Shannon Nix ~ Founder of WHC
I started the Women's Hiking Crew 3 years ago out of desperation. I was unhealthy, depressed, and barely hanging on. I was overweight by at least 85 lbs, and my health issues had worsened since 2016. On Christmas Day 2018, our plans for the day changed. Typically, we would enjoy unwrapping gifts in the morning then head to my parents for Christmas lunch. Due to a schedule conflict with my sister, we decided to move our get-together to dinner. That left the entire day wide open! Out of nowhere, I told my family to grab a bag, snacks, water and throw on some comfortable clothing. They had no idea where we were heading, and honestly, they were a tad bit shocked. I'm not a spontaneous person.
It was a beautiful sunny 65-degree day, and we couldn't waste it sitting inside being lazy. Again, something I'm never opposed to, but not this time!
After a 30-minute drive, we found ourselves at Martin Nature Park in Oklahoma City. It's a short trail but very peaceful despite being near the turnpike. On most days, you can see deer and a wide variety of birds in the pond. There is also a playground at the entrance, and while it is meant for the children, we adults had no issues playing on the equipment.
After our hike, I felt rejuvenated—almost a feeling of freedom from what I was battling. I could breathe, my legs felt great, and my heart and soul were beyond full. How could I have gone my entire life not knowing this feeling? We finished the day with lots of laughter, and for me, I spent the day with a sense of purpose. I knew I couldn't be the only one out there that could benefit from this wonderful feeling of accomplishment and joy. After our Christmas dinner, I got to work. I created our Facebook page, developed a website, and invited my friends to join. I visited other hiking Facebook groups and was surprised at the number of people who knew about this fantastic sport and all the things I still needed to learn. That inspired me to start the events, get others to enjoy the outdoors, and be with like-minded women.
On December 30, 2018, I created my first in-person hike. There were ten people, and a few of them were children. We trekked 7 miles at Lake Thunderbird, located a few miles east of Norman, OK, in the cold. I started with a pair of $10 shoes from Dollar General and a hand-me-down backpack. I felt exhausted by the end of the hike (mind you, I was a "couch potato"). While standing at the end of the trail, I felt it again! I had accomplished something! The feeling of joy and peace consumed me, and I couldn't get the smile off my face. I knew at that moment; this was going to be big! I was going to spread the word like wildfire and pull in as many willing women as possible so they could experience this too.
Since the beginning, we have scheduled over 100 hikes, including retreats, kayaking, and rappelling adventures. I have successfully led hundreds of women into the woods to explore, exercise, and find relief from the stress in their daily lives.
Now it's your turn!
Are you ready to hit the trails but not sure where to start? Maybe you've ventured out but are unsure if you've packed the right gear and have enough food and water. No worries, the Hiking 101 for beginners course will increase your confidence. You'll be ready to plan your next adventure in no time!
The course is 100% online; unless you are in Oklahoma, your course will end with hands-on training. You will use your trail guide to research the trail chosen by your instructor and pack your bag using the handy dandy checklist. We will then hit the trail! Once done, you will receive a certificate of completion.
If you are interested in learning more and want to be notified when the course is available, fill out the form below.