How do you know if you’re ready to jump?

If you have to make a big decision in your life or take a step into the unknown, how do you know if you’re strong enough, can handle what’s ahead or will be finding your wings in the fall?

The thing is, you don’t.

My story begins in Australia over 3 years ago when I woke up inside an incredibly abusive marriage and realized I didn’t want to be there anymore. With a young boy of 2 years old it became clear to me that I didn’t want to bring my son up in this chaotic and dangerous atmosphere. I realized that I wanted my son to respect me and respect women. And I knew that wouldn’t happen if I stayed here.

But how did I get here? I used to be such an independent woman. I used to be a hike guide and a world traveller. I travelled around the world when I was 20 by myself and hitchhiked by myself all over New Zealand. So how on earth did I get here, in this situation?  What happened to that woman that I used to be?

And so it was in that moment I decided I was going to get her back.

But the thought of leaving and the fall-out from it, terrified me. I was so exhausted and beaten down. And so much of me had been lost, after years of lies, deceit, manipulation and living in shame and fear every day. Not only was I afraid of the man I was leaving, but I also had to accept the failure of my marriage and everything that came with that.

This was, to be honest, the lowest and darkest time in my life. And to make it worse, nobody knew about it. I didn’t tell anyone what was happening and how bad things were because of the silence I succumbed to in the web of manipulation and intimidation. I was so ashamed of my situation and so afraid to get out.

This is when I began my fall.

I had no idea what was at the bottom, I couldn’t see a thing. It was completely black. I had no idea what I was going to do, I just knew I had to get back to Canada to my family and friends.

And so I started to make a plan. By December of that year I was going to be back in Canada with Cody living permanently, whether my ex wanted to come or not. And before I left I was going to have an epic adventure and find myself again.

And so the universe delivered.

I found the perfect epic adventure and was blessed to have my dear friend Kevin join me and wife Bronwyn to be our super and solo support crew along the way . We rode the Munda Biddi Mountain Bike trail in Western Australia, an 1100km off-road mountain trails, in 18 days. It was on that ride that I found that woman again, that adventurous spirit that I once was. It was through the physical challenge of riding on average 80km per day off road through sun and rain and multiple challenges, where I built up my confidence again and where I experienced a sense of achievement and fulfilment. It was here that I believed again that I could overcome huge obstacles when I put my mind to it.

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Four months later I left my husband, after another chaotic and disturbing situation. And I was living safely in Canada with my son.

I began to reach out to those around me for love and support. I asked for help. I focused on taking one step in front of the other, even when I still couldn’t see what was in front of me. I surrendered to the experience and allowed for grace and compassion for myself. I gave myself permission to be ok with the process and trust that this hard time would pass. I practiced yoga and meditation almost every day.  And the biggest thing I did was that I decided to use this enormous challenge and adversity as an opportunity for massive personal growth. I decided to learn what I could from this experience and read every book I could on the topics of overcoming challenges, getting up from the fall, and how to rise again.

And so, I rose again. Like a Phoenix from the ashes.

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I then enrolled in a coaching program, became a certified coach and developed a successful coaching business called Courage Space Coaching. I now help people overcome their obstacles and turn their challenges into opportunities. I also run coaching and fitness retreats with my friend and colleague where we offer a transformative experience called Get Fired Up Retreats on Bowen Island.

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I’ve also found other epic adventures to keep building my confidence like the Seek the Peak in 2015, a 16km race from Ambleside to the Peak of Grouse. And this September I ran my first half marathon trail race called the Handloggers Half, circumnavigating Mt Gardiner on Bowen Island. And as for the years ahead, I will be always searching for new goals that will push myself even further and show me what I’m capable of.

So, how do you know when you’re ready to make a jump or start your fall?

You don’t. You just have to trust the process and fully surrender. Because it’s in the fall where you build your strength and gain wisdom. And it’s in the fall when you find your wings.