Goals and Stoke- The Road to Accomplishment

Photo Credit: Chad Berger
A new year has come 'round the bend and I am already battling with the "What will I accomplish this year?" thoughts and concerns.

I know I will accomplish riding my bike, I know I will accomplish going to events, and heck, I'm getting married! I consider all of these things something to look forward to.

Also, I'm super stoked about having some great partners to work with this season: ESI grips, TOGS, and Honey Stinger.

I'm humbled and thrilled that there are companies that feel value in working with a woman who makes it her mission to be an advocate for getting more women on bikes, involved with off-road riding, and participating at events.

Now on to goals. Oh, goals. Everyone starts coming out of the woodwork with them and I don't know where to begin half the time. I'm always torn between the goals of self and the goals of advocating. Of course, one goal should be to find more balance for myself between the two. I can be an advocate while still pursuing my personal goals, and I must accept working on personal goals is a good thing to do. I must also look at it as not being selfish.

I feel a large part of my concern is because I discovered my #bikelife in adulthood and I'm battling the feeling that I need to make up for lost time. I'm also trying to cultivate my own path with advocacy and I'm busting at the seams with ideas, bewilderment, and wild hope. Fortunately, I have a job that allows me to grow with my passion and incorporate said passion into my life. However, as great as that is, it doesn't take away the difficulty of achieving balance.

I feel I'm at a point in my life where I'm clawing for change, but I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking to change. I want to break down the walls of my metaphorical box; I want to grow and I want to be the BEST rider I possibly can be, before I can't be. I want to be able to look back on my riding and say "Damn, girl! You are RAD!" I suppose I'm looking at myself and worried that I won't reach my full potential before my body wears out from under me. I want to reach that potential and I want to put forth the work to do so. I know I may never be the "greatest" but I want to be as my grandma Gert would say, the "bestest"....I want to be the bestest I can be.

So, I question: How do I get better? How do I get faster? How do I get past the fears hiding underneath my skin that keep trying to hold me back?

I have to force myself forward and step out of my box, even if it ends up making me cry. I'm sure there will be tears because I am a person who cries and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Often with learning and pushing myself I hit an emotional point where things just collapse around me. I tend to hold in a lot of "stuff" and subsequently "snap." After I let everything out, I come back to it with more focus and determination and accepting of the challenge. Everyone goes thru the learning process differently and being I spent about 80% of my learning riding solo, I could cry whenever I darn well wanted to.

Recently, Travis decided that he wanted to change the brakes out on the Giant STP dirtjump bike I rode periodically on our past street rides. The rides had discontinued in '13 after my accident This year Travis feels will be the true resurrection of street riding for us and a great way to build up my handling skills. Because of my accident, cement/blacktop/concrete intimidate the crap out of me- I have reigned in my courage because of a concussion I got due to lack of basic handling skills.

Is my desire to build up better handling skills greater than the fear holding me back? Yes.
I don't know how long it will take for things to change, other than I have faith I will, because I bought a bike. 

I bought a bike.
I purchased something that gave me fear and freedom. After years of telling myself I couldn't, I told myself I could...and that is why I know I will accomplish my goals. Some might come easier than others and some might not be accomplished this year- and that's okay. So long as I have the drive to work on them, progress will be made and it will happen as it should time-wise.

Potential goals for 2017:
Learn how to do a power wheelie before I get married.
Do a 50 mile ride without substantial breaks.
Learn how to bunny hop.
Street ride.

Do my best & have fun at:
45 NRTH Whiteout
Frozen 40 (20)
Time Trials
Borah Epic
PertNear 20

Potential improvements for 2017:
I want to trust my bike more- go faster, brake less, etc.
Embrace my riding in the present moment and not let numbers (averages or event placements) dictate in my head my "worth."
Remember that I am a women's mountain bike advocate and I am making a difference- even if I can't physically see it.
Remember it's okay for me to take times to work on my personal goals.
Be my authentic self and share my story.

I'm sure I'll come up with more ideas for goals for myself and mindset as the year goes on, but I figure that these are a good start.

"Just like fire, burning out the way
If I can light the world up for just one day
Watch this madness, colorful charade
No one can be just like me any way
Just like magic, I'll be flying free
I'mma disappear when they come for me
I kick that ceiling, what you gonna say?
No one can be just like me any way."