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What's with all these mountains?

"Mountains are cathedrals grand and pure and not stadiums to satisfy my ambitions. On their alters, I strive to perfect myself physically and spiritually. In their presence, I see myself and understand this life. From their summits, I view my past, dream of the future, and with unusual acuteness, I experience the present moment. In the mountains, I celebrate creation. On each journey, I am reborn."

Anatoli Boukreev
(abridged) 1958-1997

Jason Nikakis

Vital Lifestyle Coaching Founder

​Twenty five years ago I was struggling with anxiety, drinking too much and avoiding life. Although I was miserable and wanted change I was not sure how I could? Every time I started the process I got stuck and resorted back to my old ways. 

While studying a bachelor of science I was fortunate to discover exercise and used it as a conduit for change in my life. Connecting with my values, accepting discomfort and a desire to grow, I was blessed to find mentors that continued to facilitate and develop my understanding of how to create and stick to healthy habits. 

It was during this period that I took up recreational rock climbing. Besides the physical requirement for holistic physical fitness (strength, power, endurance, flexibility and balance), climbing gave me an appreciation of the mind -body connection.  Through climbing I learnt about taking and managing risk, acting when experiencing fear and the value of mindfulness when faced with a challenge or stressful situation.

"I inspire and facilitate healthy change helping you reach your full potential"

Fast track 10 years and I had opened my studio offering personalised coaching and fitness training to busy professionals. I was following my dream incorporating my love of nature, exercise and the great outdoors. For 13 years I created “Trekking experiences” in remote wilderness areas. These annual trips served both as  “stretch” goals for physical training while also giving clients a new appreciation for nature and what is possible with planning and commitment. Now that I look back, these experiences promoted wellbeing by connecting with nature, social interaction and developing community engagement.

Like any small business owner I struggled with life’s competing priorities. Working on and building my business, building and maintaining relationships with family and friends, keeping fit and healthy as well as finding time to unwind and reboot! I too got caught up in the busyness of life and was on the verge of burnout. Exhausted and faced with health concerns I had to reassess my priorities and work practices. I’m not going to lie, it’s has been a challenge, but my journey has allowed me to discover and share my knowledge for personal growth, managing stress, creating freedom and prioritising self-care.

Ten years ago I was blessed to meet my wife, who has been living with Multiple Sclerosis. Karen has strengthened my appreciation for healthy lifestyle interventions in managing a chronic illness and being well. I am continually inspired by Karen’s positivity and commitment to living a life to its full. Integrating mind and body is imperative in any wellness plan. The birth of our son Samuel in 2015 has given me another opportunity to grow, learn and share my passion for wellbeing in a family setting. This shared life course has helped us to savour the good times and practice gratitude for all that we have. The feeling is Vital ​

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