted to shout it from the mountaintops!
Di wanted the exhilaration she felt to be accessible to all women, so she developed an event that took the best bits of her adventures (Views! Giggles! Friends! Chocolate! Champagne!) and crammed them into one epic hike along the coastline of Sydney. Coastrek was born!
Where Coastrek Is Today
Coastrek is now Australia’s premier charity hiking challenge for women. You can choose to trek 60km or hike 30km along Australia’s most spectacular coastlines to get fit with friends and raise funds for mental health.
Together, our community has walked over 2 million kilometers and raised over $36 million for charity.