Making fitness fun and accessible

Betty Go Hard offers a rewarding outdoor experience for even the most reluctant athlete.

Joining an exercise group or committing to a fitness routine can be daunting, but throw in a bit of wine, cheese, and chocolate, some good conversation and a beautiful setting, and it becomes a lot more enticing.

Natasha Lockey has been operating Betty Go Hard for five years, and is kicking off the season with another exciting lineup of activities for area residents of all ages, abilities, and inclinations.

“I was really frustrated by the lack of female inspiration in the media . . . so I really wanted to create a place of inspiration for girls that were into action sports,” said Lockey.

The New Zealand native created an online magazine that depicted real female athletes in action not superficial models.

The idea blossomed into offering biking and hiking outings in summer, and snowshoeing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing adventures in winter.

“I was trying to do something and generate some way to get girls out and get photos. My philosophy then became if I took girls out and got them having a good time and took photos of them, I would achieve two goals. I would inspire them to actually doing with other girls and I would also be able to generate photos to inspire other girls to get out and actually do stuff.”

Lockey combines her outings with après-activity treats at Mountain Nugget Chocolate Company that have become a favourite element and also helps to encourage the timid or reluctant athlete.

One of the greatest obstacles to exercise is that many feel intimidated about getting started.

“The fear factor is huge . . . I’ll get 12 women who all say, I’m really unfit so I’ll probably be at the back. So I look at all of them and say, “Awesome, it sounds like we’re all in the same place and we’ll all be in the back and we’ll all have a really good time.”

And it’s not just the women, says Lockey.

“There’s quite a lot of guys in that same boat and for them it’s even harder . . . guys are suppose to be fearless, so it’s really hard for those guys to find the people to go biking with that aren’t intimidating for them.”

The 32-year-old Rossland resident now offers a variety of instructional programs from after school biking fundamentas for boys and girls to kids biking clinics. She also offers courses from beginner and intermediate ladies off road biking, to intermediate and advanced rides.

Lockey has also partnered with Teck’s Health and Wellness and the City of Trail offering programs through Trail Recreation.

Betty Go Hard is also organizing summer camps for boys and girls in July and August in Rossland, Castlegar and Trail.

This month Betty Go Hard offers a series of introductory clinics on off-road riding featuring the five fundamentals of body postion, braking, steering, gearing and line selection.

Lockey is also leading a hike and yoga excursion for the next two Sundays. This Sunday will go on Columbia Trail and the next week on Antenna Trail in Montrose from 1:30 to 4 p.m. with après treats included in the $28 fee.

No matter what the Betty Go Hard name might suggest, Lockey says her real mission is trying to get people to feel comfortable engaging in different activities.

“Once they come out and do it, they realize how everything works and how it isn’t that scary.

“They actually start looking at things like biking and roller derby and kayaking and those sports that they never would have thought possible to do.”

Sign up for activities or join the Betty Go Hard online community by going to bettygohard.ca or email betty@bettygohard.com.