May 6, 2016


i am excited to share this post today! i wrote this piece several weeks ago. i had seen on IG that liv cycling was holding a contest called "actually, i can". they were asking for women to share their story (& a pic) on what those words mean to them, how riding helps you train your mind and face fears. the contest began on april 8, 2016 and runs until september 30th, 2016. a weekly winner is selected every friday until september. if you win on a friday, you are then eligible for the grand finale prize draw which is a liv bike of your choice!

"oh liv, you light up my life!"

well, that sounded right up my alley! plus, i ride a liv bike so i'm partial to the brand too! but i was a bit hesitant and scared to go for it. self doubt and anxiety kicked in whenever i sat down to write my 'actually, i can' story. i told the hubster about it and he encouraged me to go for it. not too long after that, taylor and mara dropped by for a visit and i was telling them about it too. taylor said,  "do it, mom! do it right now! otherwise you won't." 

so you know what? i did. i wrote it that evening with all the kids encouraging and supporting me. at one point, i got very overwhelmed and so anxious that i wanted to give up...or at least put it off for another day. plus, i felt so bad that taylor & mara were over and i was sequestered in another room much for family bonding! i told them, "i can't do this. look at me all up in my head trying to write while you are here to hang out and i'm not even visiting with you!" 

but they just laughed and kept encouraging me and yelling, "you can do it!"

i finally finished writing. then mara designed the graphics on my photo. then we submitted it just in time for the first friday of the contest. i had a lot of anxiety and 'not good enoughs' running through my head... but i was also excited and hopeful i had a shot at winning. 

friday dawned and i nervously checked the liv cycling IG account...

i didn't win.

i felt so deflated...whooosh....just like someone let all the air out of my tires.

neither did i win the next week.

or the one after that or the one after that.


then today my picture and story were posted on the liv cycling IG with this message attached;
"One of the very first submissions for the Actually, I Can contest came to us from ticks and trust. Ever since, we haven't been able to get this amazing story out of our heads. At Liv, we are believers that a bike is more than just a bike and it is stories like these that prove bikes can train your mind and make you realize...Heck, yeah, I can! Congrats  to {ticks and trust}, our week 5 winner!"

i promptly burst into tears and then did a happy dance! 

i am truly honored and delighted to be chosen! riding has/is helping me re-define how i see myself and that i am more than the sum total of my illnesses and struggles. life is hard - each and every one of us carry with us pain and suffering. my hope is that sharing my story will inspire other women to believe that they are MORE THAN the fears they face and the challenges they live with.

the following is the piece that i submitted (albeit, there are a few extra wordy details here that had to be cut out in order for it to post on IG):


this past summer (2015), i tried down-hill mountain biking for the first time.

and i LOVED it.

like totally and completely LOVE LOVE LOVED IT.

all it took was that first ride down a mountain bike park to put biking in my blood. it was one of the most liberating, revolutionary, empowering, life-changing moments i have experienced.

i am obsessed with it now.

like i can't get enough of it obsessed.

it was during that first rip down that mountain at silver star bike park that i realized actually, i can get my life back.

i lost almost the entirety of my 30s to a chronic debilitating illness called neurological lyme disease. i spent half of that decade of my life hooked up to daily IVs and struggling to get out of bed. 

in the darkest hours of the past 10 years, i feared i had lost the 'best years' of my life. even if i got some semblance of health back, what kind of life awaited me? most of the time i was terrified and in pain and now i was over 40.

and isn't it all downhill after 40?

oh yeah baby it is!

on my bike, i am liberated from the pathogens that wreak havoc on my body and my mind. when i ride, i feel strong, brave and wild. my bike keeps me grounded and makes my fly. i'm not better {yet} but mountain biking has given me a belief in my recovery, trust in my body and is restoring my mind.

and it makes me feel like a fearless bad-ass to boot.

when i rip down a mountain i know to my inner most being that i am strong. i am brave. and actually, i can get my life back. one ride at a time. 

thank you to liv cycling for the amazing work you do to encourage and empower women! 

**got my fingers crossed that i win the bike in september!**

1 comment:

Setapart1979 said...

Awesome. I love that they picked your story. It is a powerful one. Hope you win that bike & glad that you have this outlet, this release & this passion!

Blessings, Amber