I've had a bit of a hiatus from the blog posting recently! Like, a year... oops. :-o
But, I've been up to a lot. Last year was a big turning point for me. We'll call it a year of "life education." I'm still riding, training, and racing a lot. Being an athlete is still a huge part of my life. But as my life evolves, so does my need for creative movement. I have always been drawn to the unknown, and when things get too comfortable, I need to shake them up. And so it goes.
A brief synopsis of what I've been up to in the past year:
I jumped off the deep end and "retired" from being a full-time year round physical therapist last year. I've been studying and practicing physical therapy for ten years, so it was a big leap, but it was one that was pressing. I love the work, and loved my Gunnison clinic home Heights Performance, but I hate the American healthcare system machine. I don't believe in it, and I do not want to be a part of bolstering it any longer- at least not full-time year round. Combining that with opportunities that presented themselves in my athlete life, it was time for a change.
I officially launched my company, Vital Motion Coaching. There's now a tab for it in the headline of this website. Check it out. :) It is my passion project turned business.
I left beautiful Colorado, which has been my home for nearly fifteen years. I bought, converted, and moved into a van (which has always been a dream of mine) and spent the summer in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, racing, skills coaching, and just riding my bike a lot. I have always dreamed of spending time in BC, and it was everything I thought it would be. Stunning. I will certainly be back.
I took an even bigger leap and moved myself, my bike, and Cody Oats (my huge Shepherd dog) to Guatemala for 6 months in the off-season and... rode my bike a lot. And met some amazing people, and had some really crazy experiences. I think I'm still in shock from it all (in a good way). I'll write a book about it someday. Take home message: Everyone should, if you are able to, spend time, real time, in a developing country. Unless you hide inside with a bag over your head, it will change you forever.
I've been CRAVING education this past year. And I've been learning a lot of things:
I've been mountain bike skills coaching under the amazing Lindsey Voreis for the past few years, and finally last summer I took a PMBI instructor trainer course from Paul Howard in Whistler, BC. It was amazing to be able to put an official structure and flow to all the information I'd been learning from Lindsey. Then I basically spent all summer coaching at skills camps and small group clinics, honing the techniques I'd learned from the PMBI course.
I've been taking continuing education courses and devouring every book, podcast, expert presentation, and interview I can get my hands on in the subjects of writing, pitching your writing, sports psychology, performance coaching, the role mindset plays in rehabilitation and performance, and the business of starting your own business. All completely fascinating.
I learned how to complete a relationship in the most beautiful (and heartbreaking) way- with mutual respect, kindness, and support for the other's, and my own, individual paths.
I got invited to be one of the featured athletes in riding for an adventure fat bike film, Off the Beaten Path, in Iceland! I spent two weeks there last summer, and it was incredible. Watching the film brought to life gave me chills. It was a dream come true that I never even knew I had. And I've made new friends that I'm sure I'll have forever.
I learned Spanish. Sort of. ;)
I learned who NOT to trust my heart and my life to. Long story- I'm glad that was over quickly. Whew.
I learned how to be a good teammate in duos adventure racing. I've always been independent to a fault, and said I would never do it. But I did it. It was awesome. And then I wrote about it... which lead to...
I became a published writer for the first time- a HUUUUUGE dream I've always had! I wrote for Outside Magazine's online segment- OutsideOnline. Check it out here: Balancing Independence and Teamwork
I took all my experience as an endurance mountain bike racer and a backcountry skier/ski mountaineer, put it together and "learned" how to plan and execute an expedition of my own. I teamed up with a professional photographer/videographer Brendan James and some great sponsors (Fatback Bikes, Lauf Forks, Gore Bike Wear, and Julbo Eyewear) for an expedition/media project to fatbike volcanoes in Guatemala. I got my ass handed to me so many times in those three weeks, and had an incredible experience. My heart and my eyes were opened in ways I never could have imagined. You'll all read about it soon- in glossy, beautiful print form with beautiful images. The story be published in Mountain Flyer Magazine in June! :) More writing, yay! This consumed my life for a month and I loved it.
Most recently, I learned (am still learning) how to edit video! Brendan does this for a living, so he's teaching me (the beginner crash course in) how to use Adobe Premiere. I'm pretty proud of this- it's the "pro method," hehe. No iMovie for this gal.
Knowing how to edit video will be really helpful in growing Vital Motion Coaching, as a lot of what I do is online, and I can't wait to share what I've been learning in all my coaching/rehabilitation education with all of you!
Below is my little movie from the skills clinic I coached last weekend in Tennessee. I'm pretty proud of my first attempt- and of my athletes!
Soooo, where am I at now? Living the Van Life, making my way up the East Coast, racing and coaching my way from Georgia to Vermont. I've been all around the world, but never to the eastern US, so I figured it was about time! Next stop, Pennsylvania for the Transylvania Epic Stage Race.
Follow my adventures on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and please holler if I'm in your area- I would love to meet and ride with as many people as I can this summer! :)