When I discovered the Strong Daughters Hike that Big Heart Adventures were presenting, I was instantly drawn. I’ve always loved hanging out just the other side of my comfort zone. Nothing makes me feel more alive than a challenge. However it had been quite some time since taking part in a physical challenge.
I was excited to introduce my Demi to life outside her comfort zone. I was curious to see if she loved this feeling as much as I did.
AND she totally did!!
At the age of 11 Demi’s quite insightful, she’s able to language her internal dialogue quite well now. I loved hearing about some of the discussions she had with herself along the track. She remembered feeling negative chatter coming in at one stage, wondering how much further she would need to walk. She turned thoughts to what she might be doing at home instead. There was an internal discussion with her negative thought, reminding it that home does not have this view! She said she reminded herself that whatever she would be doing at home would not be at all this adventurous or exciting. She explained how the backdrop had her feeling like she was in a movie. So I’m presuming she took on a role of hero over the two days and did not want to leave the viewers disappointed. She conquered the Strong Daughters mission. It would have been a box-office hit!
We had a 3 hour drive home from deep creek which we filled with endless chatter about our Strong Daughters hiking experience. As my muscles started seizing up my heart danced with delight to hear of her take aways. It was obvious that she learnt a massive amount about hiking and nature, but she also learnt so much about herself.
Those with tween daughter’s may appreciate and understand the uncertainty faced when booking this hike. This is an age where the attitude and enthusiasm can be at 0 or 100 both in the same day. I had no guarantee that the challenge would be embraced. I had visions of us pointing into the distance in complete awe at mother nature’s beauty. But to be completely honest, there were more visions (unwanted flashes) pop into my head of tears, tantrums and begging to go home.
Thankfully the gamble paid off. I was reminded once again that uncertainty embraced leads to the most magical experiences.
This maybe the first time in my life that I shared with Demi my own vulnerability. And I think this may have been just the thing to encourage her to draw upon her own strength and resilience like never before. Having three sensational leaders like Lisa, Tina and Ella, she was provided with the security and safety required. At all times she knew she was in safe hands.
However grit and determination was something that she needed to produce for herself. I think she understood that this presented quite the challenge for me. I didn’t have any left over determination to pass onto her, I was using everything I had. My fitness level is not great so catching my breath to share positive reinforcement was spared. I was pushing through my own boundaries, one step at a time. So she forged ahead with the other daughters each vibing off the other. We heard no complaints, only giggles from ahead. Their high spirits and adventurous souls got them through steep rises, rocky paths and bum shuffle slopes. Physically their energy was admirable. Their positive mental energy however……. was a POWER STATION that could bring light to small villages!
While this experience was so incredibly valuable to our girls, I’m sure it provided each of us Mother’s with a little take away message also. There were many moments I’ve reflected on. The highlight and biggest take away for me come when my daughter told me that she was proud of me. These words rolled around my heart a few times and sept into every cell of my body. We don’t often hear these words. My little girl was sincerely proud of me. I guess I actually let that guard down for the first time in 11 years. I wasn’t her security blanket, reminding her that everything will be easy peasy. I wasn’t sharing how together I was or certain i was about this challenge. I was being courageous simply by sharing my vulnerability. I guess I demonstrated my strength to her by pushing on even though she could see that I was a hot mess. This in turn introduced her to her own source of strength. She got to discover for herself that she IS A STRONG DAUGHTER. And I was reminded that by not providing certainty to our children all of the time allows them to embrace uncertainty. Life is full of uncertainty. Uncertainty lives outside our comfort zone……and this is where all the fun happens.
This is where us STRONG GIRLS hang out!! Thank you Lisa, Tina and Ella – I’m sure in the future, whenever our girls feel venerable, reluctant or challenged, they’ll think of you and reconnect with their inner Dora the Explorer powers. You’ve made such a positive impact on their lives.
Emotions and Lifestyle coach
Big Heart Adventures is a commercial tour operator (CTO). Registered to lead walking adventures throughout Australia and overseas. We offer fully guided walking tours, self guided walking adventures, and Strong Daughters events.