Lauren Munro-Bennett

Tell us a little bit about yourself...

Hi! I’m Lauren. I was lucky enough to grow up in the beautiful Lake District, which planted the seed for my passion of the outdoors. I spent my childhood and teens in the world of competitive sport: racing in swimming galas, cross country and fell running as a youngster then moving into the world of Triathlon at Uni. I spent three years in the North East at Durham, fitting in my Philosophy and Psychology Degree around my swimming, cycling, and running.
In 2017 I was lucky enough to spend a year travelling in Australia, after graduating. Due to injury, training and racing took a back seat. This began a shift in perspective with the importance of competitive sport in my life and what was important to me. In hindsight, enjoying the outdoors and the friendships I made were paramount to my experience in Australia.
A combination of – recently graduating, returning from my travels, feeling pressure with how I ‘should’ live and lacking the confidence to trust my own ideas and direction – set me up nicely for a rocky few years with my mental health.
After working through the struggles, I had the confidence to follow my own path which led me to recently set up a coaching business (LMB Coaching). So far, it has been both scary and exciting, but I have LOVED the journey of building my own business based on the values that resonate with me.

When did your passion for adventures / the outdoors begin?

Growing up in Grizedale and having the forest as my back garden no doubt ignited my love for the outdoors. Plus, running up and down the fells as a kid and having an outdoorsy family helped.
However, it was only after my first depressive episode in 2017 I realised just how vital the outdoors was to my mental health. Now, I make a conscious effort to get out in nature every day. Whether that’s a run in the fells, a dip in a tarn, an epic mountain bike ride, a bit of bouldering outside or just a little walk up the local hill – I know how much it keeps my brain happy.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?

The battles with my mental health, hands down. Over the past few years I have worked through three severe depressive episodes, two manic phases, been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). It’s been a bit of a shit storm at times!
There were times when I didn’t want to be here anymore. There were times when I tried to end my life.
Thankfully, through the amazing support network of my fantastic friends, seeking professional help (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy!) and the Wonderful Wild Women Community; I worked through the brain stuff and I am stable, healthy and happy!

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

Feeling aligned in myself.
Feeling a deep appreciation for nature and its amazingness.
Sharing this outdoor playground with my closest friends and those willing to try it out.

What three words do you associate with being outdoors?

Freedom. Home. Expression

What does the Wonderful Wild Women Community mean to you?

Family. Support. Encouragement. Acceptance. A space to grow, challenge myself and breakdown barriers! This poem by Rupi Kaur epitimoses exactly what the WWW Community means to me:

When the world comes crashing at your feet
It’s okay to let others
Help pick up the pieces
If we’re present to take part in your happiness
When your circumstances are great
We are more than capable
Of sharing your pain.

Community – Rupi Kaur

Outdoor Credentials :

Level 1 Leadership in Running Qualification (England Athletics)
First Aid Qualification