Creating an experience inspired by your mom is a beautiful way to honour her spirit.

Here are some ideas from one mother who lives for adventure…

Australian mom and cancer survivor, Heather Hawkins loves a physical quest. For her, it symbolises the joy of second chances.

I love Mother’s Day for so many reasons, every year it pops up in my calendar as a wonderful reminder for us to celebrate motherhood, giving us a chance to get together with family, and another opportunity to thank all those Mums who have had such a profound influence on our lives. And even though the day brings with it a mix of emotions—my mum passed away 10 years ago and the tears still aren’t very far from the surface—my smile doesn’t fade because her memory lives on and I’m incredibly thankful for her love, her inspiration, and her sense of adventure. Every day, I’ll keep doing my very best to ‘share her qualities forward’ with my own children.

If I were to plan the Ultimate Mother’s Day, it would definitely involve a dash of adventure. In the past I would have said: a sleep-in, croissants and a cup of tea in bed. Today, I love the idea of getting out and sharing experiences with my family!

In 2016 I was fortunate enough to have a Mother’s Day with a difference—I was in Nepal with my adult children, and we were halfway through a five-month trek along the Great Himalaya Trail, we were living out of backpacks, sleeping in tiny yellow tents, and trying to escape the heat and humidity of the oncoming monsoon by heading up into the snow-covered mountains.

Heather, with her son Callum, summiting the Great Himalayan Trail.

This year I’ll be at home, closer to the comforts of modern life and cafes, but keeping up a family tradition of running in the Mother’s Day Classic fun run to help raise funds for breast cancer research. We’ll follow this up with a hearty brunch and phone calls to family members.

Mother’s Day also reminds me of how precious life is. Surviving Ovarian Cancer made me acutely aware of this, and I’m keener than ever to be the best mum I can be, to be fitter, more positive and encouraging, and taking time to invest in nurturing our adventurous spirits.

There are several things I’ve learned these past few years to help achieve this…

Keep a diary. Get in touch with what’s going on inside, because putting emotions into words is powerful and cathartic, and writing dreams and goals is your first step forward into making them a reality.

Remember to lead by example. Your children are watching and learning from you. Be the best role model you can be.

Follow other people’s journeys and expeditions. Seek inspiration, and see what is possible. Push the boundaries of your comfort zone and take on something new.

Plan an active adventure with your family. Big or small, maybe it will last an hour or perhaps weeks: trek, run, cycle, swim, climb. It’s about teaching our children to spend a lot more time in the real world as opposed to the virtual world, to get them out in nature, to experience what it’s like to reach their physical limits, to get tired, feel amazed, and be happy. Get busy making these memories… and then planning for the next one.

Give your mum a special hug, tell your family that you love them, and on the day, head out and have a really exceptional adventure together!

Heather has competed in six half marathons, eighteen full marathons, three of the world’s most gruelling ultra-marathons (including the North Pole Marathon pictured above) and the world’s longest trek, the Great Himalaya Trail.

Heather is an ambassador for ANZGOG, CanToo, The Indigenous Marathon Project and World Expeditions and a regular speaker for charities, women’s events, sporting conferences and corporate and community groups. She is tireless in her quest to raise awareness and money for cancer research and to inspire people to find their own ‘Adventurous Spirit’. Her autobiography is available from Murdoch Books. Follow her Adventures @heather_adventurousspirit

Explorer and media producer, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide resources and opportunities for creative exploration.