Each month, we feature a monthly blog post written by our one of our participants. This month, our guest blogger is Maria. Maria first participated in a mountain biking skills clinic we hosted over the summer and then came on our Winter Sports Weekend trip in mid-January. Her spirit and enthusiasm is indifatigable. See for yourself.
I took up fat bike trail riding after seeing how much fun my husband was having on his new bike. I was feeling brave after having just lost 45lbs. Running regularly was no longer feasible after a foot injury. And although, I am not new to adventure (I’ve been riding motorcycles for 12 years), mountain biking still intimidated me.
Wanting so bad to get better at a sport that I found so enjoyable, it wasn’t long before I joined a group of women riders. Through this group, I met so many strong and wonderful women of all riding skill levels. These great women, offered tips and instruction, motivation and cheered my growth.
With my newfound confidence and the nudge of some friends, I entered a couple bike races. At my age…cough…nearing 50…my goals were simple and few: 1) don’t get hurt, 2) finish the race and 3) don’t come in last. It felt amazing to accomplish these goals!
I learned of the Moxie Wild group when Melissa and Petra put on a skills clinic for a women’s bike race. The mission of the group was so inspirational to me. Most recently, a Moxie Wild group of awesome women and I learned some jiu jitsu moves, went snowshoeing and beach riding. Three adventures I had never experienced before! I look forward to meeting other wonderful women and experiencing many more adventures.
Besides a gateway to other outdoor adventures, riding has become so many things to me…a way to connect with nature, an escape from a stressful job, the means to breathe fresh air, go on adventures, explore new places, get the heart rate up, strengthen my mental-self and improve my health. It also became a way for me to overcome challenges, have fun, express my individualism, feel a sense of freedom and hang out with friends or enjoy a peaceful moment alone.
To be adventurous takes grit, determination and gumption. There are still days that I have to tell myself “mind over matter” to get me through. But I have realized through my journey that the rewards are powerful when you take the time to recognize the feelings you get when you experience something new or when you accomplish something you never thought you would. Whether it’s the stillness of nature, taking in the sun for a minute with your eyes closed, high-fiving a fellow rider, or the elation of finishing a race…you feel alive! I for one will take all that I have learned to empower, inspire and encourage other women to dig in and step outdoors.