12931213_1088308681191072_6135462553530467783_nFriday night I had the opportunity to hit the trails on two wheels for the first time since May of 2013 – the day I crashed and fractured my ribs. It is not that the opportunity wasn’t there before I just wasn’t ready for it. It was a door that I quickly closed every time it opened… except for Friday night, the night of our women’s mountain bike clinic/ride.  What I learned was hitting the trails armed with almost 20 girlfriends makes all the difference in the world. Suddenly I felt ready to tackle the dirt, the downhills, some climbs and some single track but I wasn’t ready for the big rocks and for the first time in a long time I was okay with that. Every time I got to a section that made me second guess my decision to ride, I got off. And with a smile I ran to the next spot. 2 years ago this would not have been the case. I used to feel like if it was there I had to conquer it and when I couldn’t it caused stress and anxiety.  With each rock that I quietly passed on I kept reminding myself of what Kendra Wilks, mother, wife, physical therapist, cancer survivor and cyclist said – “I don’t need to conquer this rock garden today, but one day I will.” Repeating this quote to myself throughout the ride made all the difference in the world. And most importantly I finished the mountain bike ride yearning for more.

Stephanie Artis

Twitter: @stephanie_artis
Instagram: @stephanieartis

#ActuallyICan #LivBeyond

Read more about Kendra Wilks and Liv Cycling’s Actually I Can campaign at Liv Cycling USA.