Miss Fit Adventures is Fit for the Journey
Nikki Becker, Owner Of Miss Fit Adventures, Talks About How Nature Saved Her, Helping Women Find Healing In The Great Outdoors And Taking Women And Her Outdoor Adventures Beyond Her Beloved Pacific Northwest
Growing up on the southern Oregon coast, Nikki Becker, owner of Portland-based Miss Fit Adventures, found solace in the natural landscape and being outdoors.
“Nature saved me. It saved my life. It was a place that I found solace. It was a place where I found strength being on the river. It’s just a place that I was able to get away and take care of myself,” says Nikki, 43. “I absolutely loved it when you are an avid outdoorsman it is the perfect place to grow up. It is just absolutely breathtaking.”
“I realized how much being in nature healed and how much women can aspire to that and perhaps find their own healing and their own inspiration,” continues Nikki.
She enjoys sharing the natural wonders and the Oregon coast with other women, which is why Nikki jumped at the chance to lead the hikes during the second annual EDEN Pacific Northwest, a women’s weekend getaway in Seaside, October 2 – 5.
This weekend she’s going to lead women on two different hikes along the Northern Oregon coast.
“I’m excited. I enjoy meeting new people,” says Nikki, who hopes the hikes will, “open some of the women’s hearts and minds about being more active and being out more in nature.”
Nikki is looking forward to taking women out into the coastal wilderness on the Cannon Beach Nature Trail, a 2 mile light afternoon hike that will take women along the bend of Ecola Creek exploring the wetlands and ponds and through a spruce forest reserve on Friday (October 3). The hikes are
The second hike planned for the weekend is a bit more challenging. Nikki plans on taking a group of adventurous women on the Tillamook Head Traverse Hike, a 6.3 mile moderate level half-day hike that will take the women through the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and a coastal forest where they will discover some World War II era bunkers along the trail, Saturday (October 4).
During the hikes Nikki will talk about the history of the trails and the environment.
Girls That Roam sat down with Nikki to chat with her about how nature inspires her, getting women excited about the great outdoors and where she wants to take her outdoor adventures.
Making Women Strong
Nikki has been taking women on outdoor adventures for 17 years. The former Olympic hopeful has been a fitness trainer for 23 years before founding MFA (1001 Southeast Water Avenue, #220; 503-957-3287; MissFitAdventures.com) in Portland, Oregon in 2003.
For 11 years, she’s helped between 45 and 55 women, mostly in their 50s and above, stretch their physical horizons through weekly fitness training and more than 1,000 members who join her on one or more of her adventure trips taking them rafting down the Grand Canyon to climbing the peeks of Mount St. Helens and other adventures every year.
Nikki also leads the recreational Miss Fit Adventures Dragon Boat team.
“It kind of gets them into shape to do whatever they decided to do the following year,” says Nikki, whose clients sign up for her trips about a year to a year and a half in advance and train with her.
Dana Penilton, who joined the Miss Fit Adventures Dragon Boat team after being solicited by a friend and being impressed by watching Nikki coach the women into a strong team, agrees.
“I was a committed couch potato, having left behind athletics, yoga and dancing,” admits Dana, who wondered if she could “drag myself away from lethargy and commit to being a member of a team, commit to getting up, getting moving and attempt to regain long lost strength and endurance.”
In spite of her fears and uncertainty, she joined the dragon boat team.
“I had no idea that this simple decision would bring so many rich gifts to my life, but I decided to face my fears and the rewards of this one decision continue to bless,” says Dana. “I had no idea that working together with a group of women to paddle a 2 ton Dragon boat could be so empowering.”
Dana went on to build friendships and to go on other adventures with Nikki.
The women and Nikki enjoy the friendships built on the mostly women-focused adventures she creates rather than simply signing up for an event and going.
Nikki isn’t opposed to co-ed adventures, sometimes men do come along to support their friends, girlfriends or wives, but, “most of the adventures I do are women-focused,” says Nikki.
