There is such a different dynamic when women unite; especially in the outdoors recreating and participating in extreme sports. By nature, these activities push our limits and challenge the strength of the mind and body and often find ourselves in a vulnerable head space when grunting up the mountain via single track on a mountain bike. When woven into a group of men while mountain biking, often times we keep quiet and ‘suck it up’ not wanting to seem weak or emotional if we are lagging behind or not feeling our greatest. And hey, we’ve all been there and will be there again and again because biking with the boys’ kicks ass too! There is certainly a time and place for those kinds of rides or skis or other sports and there is always something to be learned, tested, or practiced with the boys.
But there is another version of this same lung crushing grunting ride. When women reunite together to push their limits and challenge themselves, there is often more of a softness to the experience. As anything, it depends on the women, the nature and dynamics of the group, and the intentions. But in general, It’s not so much a suck it up and keep up sort of vibe but more of a “Hey, I got this and so do you and let’s work through it together and kick some ass!”
We laugh and goof off and talk about anything under the sun ranging from funny dating stories, husbands and boyfriends, kids, sex, last night’s ridiculous night out, breakups, heart-aches, dreams, careers, the ups and downs and all arounds. We unleash the gates of our feelings, we might cry because of it or because the ride hurts and we might even kick our bikes when the hill kicks our ass, and we’ll probably drop a few F bombs as we suffer the ups and downs of the ride. But every pedal stroke together provides an opportunity to be vulnerable, to say it how it is, and to encourage each other over every obstacle; on the trail or in life.
Every time I have been surrounded by a group of women, there is an unspoken power and strength that takes up space. We are creative and innovative and when given the opportunity to shine, we allow others around us to do the same. There is always something of inspiration I take from every woman I encounter; especially those who aren’t afraid to be authentic, vulnerable, and real with who they are and what they face in life.
My MTB learning curve was steep. I learned how to MTB in Crested Butte, mainly with the boys, and I loved every second of it. I loved getting on my bike and charging to try and keep up. I was in that ‘have to prove something’ era in my life and that seemed to work in my favor. Ultimately, I proved to myself that I could do it and I could do it better every day I got on those two wheels until I was on their tires and actually keeping up! And thankfully, I’m at a point in my life now where it doesn’t matter so much where I fall in the pack as long as I’m out there riding through the wildflowers over miles and miles of sweet singletrack.
I love riding with both men and women but have intentionally chosen to create WRP to provide women riders the opportunity to get out there with other like-minded sisters to encourage and inspire each other not only to get out and kickass on the single track exploring new places and building new friendships; but ultimately to get out and kickass at life. When we push ourselves mentally and physically on the bike, we are able to see the potential to kickass in any other area of our lives and do things we never thought possible!
Mountain Biking is more than a sport… it is a powerful teacher in a class we call LIFE.
So ladies - keep the rubber side down, ride on, and continue to pedal the mountains and conquer the challenges you face along the way through the single track; and in all aspects of your life.
It’s a beautiful journey and don’t forget to be grateful for every pedal stroke that moves you forward and makes you stronger.