Inspiring Women | Cath Wallis From Mum to Marathon Adventurer
INTERVIEW by CAROLINE
Cath Wallis is an adventurer and all round inspiring woman! Cath started her Instagram blog, "Living life BIG in the body that I have", to share and document her trail adventures as a plus size woman to inspire other women to get out there and give things a go. Our Merino clothing and accessories can be seen in her photos as she chose our Merino clothing for her adventures in the outdoors. This is how we met Cath!
We invited Cath to be a part of our Inspiring Women blog as she has helped Kerrie, our CEO, step outside her comfort zone and do the Simpson Desert Ultra and you'll find her story inspiring!
Tell us a bit about yourself and what motivated you to document your outdoor adventures.
I'm a working mum of 3, and about six years ago now I realised that quite frankly I was a bit boring! So I decided that I would commit to some big adventure goals and see what happened. And it turned out I loved it - and it changed my life. And as I was hiking one day, I looked around me and realised that I was the only one there who looked like me - a fat middle aged woman taking part in one week trail events. So I decided to share my adventures on social media, in the hope that it would inspire other people who have never considered themselves athletes, to also choose big adventures and experience the joy of taking part.
Oman Desert Marathon, 2018
Tell us about the mentoring group that you’ve set up for SDU and also your FB page Think Big.
So my favourite Australian event is the Simpson Desert Ultra (SDU) and last year 2021 I mentored a group of 18 women to take part. We met each other virtually through a Facebook group, trained for six months and then finally met in person in Birdsville before the event. For me it was the most rewarding thing I have done in the outdoors, and we were fortunate to make a short documentary about it, called "Normal People Would Drive". I am headed back again this year with another team of 22 women and I just know its going to be amazing!
The "Normal People Would Drive" Team. Simpson Desert Ultra, 2021
What tips do you have for anyone thinking of doing a major run, walk or any other feat?
There are 3 things that I recommend:
- Choose the goal that speaks to your heart - and then pay the entry! The combination of something you really want and having committed the $$ is very powerful.
- Schedule it! Make a plan for your training, in writing, and stick it where you can't miss it - you can't beat the fridge door in my opinion.
- Enrol your friends and family in your goal - whether they train with you, remind you to get out and train, or help out with another task to free up your time - the bigger your support crew the easier it is to succeed
What keeps you motivated?
I think motivation is a myth. Or at least it is a fleeting thing. What gets me there is consistency. And the thing that really helps with consistency is scheduling. I can't emphasise it enough.
It is also important to be kind to yourself. When you have a lapse in training, and everyone does, it's time to reset and keep going. At that moment you have to shut down the negative self-talk that "of course I can't do this" and just put one foot in front of the other.
What is your go to Merino Country item for work or play?
I have two favourites. I wear Merino briefs because they are quite simply the most comfortable underwear I've ever had. I do all my training and events in the short sleeve crew neck t-shirt - I have every colour!!! It wicks beautifully and I have never had any chafing. And I wear them sometimes for 5-6 days in a row out in the desert.