Monday, May 11, 2015

CycloFemme and Women who Ride




    This past weekend marked the last weekend before it's time to make the trek to the Woodlands and begin my final push toward becoming an Ironman. The journey has been longer than just the 20 weeks of specific training I've gone through. It began three years ago when I made the decision to stop self-deprecation and doubt, and changed my mindset from, "I'm not good at sports," to "I am an athlete and my body can do amazing things."

      That was a huge push for me, and it is bigger still for so many women. Whereas men are pushed into and encouraged in sport from birth (whether or not they are interested), women are often actively discouraged, especially as they get older and other assumed responsibilities loom: getting married, having babies, molding yourself in to a suitable wife and mother who is strong enough to raise children, run a home, and endure what life throws at her, but not actually physically strong because that's what men are for.

      Thankfully, more and more, this attitude is changing. Women are seeing that their inner strength can help them create outer strength, and if they want to face a physical challenge, well, then they ought to. I've gone from walking my first 10k to now being 5 days away from my first Ironman. I've shown myself that I can do anything, especially so much more than I thought I could. This journey has been done by me, but I had help, especially from other amazing inspiring women I've met along the way.

     On Sunday it was International Women's Ride day, hosted by CycloFemme. They are a volunteer organization pushing for women's involvement in cycling through empowerment and community. I had heard about them last year, but missed the date. So this year, I made sure to post a ride to see if I could meet any new cycling friends. There were a ton of rides all over the world!

 

       The weather in Cedar Park was kind of iffy, so what was supposed to be about 20 women ended up being about 6. However, that certainly didn't damper our good time! We met up and set out on a 30 mile ride made up up all skill levels, from beginners up to two other women preparing for IMTX this weekend. It was windy and damp, but we had a great time!