Inspiring Human: Senka Radonich
What if we told you there was a way to try that thing you've secretly wanted to try for a really long time. Not a magic pill or a secret sauce but a rad community of like-minded women who could support you to get out and give that thing a go. Would you be in? Sounds like you've got no excuse now!
We are stoked to introduce to you our Inspiring Human and creator of this community, Senka Radonich. Owner of Adventure Girls. An epic company which brings women together to give those adventurous activities a go.
Some might say that adventure runs in her blood. The daughter of a Croatian migrant, Senka's father Mladen came out to New Zealand at the age of 18 with just a small suitcase. After falling in love with a beautiful wahine, Daphne the two of them set up their lives together and had 3 children. Senka is the spontaneous middle child raised in Auckland. She attributes her extra curiosity for the outdoors to summer holidays in the Bay of Islands, swimming, playing, building and hiding with her sister Vesna and brother Luka.
Senka spent her early 20's partying hard. Late nights, alcohol and drugs were all part of a regular weekend. Her wake up call came in the form of a big night out gone badly, in huge discomfort and distress Senka was on the verge of checking herself into the hospital to get her stomach pumped. It was off the back of this experience that she made the decision that this party life wasn't what she was going to choose for herself.
Just two weeks later a friend of hers invited her out into the Woodhill Mountain Bike Park. After being out there for three hours (of which the majority was spent pushing the bike up and down hills) Senka's life had changed. She stopped going out all weekend and started riding bikes instead. Within a month she had her own bike and the rest as they say, is history;
"Why would you go and take drugs when you can get high from this?"
This one mountain biking experience grew Senka's world. She was hungry to explore the Auckland area and go on new adventures, back then there weren't a lot of other women doing that sort of stuff. And this is where the idea behind Adventure Girls started. So officially in 2006 Senka was out there getting women together to go and try new activities in epic locations.
Its fair to say that many women have pushed themselves outside of their comfort zone with the support of Senka and Adventure Girls. Owning your own business can be intense and exciting, but Senka was no stranger to being self employed, her previous business Training for Success was also about female empowerment. Teaching young women self confidence in applying for jobs. Senka believes in the power of women connected - both with each other and with themselves.
Even with the best intentions sometimes life hands us unexpected knocks.
In 2009 she had to give up her dream of Adventure Girls and file for bankruptcy after losing everything in the property market crash. It was the hardest decisions she's ever had to make, giving up something she loved so much. At the time this was failure. She was incredibly doubtful of her own worth and her self confidence was at an all time low.
Somehow I managed to shake the dust off and find some contract work that had meaning. I kept up my riding and I worked with a life coach to help gain some perspective.
This wasn't a fast process, but gradually over a year, Senka felt more confident to take ownership of her life again and step forward back into her potential. She kept up her adventures and took care of herself, surrounded by the support of her friends and family.
And then in May 2016, Senka and her family experienced the huge shock of loss when her Mum (at 61) passed away suddenly. At the time Senka was managing a business that was fast becoming unsustainable for her own health. Burn out was hitting, there were no time for loved ones and everything was feeling all too much.
My world fell apart. I woke up to the fact that we are all going to die someday, so why the hell are we wasting it doing stuff that doesn't matter for people who don't care.
3 months later she quit that job and Adventure Girls was reborn. Acknowledging the passing of her Mum as a pivotal moment for Adventure Girls, her Mum is now an important part of the why behind the legacy that's being created every day.
In the back of her mind that doubt and fear still lurked from losing everything only a few years before. Senka knows all about overcoming that fear, that voice that says 'you can't try something' and turns it into joy for those women who come to Adventure Girls to break out of their comfort zones. Having a purpose beyond just doing what you should helps inspire Senka as someone who wakes up knowing that she's chosen the life she's now living. It's the adventures, networks and people Adventure Girls inspires that makes her excited to get up every day and get into it.
Being active to Senka is about getting moving in whatever way fills her happy tank. For some that will be smashing out the km's, others it's a relaxing walk or even just connecting with friends. It's more about the intention behind what you're doing rather than the intensity of it.
When we asked her who is her biggest inspiration, she told us all about her sister Vesna. Not only is she a World Champion Waka Ama paddler, she's a business owner (coaching paddlers), a mother of two, partner and athlete. Family is so important to Senka, she loves being an auntie and travels to Auckland and Gisborne from Christchurch (where she now lives) to see them as often as she can.
Adventure Girls is forever expanding and with her recent shift to Christchurch, Senka has created more space for the company to take on a new exciting project. In the future she will be bringing you extra doses of inspiration and collaborating further with other women who run epic adventures. The focus is and always will be getting more women out there in New Zealand doing cool s#!t.
When we asked for any last words of wisdom for our readers here's what Senka said
What ever really excites or scares you, go do that, because you never know how long you have. Life is a gift and everyday we wake up we should honour ourselves by getting out there and not just existing, but truly living. This is YOUR life and YOUR adventure.
Boom. Anyone else feeling like the need to sign up for a new adventure now too?
For more information on Senka and Adventure Girls plus her cool new project Whysheadventures.com launching late August.
Check out her Website, Facebook or Instagram for more adventure inspiration or to get involved!
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