Some mornings you wake up and think about going mountain biking and others you have to go mountain biking! The need for single track, dirt and the centering rush of being on trail is all consuming. Well – that was my Monday… but I was stuck in Brooklyn! Without a shuttle in sight to get to any of the nearby MTB parks. Now don’t get me wrong, I love living in Brooklyn with all its energy and diversity. And I also love the ability to step aside and be alone in my own mind. To be self-indulgent and anonymous, the city provides this opportunity. However – it does take a little more effort to hit some trail, especially short notice!
With mountain biking on the brain I started in on my pre-ride ritual of fueling and gearing up. Something changes when that gear goes on. Like a uniform it focuses me and my determination to the task at hand. I was going to find some trail! My FTW and I headed to a fairly nearby park where it was rumored to have secret MTB trails. This all stemming from scattered reports and videos online… but we all know what that means! So the object of the day now was to not get caught and claim ignorance if I did. But it was Monday, over cast, so the likelihood of running into people was low. Besides I’m use to sharing trail respectively with hikers… so not too worried about upsetting anyone J
I took the first lap around the park on the designated bike path and spotted a few side trails. Good scouting lap but the trails had maintenance trucks parked in front so no go on entering them. By my second lap the coast was clear and I dipped in. It was nothing compared to my usual haunts, but it was the woods: quiet, slightly muddy and felt real. I popped in and out of the trails that lined the main bike road, surprising runners and fellow bikers as I emerged with mud on my legs and a big grin on my face! It was like weaving in and out of dimensions. There was the route that everyone else was just taking, then the one I was consciously creating for myself…
Sure, I get that it sounds ridiculous to most when I say mountain biking and NYC in the same sentence. And sure I probably looked ridiculous walking home down Washington ave, my FTW and I equally covered in mud. I just didn’t care. I don’t care. I don’t apologize for who I am or mask the life I want to lead… and as I headed home yesterday afternoon I had an overwhelming sense of balance and confidence. My passion and persistence allowed me to achieve the goal I set out for and earn a bit of personal fulfilment. A formula I apply to different aspects of my life, large and small, as I continue on life’s adventure.
After a not so brief hiatus I am stoked to be back and blogging! A LOT of life restructuring has happened since my last post. I am now single, back in Brooklyn and more than ever focused on what I want to achieve in life, relationships, art and athletics. And oh those athletics ~ My love affair with MTBing is still going strong and after 10 months off I am running again! Yes, 10 months – no running, crazy right?
The really exciting news of the moment for me though, I have been chosen to be an Arnica Athlete with Good Body Products. With this sponsorship I get to represent my favorite skincare line, which is pretty rad! As an endurance athlete I regularly put a lot of physical demands on my body. Good Body Products’ Arnica Salves and Butters have truly become part of my training routine since I started using them last race season. Not only does it aid in soothing my sore muscles, healing bruises, bumps, and cuts, it also makes my skin smell and feel so GOOD! It allows me to be tough on trail, and a soft lady off. Who doesn’t love that?! And bonus they are all natural and made in Vermont, like me!
OK time to hit the ground running, literally and fingers crossed as I head into this new chapter of my adventure. If you see my little blonde mohawk training don’t forget to toss me a smile and a wave 😉 Cheers!
Kicked off the weekend with some mountain taming 😉 7.2 mile trail run with a dash of power hiking. Some killer views were earned… can’t wait to MTB those trails when they dry up a bit!!!
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
Right on Leonardo! Words to live by straight from the masters mouth. Being an athlete I take this philosophy at it’s most literal form. I have goals, very specific goals which are laid out in my race calendar. Let me be indulgent and break this down as I sit here on my rest day rolling out my tight calves. This is were the quote above comes into play for me: Many people will say they want to do something in vain, and then they never do. Instead I take the bull by the balls. I say I am going to do this – even if I get kicked in the face and fail the first ten times. I go after it until I achieve it. Persistence is in my nature.
I have accepted that to do what you love is hard. You will have killer moments – and moments that kill you. But that is the name of the game and you can’t help it, you love it – it’s FUN 😉 Some days I think about how I must be perceived by those who sit back in life. How odd it is that I spend so much time on training, have been injured on countless occasions, invest so much money on gear for run and MTB all to just participate. No sponsorship, no purses, no wins. Then I laugh and say who cares – I have happened to things. I am happening to Trail. I am making my life happen and that is pretty rad. Ride on//Run on !
I am always up for new forms of adventure. Just give me a good leg up with quality gear – oh and LOOKING CUTE amidst the sweat and mud on trail is a must. With approval from trainer Will Hough I am entering the Mountain Bike scene this spring. Off-the-rack? HAHAHA – no. When I adopt a sport I am not one to tread lightly, I full on commit. That means a visit to friend and custom MTB guru Frank The Welder. Listen kids I will work hard to learn how to fly down trails but I am sure as hell going to be as one with my bike as possible doing it – so it has to fit MY BODY. Not to mention as good as a custom bike feels it looks killer! Being forever the Trail Diva I love the creative control of making my bike. RAL 5015 (sky/mockingbird blue!) custom frame and blinged out gold handle bars and pedals. Hey – the earrings have to match the necklace. Cheers to an upcoming season of trail love, and looking good on those dates 😉
Trail: She is brutal yet exhilarating. Many love her for her intoxicating nature but regardless YOU BOTH share a uniquely enlightening relationship. The very thought of the trail makes you smile and lifts your heart. To know her is to be challenged by her …
What is trail love? What draws us to such physical and social extremes? Perhaps there is no answer – just instinct. Follow your fun – follow your heart, find your happiness. It is as simple as that.
right on//run on//ride on
As a child growing up in Vermont I can remember going outside any time of year for endless hours of FUN. Roaming the woods, hiking, biking, climbing trees… The imagination and energy of a child conjures up FUN as second nature. So when did this fade? And what did you replace it with …
I bring this topic up a lot and trust me get some weird looks I proactively make an effort to hold onto this youthful notion of adventure and exploration. You are tired, busy, hate your job – well go climb a tree. No really GO CLIMB A TREE and get a different perspective on life! Ok ok maybe start with climbing an indoor rock wall. Whatever will get you up, moving and out of your mental hole. Movement and exploration are necessary for human happiness. Without them we lack purpose and get wrapped up in an artificial existence of generic manufactured pleasure.
Call me crazy but try it sometime. Be a little selfish, push aside all those meaningless obligations that are so NOT important and/ or self-medicating and seek out a little primal enjoyment. You are going to feel self-conscious and guilty at first but that will pass. Seek out that mountain, hike, bike, climb, run or just stop and meditate to the sounds. Break free and have FUN.
Run on boys! Kristian and Dean, two of my teammates from The Mountain Tamers Initiative. K – you are always good for an inspirational quote, thank you!
It is a funny thing to think about – running around in the woods for hours on end. Playful yet sort of silly. The reality though is it is hard work, exhausting but exhilarating! The stages of the mind that challenge us: tiredness, self-doubt, clarity, tranquility, are truly greater than ourselves. We are just along for the ride – embrace them. Why, what is the reward? There is no greater feeling then after a long run, standing in the valley and looking back at the mountains you just trailed. That runner’s high is kicking in – you’re reminiscing the hours you just spent together, the distance you trekked and the views. Excitement like that of a tawdry affair! Yeah Mountains – that was us, having a moment… but now I must move on.