Mom on a bike.
I’ve always been an athlete.
Growing up in rural Central New York lent to a life in the woods. Hiking, biking, skiing, running – every season had activities that I relished.
Athletics gave me more than fitness. It provided a means of pushing physical, mental and locational boundaries. My high school field hockey team lead it’s division year after year. The strategy the coaches used to achieve consistent top results stuck with me – see the bigger picture, find a weakness, train that weakness into your strength.
Taking a cue from my coaches, I looked at the bigger picture – both of myself and of the sport in general. I understood my weaknesses and strengths. I accepted that I did not have the best stick skills or vision on the field. Instead, I developed my speed and fitness, I developed a fearless mindset and I adhered to a ‘never give up’ attitude. There was no penalty shot that I couldn’t get in front of, there was no breakaway that I couldn’t chase down. In some larger machine that was way beyond my comprehension, those daily efforts set into motion a slew of opportunities and open doors that gave my life adventure.
During high school, I was chosen to be on an elite regional field hockey team that toured Europe. Continued excellence in field hockey lead to a full tuition college scholarship and repeated top NCAA rankings. After college I moved to Australia, where I joined the local field hockey club. Constantly learning and improving my skills, fitness and speed, I was selected for a regional team. As a member of the regional team, I had the unique opportunity to participate in clinics run by the coach and players of the Australian Olympic Field Hockey Team. I even played against the Chinese women’s Olympic field hockey team. Meanwhile I began feeling a responsibility to give back, so I coached an under 16 field hockey team.
I moved back to the united states in 2005. I spent the next few years in Queens, NY focused on my family. (I have 2 amazing children and an incredible husband). After completing my Master’s degree, I began taking on freelance web design work. We moved out to New Jersey in 2008. As my kids got older I found more time to develop my freelance business, while also getting back in touch with my competitive athlete side. After a brief stint road racing which resulted in 2 major injuries – a shattered collar bone and a shattered elbow, I rekindled my childhood love of mountain biking. I was surprised to find that NJ has extensive mountain bike trails through incredibly varied terrain, all within a short driving distance to my home.
Over the next few years, I worked my way through the amateur ranks and into the UCI Pro category. I constantly focused on setting and attaining small goals, always assess my strengths and weaknesses and looking for ways to make improvements. Technical riding appealed to my ‘fearless’ nature so I decided to focus on developing those skills. At that time skills clinic were hard to come by, so I did my own research and asked EVERY rider who could ride a feature I could not how they did it, what it felt like, what they were doing. Slowly I began seeing improvements.
I adhere to the growth mindset philosophy, always trying to improve.
I love the feel of speed. I particularly enjoy the satisfaction that comes with Cross Country racing, knowing that every mph was earned through my personal effort. I also really enjoy the flow of Enduro racing – conquering a scary descent, rolling through a gnarly rock garden or launching over a giant root. It’s a different type of satisfaction, one that comes with a solid dose of adrenaline.
Along with my drive for personal growth, I see a huge opportunity to share this experience with women and youth. Overcoming obstacles, achieving goals, being part of a team – these experiences develop a deep sense of confidence that permeates all parts of life. That is why I teach mountain bike skills and coach the Essex Offroad Mountain Bike Team.
Balancing family, work, racing and coaching is challenge. But I enjoy every moment of it.
What to know something in particular? Please ask!