Sunday, June 18, 2017

Almost Famous

On Thursday morning while I was grinding my coffee beans, Travis asked what link I had shared on the Decorah Mountain Biking Trails page that was getting so many likes. "I didn't post anything.... I just got up!"
Then I remembered the email I received from a fellow at IPTV stating that the portion about mountain biking, specifically my involvement with getting more women into mountain biking, would be airing on Wednesday night.

It would be a segment on an episode of Iowa Outdoors and be within the first 10 minutes or so of the episode. I knew instantly what had been shared, and I was extremely nervous for I'm not quite used to being in the limelight.

The whole thing started back in late September with Andrew asking me if I would have an interest in being featured on the episode. There was interest in learning more about our off-road trails but also the work I had been doing on getting more women involved with off-road riding. I was absolutely stoked at the opportunity yet anxious. What if I sounded dumb? (Yes, that was legitimately a thought.) What if I messed up? Would people find it worthwhile? There were a lot of questions.

We did the interview segment and Andrew wondered if we could set up a time to get some folks together to ride some of our trails and take some footage. "Sure!" So on October 2nd, I ducked out of work about an hour early with some friends so we could get ourselves filmed while riding some trails. Once it was all said and done, I was told sometime in June the episode would air.

When I received the email last week, I let out an "Ooooooh....." and a deep sigh. There wasn't any going back.
My face. My voice. My riding...it would all be exposed to the public on t.v. and online. I was going to be out there, more exposed to the public than ever before. I was nervous because....

#1. I absolutely love talking about subjects I'm passionate about, yet at the same time, I'm a bit shy of the publicity. I'm introverted yet extroverted and it's a funky combination that can challenge me yet make me feel so alive at the same time. This would be my biggest "Five Minutes of Fame" to date!

My voice and how I talk is a source of insecurity; I know I have a "small" voice...I also have a fairly monotone voice as well as a hyper-animated voice. It all depends on my environment, how excited/nervous/serious I am. Basically, it can be any or all of the above at any given time. I also have a talent for rambling...and losing my thoughts in the midst of conversation. 

#2. This wouldn't be the first time I would feel "Almost Famous." Last year I was honored to be featured in the Des Moines Register and this year I was featured in the most awesome Inspire(d) Magazine. However, I have never, ever, seen myself on t.v. At first, I thought "Oh, this is a station that my grandparents watched." In my local community, I knew IPTV is beloved by folks of all ages, thus I came to the realization that a lot of folks would be seeing this show. I was a ball of excitement and nerves.

I decided I would go for a bike ride Thursday morning to clear my head. I wasn't ready to see what many other folks had already viewed. I opted to ride the Palisades trails, doing my usual loop up top and riding back down. It's not quite the same mileage as my Dunnings or Van Peenen loops, but it was fun to do something different than the usual set of trails I typically ride and challenge myself with the Dead Pet trail.

After my ride and shower, I sat down with my bowl of cereal and decided I better watch the video so I could see what I would probably be asked about as I had no idea what to expect. I hit play, hoping for the best.

As the video progressed, I smiled. it was fun to see everyone else riding bikes- and then I hit the emotions pretty darn hard. Especially when they play you riding in slow motion making you look so cinematic. I started to cry and my half-eaten bowl of cereal would have to wait until the segment was done. I had all the feels while listening and seeing myself on my laptop screen; the narrator did an excellent job. I was beyond thrilled when I heard "Fearless Women of Dirt" and "Josie's Bike Life"...the two greatest things to have come from my hard work, passion, and dedication.

So often I express myself in writing. It was different to see myself share my experiences and hopes with speaking. How I move my hands to express what I want to say rather than standing there like a log. I keep moving; action is part of my life.

I felt that there should no longer feel shame with my voice and how I sound (or think I sound) when I talk. This voice, like my hands, has a story to tell and a mission to share. Much like sharing my personal experiences with riding on this blog, I feel like the video will bring more humanness to Josie's Bike Life. She's very real, she works at a bike shop, she rides bikes- she has the drive to get more women on the off-road. She may sound small, but there is a mighty spirit. As the motto goes "Lil' Bit Don't Quit."

I know there are many women out there who inspire others to find their #bikelife, be it on roads, gravels, or trails. This blog is filled with inspiring women from all over who I feel are even more involved and skilled than I am with advocacy and riding. For me to be interviewed for IPTV, Inspire(d), and the Des Moines Register due to my story and involvement with mountain biking and advocacy- has me feeling honored, grateful, and humble for the opportunities. Especially as I feel there are women out there who are even more inspiring than myself. I suppose you could say we are all our own worst critics. I am thrilled that some consider me one of those women. 

"Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." -
Swami Sivananda

Each year brings forth new challenges, new experiences, disappointments, and great joys. There might be missed opportunities, yet at the same time, I keep finding new growth and possibilities. There is renewed drive and passion for my mission: Fearless Women of Dirt, Josie's Bike Life, and mountain biking in general. I'm grateful for everything mountain biking (and biking, in general) has brought to my life and I can't wait to continue sharing that joy for the years to come!

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