I’m not quite sure where to start…. less than a year ago when I started to consider attending Mars Hill College, the idea of being on the cycling team was just a dream, a hope that I could try something new and see what happened. Something that I would fit in between work and school. I never would have thought that six months later I’d be a Cat A, racing in the Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals, or well, even be legit on a bike! It’s amazing to me, and I’ve never been happier!
Even though my placements at Nats don’t really reflect it (21 XC, 20 STXC), I felt at the top of my performance and fitness at Nats. It was really affirming to me racing against so many talented and experienced riders. I’m already looking at my goals for next year, definitely looking for top 10 placement and top of the podium for the team. I also can’t wait to add the gravity events to what I race.
This entire season has been amazing. I’ve learned so much, improved more than I thought was possible, done the hardest and most fun things in my life, and found something that I know I can be truly great at.
There are several people that I want to acknowledge for the role they’ve played in helping me get this far.
First of all, is my amazing husband, Kyle. Not only does his support and encouragement help me attend school and follow my educational/career dreams, but it also encouraged me to ride my bike, get fit, and go hard. There were many rides (ie hills) when I did not like riding and was so frustrated with my lack of fitness and abilities. Kyle would tease, encourage, and push me to go faster and harder, and now I can finally give him a run for the money on the trail!
Second, Coach Hugh Moran! His openness to an absolute noob who wanted to ride bikes is amazing! While there were a few elements that combined to make my decision to go to Mars Hill, the openness and encouragement that I found not only from Hugh but the rest of the team definitely made a huge impact. His support and direction as I started training were huge and have continued to help me get to the fitness and skills that I have now.
Next, my sister Becky! Without her suggesting that I check out her school and genuine excitement about Mars Hill, I would have definitely been attending Brevard, getting a degree that I wouldn’t be as excited about and probably not riding my bike. Thanks for sharing your insider’s knowledge and friends with me!!
Of course, huge and eternal thanks to Spin-Tech Training – O’Neill, Frank, and Jay! Thank you for taking pity on me after the first power testing and for the training sessions (which are awesomely killer btw) which have gotten me to a fitness level that I wouldn’t have otherwise have reached in such a short time. I cannot rave about Spin-Tech enough… I cannot stress how much improvement you will see if you go train with them!
Thank you to Bio-Wheels Asheville for the great deal on my awesome Jamis, and all the tune-ups that helped keep my bike race ready! She hasn’t failed me yet! They are super friendly and helpful, so go and check them out too!
Last but not least, my Mars Hill Cycling team! You are all amazing and funny. We’re definitely a special group of kids, but that makes me love us even more! And did I mention that they are all super talented? Being the youngest on the bike, I have a long way to go, but have perfect peer examples of the fitness and skills needed.
And to everyone else who has encouraged me, inspired me and believed in me, thank you! It fuels my motivation and dedication to the sport that I now call my own and has grown into a passion.