Inspirational people...everyone has a hero!

20 April 2012

 

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A chance email has spurred me into a past where dreaming and aspiring to reach the “elite” level of mountain biking was at its inception.

 

Back in the January of 2006, I turned up to do a female Pair at an 8 hour MTB enduro at Whittlesea with Fat Tyre Flyers.

It had been 12 yrs since I had raced a mountain bike back on the Gold Coast. I must point out that I was pretty terrible technically back then so was looking forward to a clean slate from here on.

Pairs was tough, I cramped, I fell over (uphill of course!) and I loved it so much I have not stopped since.

That next week I signed up for my next race SOLO. I wasn't fast, I wasn't good, but I was determined and thats all a solo rider needs to begin with.

I knew though that I wanted to improve and could actually do this over time.

 

Not without the amazing display of fitness, endurance and skills demonstrated by some great women before me.

I recall my good mate Christy Harris spurred me along, we would swap turns in being in form.

Dellys Starr was peaking big time, I could not believe a female could go so fast.

Jane Ollerenshaw was a consistent solo competitor. Justine Leahey was a tough chick – someone to look up to. Then there was Kim McCormack, amazing fit, quick climber and loved sucking it up for 6hrs or more.

But my role model for years in the Victorian Enduro scene was Alex “ze German” Kiendl.

 

She would lap the whole women's field in a 6hr enduro. Her downhilling skills were as good as many men if not better. She sucked it up like no other I had seen and I wanted to have what she did.

She could attack, counter attack and go again to pull out a fast lap right towards the end. 6Hrs or 24hrs she was amazing.

Keeping my eye on the prize I slowly plugged away at improving myself in my own way, getting better on my skills, working on my fitness, racing all sorts of events to get a well rounded approach. Then one day I met her on the race course, at the Kona 24hr in Forrest. Alex was on a bad day, I was on a good day and I won. Whilst Alex never gave up, she was not in good form, having done the Anaconda Adventure race in Lorne solo the week before, there was fatigue and illness in that body of hers.

Well this was a race, and I was there to see what I had to give and so I played the game out to win. That was in 2008.

 

I am not sure if Alex knows this, but she was a hero to me, someone who I only dreamed of being as good as. I know now that Alex has been busy in life with other things, but I am sure that deep in her heart she would love to revist her competitive self on the bike again...one day Alex I wish for you to enjoy your cycling again.

 

Heroes, role models, people to look up to, inspiration, aspiration.

Since working my way up on the ladder of success I have lost sight of those that have inspired me, for that I feel so bad, for without them I would not have even dreamed it to be possible.

Over the past few weeks I have received lots of messages from people who have been motivated by me and its helped me realise that everything we do in life, someone somewhere is looking for insprition from someone else.

Little do they know that they too have just given me inspiration too!

 

Share the love around, you never know who needs it right now...its not just about winning bike races, its about paving a path of possibilities for others to come and use when the time is right.

 

Thanks again to all those great people out there who have and will continue to show me that amazing things are possible.