9 May 2018

Resilient Women Adventures


A few weeks ago I was invited to come along to the pilot weekend of Resilient Women Adventures as the weekend adventure photographer and blogger. I was super excited as I have previously worked with Nicki of Resilience At Work on a social media project, and hearing all about Resilient Women I felt like this is a concept I could really get behind.
Resilient Women Adventures brings together a group of women who want to learn about what it is to be resilient in life and careers, whilst getting our and about in the world with new experiences, and enjoying like minded company. Who knew coaching could be so amazing? When I think about women getting together to reset and recharge, I think of yoga weekends (not that there's anything wrong with yoga weekends, in fact when I went away for one I truly loved the experience! Read about it here) But this is an active, adventure packed weekend with resilience coaching in between - in the most interesting places, like a bus conversion. Got your attention yet?
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers

We drove down from Hampshire on a Friday afternoon and our destination was Croyde in North Devon. This is the first time I have visited Croyde so I was very ready for a new adventure! Upon arrival we settled in to our seaside cottage and met the rest of the women we would be spending the weekend with. Even though a lot of us were tired and headed to bed early, some of us stayed up until midnight chatting and getting to know each other. Keeping it to only a couple of glasses of wine as we knew there was an early start with our first adventure of the weekend - coasteering!

Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers

On the way down to Croyde, my friend Heidi and I were talking about coasteering as we'd only just found what it was - we genuinely thought it was an easy breezy kayak sail down the coast... For those like us, coasteering is actually a trek along the coast climbing on hills, squeezing through tunnels, and jumping off rocks into the sea. Sounds a little scary, right? So much so that already on the first morning I started using my official photographer title as an excuse not to do this. You know, I kind of need to go and do the photos and the camera can't get wet and.... so many excuses. This was quickly shut down by the appearance of a second GoPro camera, courtesy of the Croyde Surf Academy owner, Jules (thank you!!) who organised the activities. So off we went, on my first ever coasteering mission.

Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers

I'm not going to lie, my first jump was terrifying - and so tiny compared to the jumps I was doing at the end! I don't think I can ever forget the feeling of just jumping into the freezing cold water, and then the feeling of 'Yes, I did it!' hitting me harder than any cold, water, or fear. We spoke about something called Peer Possible (thanks for the phrase of the year Dani!) - this concept replaces 'peer pressure' which can be a negative and scary thing, and changes it to 'peer possible' which is replacing that negative pressure into the encouragement and support of those around you. It contributed to so much of my attitude and trying new things over the weekend, having a support system of women who were cheering me on. Our coasteering coach Will was absolutely fantastic - he made the whole experience fun and exciting, not scary at all. A year ago did I think I'd be squeezing through water tunnels and jumping off rocks in to the sea? Nope, but I had the best time doing exactly that.

Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers

For the second half of the day, after some much needed lunch (do you know we actually forgot about food and lunch whilst out and about? I think this is the first time food was not a priority!) and a resilience coaching session where we all shared experiences and helped each other though tricky situations and questions, we geared up for a lesson in surfing.

I have been surfing once before when I was a young teenager and all I remember is that it was bloody hard, and I think I spent most of the session sunbathing whilst 'taking a quick break'. So I was really excited to see how I would find this experience nearly 15 years later!

Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers

The whole group has an amazing time out on the waves - most of us were newbies to surfing so there was a lot of falling, laughing, even an injury at the very end! The best feeling though has to come from finally standing up on the board - for those who don't surf, it's such a sense of achievement. It also helped having a surf instructor who was not only helpful but also kept our humour levels at a high - thanks Freddie!

Being out there surfing had me thinking that this activity is the best experience for resilience in life - you drag your surf board from the beach into the sea, crash against the waves, sometimes when the waves are big you have to face your surf board towards them and push so they don't take you under. After the challenges, you get to the place in the sea where you will be ready to catch the perfect wave. Then it's a waiting game. You wait for what you think will be the perfect wave, you miss it. You catch a wave you think will be great, and it disappears right underneath you. But when you finally get that wave and you stand up and you surf - it's smooth sailing and pure joy. And then you're addicted and it's 'Just one more wave!!' until it's time to go back. That kind of made me think about what we go through in life - the waves are our challenges, the best way to deal with them is not to run away and hide but to face them head on; the waves we wait are opportunities in life - some are right and some just don't work out; but at the end we all aim for that smooth sail. 

Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers, Croyde Surf Academy
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers
Resilient Women Adventures review, lifestyle blog, travel bloggers

That's not the only pearl of wisdom I took away from the Resilient Women Weekend - out of the many, one I would like to share with you is what my definition if resilient has become. At the beginning of the weekend, we were all asked to write down and share what 'resilience' meant to us and I drew a rock. I drew a rock because I thought resilience was hard, strong unbreakable. But if someone was to ask me what 'resilience' mean to me now after the weekend adventures have happened, I would say resilience is bendable, soft. You can't break soft. Resilience is about being scared but trying, failing but not giving up.

The weekend of adventures with Resilient Women Adventures has been the biggest mindset change I've had - I left Croyde feeling like someone has pressed the reset button on my mind and body, and I'm ready for anything. Plus, I met some incredible women who I will definitely see again (there is already a reunion WhatsApp group!) - to be resilient you need a support system. Everyone needs a support system because doing it all alone is hard. 

And what about professionally? Ask me to jump off a cliff whilst filming and taking photos for a website and brand social media channels - I'm a pro at that now.

Watch the video below for more adventures with Resilient Women in Croyde! And for more adventures, remember to follow me on Instagram!


Find out more about Resilience At Work:Visit the website
Find out more about Croyde Surf Academy: Visit their website
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