18952836_782252798619359_7737900657560248179_nIn September of this year my mom who was my best friend passed away unexpectedly. It took my breath away. She taught me about empathy for others, kindness, and appreciating beauty in every little thing. One of her biggest contributions of love she gave to me was how she encouraged me to lose weight so I would not develop diabetes like herself. I needed lots of positive words because I needed to believe in myself. I lost 75 pounds with her loving words and hard work in 9 months, and have kept it off for 4 years.

After the weight loss, I have stepped up and tried many new endeavors to push my mind and my endurance. I run and have accomplished many different personal goals. I also am a road cyclist and have completed a few century, 100 mile,  event rides and some Triathlon and Duathlon races.

Since my mom’s death, I have struggled with remembering who I am. Sometimes I found it hard to care about certain things I did before. There seemed to be a Pre and Post me, centered around my mom’s death. I lost myself and my drive for life that she instilled in me. I did a lot of endurance events for her because she physically couldn’t, but now it was hard to feel like things mattered.

Recently, I was introduced to the group Moxie Wild and to me it sounded like my answer. It was for women, celebrating women and I was tired of feeling weak, not myself..so I signed up for a mountain bikepacking adventure with my soul sister Vangie. I have never, ever, experienced mountain biking. So, I bought a bike, got tents and saddle bags from my bike Co-op and prayed. It was challenging because of the newness and trying mountain biking first with the bikepacking extra weight was rough, but the speed was exhilarating, and the endurance piece was tough but rewarding. As I looked around I found myself comparing life to this mountain biking trail. Life is full of “switchbacks”. Some beautiful experiences popping up around the bend, some frightening heart-stopping situations to conquer, and also some soul strengthening turns where you dig deep to get through. I didn’t know what was coming around the bend, just like life… and I grew out there on that trail.

I believe God showed me what I needed to see amongst the beautiful trees on that challenging trail; my mom’s love, her voice laughing with me through the beauty, and her strength pushing me forward and reinventing my drive.  Life is full of switchbacks, women can conquer them all…thank you Moxie Wild ♡