A Blazing Ball of Energy: Amber

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Amber (left), Emily (right) – Founders of High

My friend had invited me to join her at an exercise class that she raved about.  It was a choreographed class, which I didn’t often go to, however, she had convinced me that I didn’t need any specific experience.  She also told me I would have fun and I would get in a great workout.  Sounded peachy.  So off we went.

The minute the instructor, Amber, entered the room, the energy level was raised about a million notches!  In she came, or rather, in she bounced, whooping, smiling, and convincing us that yes we can!!!  I thought to myself, wow, this woman is ripped!!  Within seconds I was PUMPED!  I was ready – for what I didn’t know – but I was ready.  Off we went.

Continue reading “A Blazing Ball of Energy: Amber”

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A Hidden Gem: Crater Lake

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Crater Lake came into my life unexpectedly when a road trip spontaneously got extended.  With the gift of extra time, my husband James and I found ourselves in the lovely little town of Bend.  Our location, the fact that we had our bikes with us, and our love for craft beer all resulted in our stay in a place that we had never heard of, and quickly fell in love with.

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Failure: What is Your Definition?

Sometimes things do not go as planned.  Sometimes what you set out to do or to accomplish doesn’t happen.  Life brings us many surprises.  Things that we cannot possibly anticipate tend to happen.  Just because you did not do exactly what you set out to, it doesn’t mean you failed.  There was a time that I thought failure meant that you didn’t do it how you had it in your mind.  Now, I believe that if you went out there and gave it what you had, then you have succeeded.

I like to ride my bike.  I like to climb mountains.  On more than one occasion, a mountain has entered my life, only to re-enter years later.  There have been times when I attempted a mountain, and did not make it to the top.  There have also been times when I have been close to or heard about a mountain, but it didn’t enter my life at that time.  These beauties had a way of coming back into my life that could not have been anticipated, and in which offered such a sweet, sweet ending.  If you consider sweat, fear, and tears a road to a sweet ending.

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I present to you Croix de Fere, a magnificent mountain the French Alps.  It has made multiple appearances in the Tour de France.  The first time I met this mountain, I was an extremely green, very beginner, ‘cyclist’.  I had really just learned to ride a road bike, if you could call what I was doing ‘riding’.  And there I was, brute forcing my way up this crazy climb.  That day, I simply bit off bite sized pieces and kept on pedaling, one small section at a time.

That day wasn’t the day that I would summit.  However, that day was the day that I realized I can do this!!  If I put my mind to it, I can climb magnificent French mountains!!!  Years later, with much more experience under my belt, I was lucky enough to have another wonderful encounter with this beautiful climb.  There are many details to be told, and which present a story for another day.  The point is, summit or no summit, there I was – doing something that I didn’t even know I could do.  And both times, there was absolutely no denying the absolute beauty of my surroundings.  As challenging as it was, I was lost in the harmonious feeling of being one with the earth.  I felt like a tiny, insignificant dot on this breathtaking road, engulfed in mountainous magnificence.

Thus, as you go forth at the beginning of this New Year…how will you define failure?  And what will you set your heart on doing?

Croix de Fer Info Page

Just Me and My Bike

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My story is simple.  I was the MOST unathletic person in the world!!!  When it came to my ‘physical being’, I was uncomfortable in my own skin, and at times very anxious.  I preferred to be a wallflower and to hide from any real adventure.

Shortly after I married my best friend, James, he bought me my first real road bike.  I had no idea that I had just started not one, but two, life long relationships.

Less than six months later I found myself at the base of Alpe d’Huez, a mountain in the French Alps well known for its appearances in the Tour de France.  Completely overwhelmed, and wondering how the hell I was going to make it to the summit where our hotel was, this would be an absolutely life changing day.  It was also the start of a journey, which I am still on.

Continue reading “Just Me and My Bike”

My Book

It has been a long journey…

13 years ago, I met my bike.  Up to the point of this pivotal meeting I was the least athletic person in the world!!! I had no belief in my physical being.  At times, I was completely uncomfortable in my own skin.  I would experience a lot of anxiety in many situations, and simply wished I could blend into the wall.

My bike changed me life.  It helped me to find a strong, capable physical side to my being that I never knew existed.  It took me on adventures to new worlds and cultures.  It took me deep into nature where I could connect with earth in a way I had never experienced. It introduced me to new friendships that would have otherwise been undiscovered.  It took me to a place where my mind, body and soul melded into one and worked together to get me to the tops of mountains one pedal stroke at a time.

How a girl with no connection to her physical being could cycle to the tops of mountains belonging to the Tour de France pros I will never totally comprehend.  All I know is that I get out there and I find a freedom that I never knew.

What is your passion?  What do you long to do but are terrified to try?

Today IS that day that you take the first step.

IF I can do it, SO CAN YOU !!!

Just a Girl and a Bike – the book

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?

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Who is the Dark Horse

{Welcome to my feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey.  If you missed last week’s post Racing with the Dark Horse, be sure to check it out.}

QuoteWhen I first met the Dark Horse, he led me through a ride that had me digging deep to reach speeds that I didn’t know I could ride at.  He was one of the most courteous, professional and talented riders I had ever met.  He supported me and pushed me to reach further and ride harder.

There is so much more to the Dark Horse. Continue reading “Who is the Dark Horse”