Women of Inspiration Day 5: The Pretty Fast Girls
Flashback Friday takes me back to the amazing opportunity to mentor these 5 incredible young women, as they expanded their journey into elite MTB racing. In 2007-08, I was coaching a team of High School boys in Marin and while fully supporting them at all of the NorCal MTB races, I began to notice a talented string of girls rising up. There were a handful from Marin County that it seemed to make sense to bring together to ride and train, so I met with Dario Fredricks at Whole Athlete as he had assembled an amazing elite boys team. Instantaneously, it was a fit, and he asked me to recruit and mentor them. It didn't take long before I had 6 girls out on a weekly summer ride. When it was time to make a team commitment Sofia, Victoria, and Mackenzie were enthusiastic to sign up.
Mackenzie... is tough as nails. I give her a ton of props as she had two hip replacements in high school and still came out and shredded on the trails. (more about her story here)
Victoria... was the first girl that caught my eye at the races. As a freshmen her talent was obvious. Once I got to know her I realized she had grown up chasing her brother Joe on the bike, so her competitive instinct was strong.
Sofia... was the second talent that jumped out at the races. Always smiling, but clearly passionate about riding a bike far beyond her years.
The first winter, Sofia and Victoria met me every week for incredible rides and become true leaders as the team began to grow. In the Spring, Mackenzie returned from her epic recovery. It wasn't long before a new freshman talent joined me for a ride with the boys, and fought to the bitter end to hang on, I knew right away she was a keeper.
Kate... her voice still rings in my head bringing a smile to my face as she would talk and laugh and sing, the whole ride. So carefree, so young and strong, she was hungry to learn. Soaking up every bit of knowledge she could (and logging it into her garmin ;) then applying it directly to how she rode until she was the fastest. I was pretty proud to stand on the poduim in 4th with her on top and Sofia in 2nd.
The last year I coached them, Josie came on, adding spunk and an appitite for a win. She kept the whole team flying with her fresh enthusiasm.
The inspiration that these girls gave me over the 3 years that I spent with them was complex, but the fact that they inspired me to get off the sidelines and race along side them was monumental to my new motherhood journey. We worked together to all reach our potential. Their openness to learn inspired me to be a good role model and ultimately teach yoga. Yoga was the thread that kept our training camps grounded, and sharing with them allowed me to realize I do have a voice to share the mind, body, spirit connection to the collective conscious.
Thanks Pretty Fast Girls. These Wonder Bloomers are really for you. I hope you are each empowered to shine your brightest into the world one pedal stroke at a time.