The lovely ladies from @wonderfulwildwomen join us as guest bloggers to tell us a little about the WWW community and how they fuel themselves for an active/outdoor lifestyle.
The Wonderful Wild Women community aims to inspire all women, no matter what their age, experience or ability, to get into the outdoors and get active.
The Wonderful Wild Women are, at the core, a community of people who enjoy the outdoors, endeavour to make the most of their day/week/month with any kind of adventure, big or small, and want to share or connect with like-minded others.
We really believe that the outdoors should be inclusive to all no matter of ability, age, experience etc and it is something we are really trying to work towards.
Within WWW HQ we have a growing number of Ambassadors who are passionate about the Wonderful Wild Women ethos. They all have their own stories, journeys, strengths and experiences which when brought together within the community help to make it increasingly more diverse, accessible and inclusive for all.
Deep down we are all a bit Wild and Wonderful! Sometimes through our journeys or life experience this can be squashed or suppressed for whatever reason and confidence can be lost!
The ‘Wonderful’ element for us is about accepting and realising our self-worth – often there can be a negative judgement from society for having confidence or for putting yourself first, but it is so important to allow yourself that time and care, so you can go on doing the amazing day to day things, those responsibilities which are often the reasons for neglecting our own needs.
The ‘Wild’ element is much more connected in our love of the outdoors. Whether you have a more holistic and spiritual connection with nature, you see the outdoors as a natural playground to push your limits in, a chosen sport or you are somewhere in between… we all need that time to be wild, disconnect from our ‘real lives’ and discover ourselves and abilities.
We think all women possess elements of wonderfulness and wildness, they are just all so different and the community is a place for all those differences and strengths to be accepted, acknowledged and not judged – giving space for connection and growth with ourselves and others.
Sarah, founder of Wonderful Wild Women
Having a young family, whom I can fortunately say are late risers, means I tend to get up early and ‘play’ outside to ease the parental guilt that comes with taking time for yourself. Usually it involves a run on the fells, swim in the local Mere or a trip to the gym. It’s important to me to bring a little bit of adventure to the everyday, take a moment, however small, to be in the outdoors. When heading out on any adventure a good breakfast is required. This doesn't always go hand in hand with an early rise so my approach is to soak Nairn’s Scottish Porridge Oats overnight with oat milk, raisins, goji berries, chia seeds & cinnamon. By slow soaking oats it makes them more digestible as well as saving time and hassle in the morning! On the mornings where I just can’t resist that extra 15 minutes in bed I can also take them with me and eat at a more convenient time.
Another personal favourite of mine are the Nairn’s Fine Milled Oatcakes. They are so versatile and a great alternative to bread. During long endurance running days / events, when I find it very difficult to eat, I have found tomato soup with some dunked Nairn’s oatcakes to be the perfect provision of much needed fuel. For something a little sweeter, I like to top the Nairn’s oatcakes with almond butter and banana. They also make a perfect addition to my lunch at work, keeping my brain engaged throughout the afternoon.
As someone with a very big sweet tooth, who finds it difficult to have a cup of tea without a biscuit (or three) the Nairn’s On the Go Fruit and Seed oatcakes are a much healthier and satisfying alternative… the challenge is to only eat one pack!
How would you encourage people who want to start living a more active life to get out there and do it?
For anyone looking to live a more active lifestyle and engage more with the outdoors, I would suggest small manageable steps initially. Find something which can become part of your day to day life so that it’s not a ‘chore’ and fits in with your schedule. It could be walking home from work and taking the long route through the park. Waking half an hour early to enjoy some yoga in the garden before the kids wake up, or taking yourself out for a short run during your lunch break at work. Local clubs and classes are a great way to connect and find ‘adventure buddies’ in your chosen activity. There will always be a friendly person willing to give you their time, or maybe reach out to a friend and do something once a week together. Social media is also great for finding like-minded people. Also, don’t be afraid to be a beginner- everyone is a beginner at some point.
What’s been your most rewarding ‘outdoor challenge’ to date?
