Meet Cass. I clearly recall the day I met Cass. I saw her outside the cafe we were meeting in, and I could see how anxious she was, so I went out to meet her, have a chat and try to make her feel as comfortable as I could. She was beside herself, talking at 100 miles per hour, and whether she could even meet our group, let alone do the Stand Up Paddle Boarding we were about to do. She has come so SO far in the year she has been an Escapee, she is the poster girl for embracing adventure, and just giving everything a go, usually with a great big smile. From hiking, to trail running, triathlons and adventure races, she has just gone from strength to strength – we are all so proud of you!!
Tell us a bit about yourself Cassandra
I’m 37 years old, married with a fur child. I am Geelong born and bred and work in a retail environment.
Tell us what you do for fun?
For fun I like to explore and have adventures be it going on a hike (preferably one where there is a waterfall somewhere I love waterfalls), mountain bike riding, trail running, parkrun, going to the gym and yoga. I love to do things that challenge me and I love to try new things that make me escape my comfort zone.
What triggered you to come along to your first Escaping Your Comfort Zone hike?
Essentially there were several things that triggered me going to my first Escaping Your Comfort Zone activity. Firstly, I needed to and most importantly wanted to start moving physically, I wanted to meet people despite the horrendous and crippling anxiety that I had, and I couldn’t resist the chance to try Stand Up Paddle boarding, which was the first activity I ever went to with the group. I wanted to start changing my life for the better in a supportive environment.
And what made you keep coming back to more hikes?
I kept coming back for more activities and hikes because it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be lol. All the ladies I met at my first activity were so nice and so supportive and just as nervous about trying Stand Up Paddle Boarding as I was lol. I felt like I was with a group of like minded women with no pressure or judgement.
I’d love to know how the hikes changed how you feel about yourself.
The hikes have helped change me and the way I now live my life. I have gone from not enjoying the outdoors to now loving and craving the outdoors, and I have gone from having crippling anxiety at the thought of meeting new people to being excited to meet new people. The hikes have given me the confidence to try new things and really live.
What would you say to someone who thinks they are too unfit, slow, nervous or anxious to come along?
At the first activity I ever went too which was Stand Up Paddle Boarding I was 145 kgs. I was suffering from major depression and crippling anxiety that left me house ridden. I was terrified no one would like me, that i would look like a idiot, that I was to unfit and would be too slow etc. But OMG I am so glad I stepped outside of my own comfort zone. It is one of the one rewarding things I have ever done. Everyone was and still is so supportive, I have made some absolutely wonderful friends who I would never have met otherwise and the group has opened my eyes to the true benefits of getting out and connecting with nature and exercise. We don’t leave anybody behind. We all have to start somewhere and this is the perfect place.
Where is your favourite place to hike, and why?
Anywhere where there is a waterfall as a reward and tree ferns lol. I just love the green beauty of tree ferns and the sound of water is so relaxing and refreshes my mind. After a hike with tree ferns and waterfalls I feel I can tackle reality again.
Any other thoughts?
You have so much to gain and nothing to lose so come join us for a hike today! You won’t regret it.