A Lesson from Guiding

I’ve been told that I am inspirational person. Someone that motivates others. Someone with so much energy and positivity that when people are around me that can’t help but to feel it too. Becoming a guide through Run Like a Girl at our RLAG adventure retreats has been an absolute dream come true. To be able to share my passions for adventure, exploration and fitness with others, to be able to show other people places I love, to watch them achieve things they never thought possible. And I’d say the majority of my experiences guiding and leading have been absolutely incredible. Let me share a few unforgettable moments…

-I’ve watched someone crippled with their own fear of heights, climb to the top of a tree.
-Complete introverts transform into incredible confident people, belting out songs to Mother Nature and laughing with their new friends.
-someone completely terrified by water, rapell a waterfall and jump into the pool below.
-a mother and daughter who swore they weren’t hikers, conquer the challenging Inca trail.
-a woman who struggled with mental illness her whole life, break through and be able to reconnect her self and others.

-incredible, life long friendships be born.
-someone who had never really been a runner go from a casual runner to an ultra marathon runner in 2 years.
-A woman who has never heard the words “I am proud of you”, conquer a 30km, 3200m peak and have the whole group in tears telling her how proud we were of her.
-Someone uncomfortable with others touch, open up and allow a new friend to apply a mud mask to her face.

I could go on. Taking people out of their everyday lives and putting them into a new environment with new faces and watching people transform is one of the greatest parts of my life.

But it can also be really, really hard. Sometimes people’s energies affect others. Sometimes you can bend over backwards for people and it still doesn’t seem like enough. And sometimes your personality is simply just not going to be in-sync with another persons. I’ll be honest. I’ve had really low moments, I’ve been really tired, I’ve had a stomach ache or a headache, I’ve struggled to keep my energy levels high. People have seen me at my highest and at my lowest. As a guide I feel like I should always maintain my positive attitude and share my light with everyone… but sometimes that’s literally impossible. But I am really learning how to change my perspective on things.

Maybe what makes our RLAG trips so special is that we don’t pretend to be something we are not. When you go on a trip with me… you get me. The real me. I don’t sugar coat it, I don’t try and hide my energy or my zest for life, and I also don’t try and hide when I’m feeling a little low or if something has bothered me. Perhaps as a guide we aren’t meant to show all our emotions or show our vulnerability… but that’s just who I am. I am an open book. I have cried with clients, I have shared personal things about me, I have comforted others and felt their emotions running through me. After one retreat in Costa Rica, I got news that my brother had been accepted for stem cell and bone marrow transplant surgery… I couldn’t hide my tears and instead of keeping it to myself, I stood up in the bus and shared the news, tears and all with our clients. That’s what makes me real. I’m not afraid to show it all.

But something that I have learned through 3 years of guiding now is that your energy affects other people. When you are positive, other people feel that. Positivity can literally turn someone’s day around, change their opinion of something, inspire them to try something that scares them or push them out of their comfort zone. When you are negative, it can drag other people down. We don’t have control over everything in life, but something we do have control over is how we react to a certain situation. And I think this is a lesson we can all learn. The way I choose to see life is that your glass is always full. Sometimes you spill a bit of it out, sometimes it overflows, but that glass is always full. If you look at your life this way, you’ll see that it is really, really awesome. And yes, bad things happen, or things make us upset, but that doesn’t mean all the water has spilt from our glass, it just means a bit has and we simply need to just fill it back up again. Next time you think you’re having a bad day… ask yourself… “am I having a bad day as a whole? Or am I letting one bad thing affect my whole day”. Emotions are a part of life but maybe negativity doesn’t have to be.

So, if you come on one of our RLAG adventure trips, just know… you’re going to meet our true selves. You’ll get us, all our emotions, our positivity, our outlook on life and our hugs. I believe if we keep spreading love and positivity around…the world will be a better place!!

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