The journey with Wonderful Wild Women as a whole has been overwhelming and to see the growth of the community has been very humbling!I have been very fortunate to have met and connected with people who I know will be lifelong friends. We have opened up doors to new ventures and possibilities through meeting and they have 100% impacted my life in a positive way. Hearing women say “I never thought I could ever do this” or “this is my first-time wild swimming” etc is very special and rewarding.
In terms of my own personal challenges I have had a very steep learning curve and have tried to throw myself into the fell running community in the last couple of years. In 2019 myself and Ambassadors Kate & Bex embarked on a 36-hour relay challenge mountain biking, running and swimming our way around the Lake District. It was the first time I had ever done anything like that before and I also took the night shift, which was very much unchartered territory. We each had to plan our own routes and then there was a lot of time spent preparing, researching the route and working out a schedule for support. Later that year I also completed ‘Lakes In A Day,’ a 50 mile ultrarun from the North Lakes to the South. The weather on the day was biblical and there were moments of doubt that I wouldn’t make it. Travelling by foot for over 16 hours, it was such a relief to finally reach Cartmel. But every outdoor challenge I have taken part in has proven to be rewarding. Since completing my first ever sprint triathlon nine years ago, each year I have tried to progress and push myself that little bit further, feeling accomplished and empowered at each step along the way.
What is your biggest drive for being active and getting outdoors?
My biggest drive for being active and getting outdoors is hands down the mental health benefits it brings. Being outside can give time for reflection and breathing space from busy lives. The endorphins from exercise also help me to approach life from a more positive perspective. I do a lot of running and swimming and I consider my time on the fells or in the water as my ‘me time.’ It’s where I process any difficult or challenging times which may be going on in my life and it’s a place where I spend quality time with friends and family, unplugging from the technological world for a few hours.
Can you give a bit more detail about what a typical weekend looks like for you in the Lakes?
A typical weekend is spent juggling the errands, which I can’t fit in to my working week, as well as making sure there is some time to ‘play out’. I may wake early and go for a swim then have breakfast at one of our favourite cafes, embark on a dawn raid on a favourite fell or sleep in and enjoy a gentler morning with the family. Once a month the Wonderful Wild Women Community comes together on a weekend to embark on a day out walking together. These are always exciting weekends where I can catch up with the wider WWW Community, there is a great group of those who regularly join us, but also new people all the time too.
What adventures do you have planned for the Summer?
This Summer is going to be extremely busy from long weekends in our van either around the Lakes or further afield, making the most of what is on our doorstep with lots of running in the fells and swimming in the lakes, waters and meres. I recently started fell racing and I have been enjoying taking part in some of the local races we have here. I am also spending the year fundraising for a children’s mental health charity and my daughters’ primary school. The fundraising involves an ‘event’ once a month for 12 months, predominantly based around running. The events have been chosen as they challenge me in some way, including my first ever mountain marathon, the Frog Graham Challenge, the London marathon and a 3-day running event down on the Devon coast. This means my sSummer is going to be spent training (and enjoying training as much as I can), scoping out the routes of events that take place here in the Lakes, as well as getting out with the Wonderful Wild Women Community on our monthly walks and other meetings.
Bex, a member of Wonderful Wild Women:
Having been a Nairn’s fan for a long time, I was delighted to try the new Oat Bars on a recent mountain and biking enduro race. I really love Nairn’s oatcakes and hummus as a race snack- it’s quick to dig out of my waist pack and provides a whole lot of energy after the gruelling downhill stages. The Nairn’s Oat Bars were truly wonderful! The Cacao and Orange flavour is my all-time favourite and was an awesome sweet option for getting me around the 24km endure course.
I have also taken the Oat Bars out into the Lakeland fells on a few hike and bike missions. They have been a welcome treat, especially if I have headed out straight from work and not yet had my dinner. The Oat Bars give me the energy to enjoy my bike related pursuits whenever and wherever they may take me.
Gilly, a member of Wonderful Wild Women:
As a true Scot, living in Cumbria nowadays with my English husband, there is nothing quite like cracking open my wee oaty slice of home on my adventures whether that’s ice swimming, rock climbing or running across the globe. The Nairn’s range is marvellous in fuelling me on my adventures - and I was hooked from birth but would be now, even if I wasn’t. Thank you for supporting the WWW!