Kate O'Callaghan

Tell us a little bit about yourself...

Heyyy, Kate here! Living in the South Lakes with my husband Danny and crazy but very cute trail doggo Louie. Business development manager by day and a wannabe mountain biker in my spare time. I have more recently taken up surfing too. I love spending time with my family and friends, I am at my happiest when that time is spent outdoors whether it be on bikes, on foot, in or on the water or just chilling by a lake with a BBQ watching the sun go down. My favourite thing is hiking up a mountain in the dark (usually with my bike on my back), making it to the summit in time to sit and watch the sun rise, bringing everything to life with it, the impact of those moments are immeasurable for me.

When did your passion for adventure / the outdoors begin?

I grew up on the outskirts of Liverpool so didn’t have a massively outdoorsy upbringing, we went on camping holidays, did the occasional hill walk and climbed a mountain in France when I was quite young but beyond that most of our holidays were spent on a beach or exploring towns and cities. Don’t get me wrong, that was amazing but I always knew from a young age I wasn’t meant for the city environment, choosing to do my work experience with the army is probably where I first experienced the power of outdoors properly, I went on to join the army and that is where my outdoor adventures truly started. The outdoors took a back seat in my life for a long time and around 8 years ago I met Danny and started working for The Outward Bound trust at a similar time, this is where my passion really took hold. Inspiring people of all ages into the outdoors is something I will never tire of.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

My recent “holiday” with Danny, 25,000ft of climbing over 12days, pretty intense!! I joke, most likely the WWW 36 hour relay. Another huge challenge has been learning how to surf, a different type of challenge in terms of learning to surf because I am scared of waves rather than pushing my physical limits. I am really eager to get some big challenges completed in 2021 though, I have been so focused on getting my life back that its taken a bit of a back seat, I have continued to push my limits in other ways but I need a big challenge in my sights.

What core value do you try to apply in your outdoor endeavours?

Resilience – I often say to myself “find your grit” if you can just push those boundaries that little bit further you will reap rewards. A softer one that I tell myself is to take it all in, enjoy the surroundings and the solace and healing that comes from the quiet, open spaces or views.

What three words do you associate with being outdoors?

It is impossible to answer this without sounding like a cheese ball – Free, Strong, Alive.

What does the Wonderful Wild Women Community mean to you?

A hard question to answer because it means so much. I have made great friends in all of the ambassadors who are incredible, powerful and inspirational women, each in their own right paving the way for other women and driving people to want to push their limits in the outdoors – I am still not entirely sure how I am an ambassador!! I have also made friendships with others in the community who are inspiring, brave and share a love of the outdoors. Being part of a community that inspires and creates opportunities for people to experience the power of the outdoors is hugely important to me. The feeling that more people have felt that sense of achievement, that powerful moment of doing something they never thought possible or even just the realisation that they have been brave enough to try something new because of a team I am a part of is heart-warming!