Extreme Moms go the distance
Last week, Sarah Minella rappelled down the side of the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, 509 W. Wisconsin Ave., as part of a Special Olympics fundraiser called "Over the Edge." This adventure was the first of many for Minella, who recently started a group called Extreme Moms.
"Extreme Moms is a group I started because of an inner drive to 'live big' as I used to, before children," says Minella, who has a young son and daughter. "I wanted to inspire my children to break free from fear and to show them first hand that it's all possible."
There are 10 members so far in the Extreme Moms group. The goal of the group is to challenge themselves physically, mentally and spiritually through travel and "extreme" activities.
"All trips will include humanitarian aid of some sort, as well as physical challenges to inspire our minds and bodies," says Minella.
Future Extreme Moms' "missions" are separated into local, national and international endeavors. The Wisconsin missions include ski diving and scuba diving in Lake Michigan to check out shipwrecks. Other future adventures include swimming with sharks, cage diving with Great Whites and sliding down the longest zipline in the United States, located in Georgia.
International trips include climbing in India for two weeks and providing humanitarian aid in Cambodia.
Currently, Minella is going through a divorce and she says starting Extreme Moms has made her feel more alive.
"I am going through a tough divorce and realizing now that I started living again how much I had shut down in my marriage and motherhood," she says. "I started thinking about how I wished my kids could meet the old me, the me I was before, and how inspiring that would be to them. So, bam! it came to me. I get to make his happen now. Rebirth!"
Minella says the group made her feel better in general and, consequently, has improved communication between herself and her soon-to-be former husband. Also, the group helps Minella manage her own stress and fears.
"I find that the stress of parenting in today's world, especially as a single mom, can be quite daunting," she says. "Depression, anxiety, infidelity and all sorts of dysfunction can manifest from a stagnant lifestyle. And being a parent requires so much strength to fight against these things. The rewards are great, but are even greater when parents are in a healthy vital place within ourselves."
Most of all, Minella hopes Extreme Moms will inspire her children and teach them not to allow themselves to settle.
"This is a group of moms taking life by the balls. We're inspiring our children to face fears and live really, really big," she says.
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