“It creates a sort of team effort. They get to know each other and go out to dinner together. We train together,” says Nikki about the experience she creates at MFA.
“It’s a physical challenge and sometimes it can be emotional,” says Nikki. “I want it to be as safe as possible when you are climbing a mountain and you are in the last 500 feet before you hit the summit and you are just in pain.”
That strength of a team of women behind you, “It’s quite awesome.”
“There is something about that ability of the just the cohesiveness of the women’s group to get to the goal,” says Nikki, who never gets tired of taking women to climb Mount St. Helens or any mountain.
“It just takes me to cloud nine,” she says, talking about the energy of the women, the tears shed and the hugs. “It’s just a really neat thing to be there and experience it with each group that I go up with.”
While she grew up with competitive sports, Nikki realizes that fitness might be new to many of her clients who grew up in an era before Title IX. They grew up in an age where they weren’t exactly encouraged to be Billy Jean King or Nadia Comăneci who took the tennis court and balancing beam by storm in the Olympics during the 1970s or simply to stay in shape for their own personal goals.
Their trophy isn’t something that they can put on a shelf for all to admire, but the experiences they acquire, the newfound love of sports, and the friendships they make, says Nikki.
“Things like that, that really connect us and make us feel a part of the world,” says Nikki. “It’s what have you learned from your experience.”
“It’s sort of opening the door to explore a lot of different activities that may be women wouldn’t even thought about doing decades ago and its safe,” says Nikki, pointing out that “women’s energy together is really safe.”
Another benefit is that by creating a team it naturally creates a safe environment for women.
“They connect with each other and learn a lot about each other before going and that just makes the adventure that much more sweet,” says Nikki.
Prior to striking out on her own, Nikki was a professional trainer at a health club for a decade. That’s where she began getting women out of the gym and out into nature on outdoor adventures 17 years ago.
She translated her experiences on those excursions into her own philosophies about connecting women’s fitness with the great outdoors.
“I wanted to bring the experience to women and in my way,” says Nikki, who is very thankful that her adventures continue to fill up.
Getting Out Into The Wilds Around The World
“I’m very thankful,” says Nikki, pointing out that most of her adventures for 2015 are nearly sold out. “I’m going to some pretty cool places next year.”
Nikki has 12 trips planned in 2015, including her first outdoor adventure outside of the US to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in February. Hurricane Odile isn’t slowing the small group of women down who plan on volunteering on a project to help rebuild the resort town, wrote Nikki in an email when Girls That Roam asked.
It’s a first for her as she tests the air in preparation to spread her wings.
“I’ve been wanting to spread my wings a little bit,” says Nikki about exploring taking her outdoor adventures on the road to base camp at Mt. Everest in Nepal or Machu Picchu in Peru in the future.
“[I] would love to explore it more,” says Nikki, pointing to the fact that many of her guests are retired and “they like to go somewhere warm in wintertime.”
Most of the outdoor adventure trips she has panned next year are rafting down in the Grand Canyon, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at a Mt. Hood Retreat; a kayaking adventure in Long Island, New York; and a hiking adventure in Yosemite, to name a few.
Nikki even provides home cooked meals, as she does all of the cooking, during her adventures and sometimes entertainment by musician Naomi Hooley.
To purchase your weekend passes to EDEN Pacific Northwest, visit http://www.edenpnw.com/?page_id=1373. It’s not too late to reserve your room at the host hotel, the Shilo Inn Oceanfront, call 503-738-9571 and use the code: EDEN PNW.
Full Disclosure: Heather Cassell is the marketing and sponsorship director of EDEN Pride Events, which co-produces EDEN Pacific Northwest with PQ Monthly and The Seattle Lesbian. PQM and TSL are media partners with Girls That Roam.
To contract an original article, purchase reprints or become a media partner, contact .
Your next destintion