Racing and Climbing, Fierce and Strong: Ania

{Welcome to my feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey.  Today’s post is about a very strong, supportive and encouraging person who loves to climb mountains.  She has been there riding with me and supporting me for years.  If you missed My More Aggressive Twin, or Crazy Wild Infection Positivity, be sure to check them out!}

‘Oh, you are the one that my wife has been following on Strava’.  This is the first thing that Karel said to me upon being introduced at one of the local bike races.  ‘She would like to go riding with you’, he continued.  The rest is history.

The first time I rode with Ania, I was nervous.  I had seen some of her riding data, and in every picture she looked so strong, so athletic.  Was I really in the same realm?

road-2

As I was riding up to our meeting spot, I recognized that I felt run down.  Just as I was rolling into the vicinity of the coffee shop, my tire flatted.  I made a less than smooth entrance.  Ania was immediately friendly, gracious and patient.  I felt at ease.

Off we went on our first ride of what would turn out to be many.

Over the years, Ania has become a real riding partner to me.  She is always supportive, encouraging, and extremely positive.  Nothing is impossible in her mind.  She has been such a strong influence in my life, and when I ride with her, I feel like my mind opens and everything does become possible.  I don’t know how many times I have heard her say ‘Oh, let’s just do one more hill’.  And no matter how weary we are, we do one more hill.

Her support and encouragement over the years has made me feel like I can.  I recall riding with her through the local hills of Springbank one evening.  I love these rollers.  I didn’t even realize how great I was feeling on this particular occasion until I heard Ania declare ‘Enough Julie!’, then proceed to attack.  Was I really that strong?  Was I really able to push someone like Ania?  It is amazing what I see when I look through her eyes.

She always notices when I have been putting in the work.  When I take a strong pull, she doesn’t hesitate to compliment.  I rely on and I trust her feedback because she is real and honest.  She pushes me, she makes me want to try harder, and to be better.  She has been the perfect riding companion for me.

Not long after I met Ania, she bravely took on the world of bike racing.  It is an aggressive, challenging, and terrifying world.  Yet, she went in head first in true Ania style.  She is one the hardest working team players I have ever seen.  mountain-2

When the opportunity came up for her to try mountain biking, she took it on with zest.  When asked how the ride went, her typical response would be something like ‘Oh, I felt completely beat up and I have no idea what I am doing, but I loved it!!’.  She would be out there again the following weekend.

But it doesn’t stop here!  In the winter, Ania’s choice of activity is ice climbing.  Yes, she scales up daunting ice peaks that would terrify most people.  She simply doesn’t stop.  She has already completed a morning run and weight training session before the sun is even up.  She then proceeds to commute to work by bike.  She is an accomplished IT professional with an impressive background.

The sprinkle on the ice cream sundae is her down to earth, real, open, honest approach to life.  She never stops pushing herself.  She is constantly encouraging those around her.  I can be so transparent with her and walk away feeling positive and motivated.

climbing-5

No matter what Ania takes on, she exudes an attitude of never give up!!!

In life, we all need a riding partner like Ania!

 

{If you enjoyed reading this, you can read more posts or follow me at Just a Girl and a Bike}

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11 thoughts on “Racing and Climbing, Fierce and Strong: Ania

  1. Great read! It’s nice when we have someone like that in our lives. Let’s hope that we pay them back and that we also pay it forward. I hope that my friends, including the bloggers that I follow, know how much they inspire me.Thanks! 🙂

    Like

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