WHEN IT COMES TO FINDING THE RIGHT CHALLENGE FOR YOU, THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF OTHERS CAN BE A GREAT SOURCE OF INSPIRATION (THOUGH NOT COMPARISON!). MEET SIX AMAZING WOMEN WHO LOVE A CHALLENGE
Natalie is the founder of Gutsy Girls, a community of women seeking adventures, facing fears and having incredible experiences together.
“Gutsy Girl challenges aim to give women the opportunity to get out of their comfort zones, push themselves and discover how strong and bad-ass they are in a supportive environment.
“Challenges give us focus and an outlet away from work and other life stresses. They help us grow as individuals as they make us accountable for something. The resilience we take from them, we can transfer to our everyday lives.
“It’s all about the journey leading up to the challenge and supporting each other. Challenges shouldn’t be a competition. Choose something you like and enjoy the process, it should be about friendship and having fun.” Tara is an artist and online art teacher who runs weekly art challenges.
“I think challenges are a super way to get yourself taking action on something that’s important to you, whether that’s creatively or for tness or any other reason – especially if you’re the sort of person who thrives with a bit of guidance and accountability alongside the space to make autonomous decisions.
“Over and over, on Instagram, I’ve seen people surprise themselves with what they’re capable of, grow in con dence, make new friends, develop seeds of ideas into bigger projects, create work that has then sold; and not only make art they love, but thoroughly enjoy the process too. A challenge can be as demanding or as gentle as you like, and it’s a very low-pressure way to experiment with ideas.”
Kiko is an educator, challengeseeker, adventurer and founder of charity The Big Stand. Despite being diagnosed with Cushing’s disease in 2009 (a syndrome causing very high levels of the hormone cortisol in the body, causing a range of symptoms, which can include high blood pressure and muscle weakness), she recently set a record as the fastest woman to row the Atlantic solo.
“When we challenge ourselves, we leave our comfort zone. I don’t know what I’m good at until I try it, what I like until I give it a go or who my friends are until I meet them.
“Challenging yourself teaches you perspective, to be ok with failure, to let go of fear and to grow. It helps you become you and when you’re you, you become happy and it’s then you can really make a di erence.”
Also known as Fat Mum Slim, Chantelle was the rst person to set a ‘Photo A Day’ challenge on Instagram.
“Personally, I don’t want to be stagnant. I love to keep growing and evolving and challenging myself, and Photo A Day is one way to do that. It’s such a positive movement. It encourages you to take a moment each day to take a photo, which leads to gratefulness, being present and nding joy in each day.
“Almost 30 million photos have been shared so far in the Photo A Day challenge, and six years on it’s still going strong. For me, the community around Photo A Day has been the best perk. People from all over the world have found new friends, and some have even own across the globe to meet each other. That’s pretty special.”
Bonita was the youngest person in the world to climb Mount Everest and to reach the North Pole.
“I take on challenges for di erent reasons but mostly because I want to push myself, nd out what I’m capable of, go into that unknown. I love that feeling of being truly connected – to nature, the tribe and ourselves. It’s that connection that makes us feel alive. And what is life about but to be alive?
“I don’t think leading by example and just ‘being out there’ on social media as an adventurer is enough.
You need to make the e ort to sit in front of people, engage with them and challenge their belief system. I make a real e ort to speak in schools – over 200 to date. I try to inspire young people to believe in themselves, follow their own path and not give up when life gets tough.”
Eighteen months ago, London-based Emma took up running and now completes marathons despite her type 1 diabetes diagnosis.
“Do something every day that scares you – you regret more the things you don’t do than the things you do. Challenge yourself, prove that you can do whatever you put your mind to.
“As a type one, I want to prove to myself and others that health and other challenges don’t have to stop you – each time you hit a hurdle keep going, getting around any obstacles makes it an even greater accomplishment.”
@fatmu lim@bonitan r @ we_run_diabet