90% will recommend the festival to a friend

As the organiser I’m often busy behind the scenes at the festival, making things happen and handling any hurdles that come up. However, I can see and feel the atmosphere, and this year it was like a pressure release, like you all needed to burn off the stress and nervous exhaustion of the pandemic year – but I’m not in the workshops or out on adventures with you, so I don’t get the hear the stories or see the achievements unfolding. It can be difficult to get a real sense of how the festival is impacting lives until all the emails and survey responses come roaring in, and I’m blown away:

Just do it!
Here's what you said...

Nothing comparable

Best weekend of my year

Love it

Mind-blowing

Some extracts from personal emails I received:

The adventure activities prove a great buzz for me because that’s what I love; it’s the seminars that prove that largest growth point for me.”

This year the gems were huge and very fitting for the space I found myself in at this particular point in my personal and professional life and the reflection space I was in.”

One of my favourites as it tells me it’s all worth going out on a limb and daring to do something unique!

“Thanks for pioneering GAGOTG and congratulations on such a wonderful festival!”

And to wrap the quotes up, speaking for so many of the attendees:

“I really enjoyed sharing the weekend with such inspiring and insightful people and am already seeing the positive changes in me since returning home.”

This year’s photos show massive smiles, vibrancy, confidence, fun, ponderous thought, learning! You can take a look here.

Fear of heights conquered - well retested!

Keeping it real

We changed things up a bit this year with the big winner being a 200 metre flying fox across a ravine just outside of Bright. That really got people squealing and laughing, as well as some curious poses as you flew through the air.  Our kayaking is always super popular. The rainfall leading into the festival pumped up the rapids on the Ovens river. There’s a beautiful and fun video of one of our kayakers getting through the rapids and gracefully, and with a smile, capsizing!

Only a few of our workshops appear annually as they continue to be top favourites. Help with decision making has been a cornerstone since 2019. It moves you away from paralysis by sharing a framework that builds objectivity and clarity in making critical decisions across multiple options. Equally, gaining insights into what motivates you and that which may be stressing you out has catalysed changes to work and home lifestyles. 

This year’s new addition of informal kitchen table chats on values and mindsets with me and Katrina, our consulting psychologist, were also super well received and prompted some great discussion. Two points that stood out were:

  • Do we feel that spending our ‘me time’ with our family / kids is actually energising?
  • How do we articulate our values? In particular the use of the words like ‘respect’: it means so many things to so many people, all contextual.

These chats were insightful and great for unpicking key conventional constructs as well as expanding insights on self.  We’ll be keeping these at next year’s festival.

Making the most out of flying through the air

Be inspired by those that do

Bernadette Dornom, an elite adventure racer along with Sarah Brindley who cycled 11,000 km in South America were the most inspiring speakers who got you motivated. 

Friday night movie, courtesy of the Adventure Travel Film Festival Bright (which couldn’t go ahead due to the 5-day lockdown the weekend before us) donated a feature length adventure movie called ‘Home’. A story about Sarah Outen, rower and adventurer who on the 1 April 2011, set off in her kayak from Tower Bridge for France. Her aim was simple: to circle the globe entirely under her own steam – cycling, kayaking and rowing across Europe, Asia, the Pacific, North America, the Atlantic and eventually home. A year later, Sarah was plucked from the Pacific ocean amid tropical storm Mawar, her boat broken, her spirit even more so. It was an awe inspiring and emotive movie, the perfect scene setter for the reason to step outside your comfort zone throughout the weekend.

Being together

This year due to COVID we moved the networking soiree to the Bright Brewery. Each year a forced adjustment forces me to take a risk. Each year it has been a triumph, as well as reinforcing the mantra of ‘dare to be bold’. The SheOaks really got the crowd moving beneath the stars. They loved the crowd so much they’re coming back next year. Connecting, swapping stories of the weekend, laughing, hugging and making plans.

Learning mountain biking skills

Why people make the annual trip

The festival is really becoming a weekend for new and old friends to detox from their worlds. 44% of you came because of friendship, 56% of you came due to all the learning on offer! What really impressed you includes:

Program flexibility as you can tailor your own adventure

Energy, empathy and the joy of everyone there

Inspirational women who move you to own your decision to shape your world

The combination of adventure activities and development workshops

The Bravery Awards were introduced this year, galvanising the attendees to ensure those that really pushed themselves outside their comfort zone were recognised. We had over 30 submissions, which representative 12 peer nominated individuals. Some took that leap with a fear of heights, others shared personally challenging stories, others still acknowledged that they needed to change to get better results in the workplace. Being able to recognise each other in this way was really meaningful, and there were a few happy tears amongst the smiles!

90% will recommend to their friends

With over 90% of you saying you’ll recommend the festival to a friend we’re expecting an even bigger turnout next year. To ensure you secure your spot at the festival we have presale tickets for a $10 deposit. This will give you priority to purchase your festival pass when it’s released next year, less the $10 you paid to secure it. Check the details out here.

BLOCK YOUR CALENDAR for 25 – 27 February 2022 for the next one!

#liveabiglife #getagripofthegrind #noregrets #adventurouslife #performance #justdoit

Me at the top of Half Dome after finishing Snake Dike
Dr. Eibhlin Fletcher, Founder of the festival

HomeIf you like what you’re reading why not join us for our annual Get A Grip of the Grind festival held the last weekend in February in Bright, NE Victoria (25-27 Feb 2022) and get your own epiphanies. Our podcast AIFE tells tales about women who are rocking their world. Our weekend warrior programs under the banner of The AIFE Series are back. You can join us on one of these weekend adventures which can be found on our website.

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