Meet the 2017 Hike Nepal Team: Katherine Kerr

Katherine grew up on the Northern Beaches but now lives in Tamworth! Many of her nearest and dearest remain on the northern beaches, however, one of whom is Tracey who was the primary motivator for Katherine to join us on this trip! The coolest thing about Katherine is that she chooses a new challenge every year, where she does something totally new and out of her comfort zone. She has done this for years. Some of the she has done include learning to dance & performed in a concert, learnt to water ski and this year, she’s trekking to Everest Base Camp! To add another layer, this trip is also very spiritual for Katherine; she needs to prove to herself that she is okay, after surviving ovarian cancer three years ago.

Katherine says that it will be her mental toughness that gets her to EBC. She puts her cancer recovery to the same cause: stubbornness. She says “99% of recovery is mental, it was never a negotiation, cancer was a speedbump” and so is this trek!. She knows that she will never be where she was before, physically, and her experience has given her perspective. If something goes wrong Katherine says that she will be okay with doing the panorama option (1000M lower and much shorter hiking days). For her, the most important thing is that the experience is enjoyable; it is the act of trekking around Nepal that is her goal, not the achievement of EBC. She wants to grow from this, and get something out of it. She has missed out on adventures before, when her friends went trekking while she had cancer, and is determined to be a part of it this time around!

As someone who has had a fairly major health event, she is uniquely qualified to offer advice to someone who is struggling – there is always someone struggling on any given day! Katherine believes that when the going gets tough, “close your eyes, breathe, and remember why you’re doing this”. She refuses to compare herself to anyone else, even as she is competitive within herself. She will remind her walking partner that day to “remember why they are here… and to look around! You’re doing it already!”. In these situations she will set smaller goals, for example, get to the next tree, or the next hill, then sit and rest, before setting another small goal.

Katherine believes that her biggest challenge will be the cold: “I don’t like being cold, once I’m cold I go internal and shut down”. She also acknowledges that starting early will be a challenge and maybe the food too! She’s nervous, because “of the unknown, things are bigger in your head then they are in reality”, however she has fried much bigger fish before, and intends to achieve this regardless!

Katherine is looking forward to “just walking”, seeing if she can do it, meeting Nepali people. Her mantra is: “FIGHT. Get up every day and just fight”. The most important thing for her is completing this trek – whether she gets to EBC or completes the Panorama trek, she will be excited, and feel accomplished! She plans to take many moments to be still, and appreciate her surroundings and what her body can do. When asked how she will feel at the end, she replied “Tired. I think it’s going to be a “tick”, and it’s going to feel pretty damn good, regardless of which trek I do”… and we are inclined to agree!

BEST OF LUCK Katherine!

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