Tired of your job? Yvonne Shepherd was looking to do something different and created her next role.
“I needed greater variety, change or simply to get away from it all. But, as much as I talked about it, I didn’t act on it until it was put in my path,” Yvonne says.
That ‘it’ was the start of an exciting new career that many of us just dream of… you know what they say…do what you love and you will never work a day. Well, Yvonne started Brisbane-based company, Women’s Fitness Adventures and hasn’t looked back.
See what is in front of you
“It was 2013 when ‘it’ was put in my path,” Yvonne says. “I had started running a few years prior, dabbled in some organized outdoor fitness challenges, and belonged to a gym. With this increased fitness, I found myself less fearful, more adventurous, and more empowered.
“So when I learned about the Great Ocean Road Walk, a five-day hike along the Australian coast, I decided to take it on.”
Yvonne said she let others know about her intention, and eleven other women came forward to join her on this journey.
“They didn’t know each other, but we formed a cohesive group as we planned and trained for the 110km hike.”
“As we worked together, I started realising that this was what I wanted to be doing with my life,” Yvonne’s says.
“Over the previous seven years, I worked with women in leadership, fitness, and weight loss coaching capacities. I understood the balance women seek, the lives they juggle, the worries that consume them, the stress they feel, and for some, the guilt that can consume their lives when they fall short.
“But on this trip the women were ‘in the moment’; they felt empowered, did things they don’t normally do, and were able to focus on themselves.”
Yvonne says after the trip, the women asked when the next trip was.
“I came home from the Great Ocean Road Walk and started Women’s Fitness Adventures.”
Motivation, adventure and a byproduct of getting fit
Today, Yvonne organises smaller day hikes and mountain climbs, full week-long adventures around Australia and walking groups in Brisbane.
“At the root of every adventure, the purpose is to encourage women,” she says. “But working with women on our adventures helped me discover something important: whilst women may have the desire to get fit, without a specific goal, their motivation wanes.
“However, by putting an adventure goal in their view—using it as motivation to help them reach their desire—the elements of getting fit come as a byproduct of the goal. Motivation stays high. Even better, when combined with the encouragement from the friendships that are formed.”
Yvonne says it is not always easy; she is learning all the time, and developing skills.
“I am working on being bolder, asking for more of what I want, and promoting myself and the business more widely. There are days of doubt and questioning.
“But, in a world filled with uncertainty, I backed myself and blazed my own trail.”
Follow Yvonne’s latest adventures
Yvonne and the ladies are off again this time on the Tasmanian Walls to Cradle Adventure. Follow their adventures or become a member and join in — here: Website, Facebook or Instagram.
She Society is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.