|a white Boxing Day|
Occasionally we were rewarded with some cool flowy single trail but these were few and far between. Things went from bad to worse when my eye became the target for an aggressive clump of dirt which caused a strange glaze over my pupil. It made me see in different fields of vision, as if I was cross eyed. I could not see any depth anymore which was not great when trying to navigate through mud, mud and more mud.
We were making great progress in the field though and riding strong in the top 10 of the female field. But after the half way point we started to seriously think about what it was worth finishing this race. We were looking at 14 hours on the bike in soul destroying conditions. Physically I felt absolutely fine and where in the past I would have battled through, this time I felt like I had nothing left to prove. On top of that, after having raced over the most spectacular courses all over the world with the Himalayas freshly ingrained in my brain, this course for me was simply uninspiring and with lack of views or exciting descents I felt somewhat bored. When Karin suggested to call it quits I had no hesitations. My eye was getting worse and it had now started to pour down in temperatures close to zero celcius, freezing us to the core. After a good 7-8 hours and over 115kms of riding, we found ourselves happy in Onno's (absolute legend for supporting us) warm car on the way back to the comfort of our little rental house in the forest.
|Best racing buddy|
It was an interesting experience for me not to make it to the finish line but not to feel bad about it and actually being quite satisfied about the performance to that point. Karin felt exactly the same way which made for a relaxing post race dinner with lots of laughs, planning adventures and conversations about dreams and aspirations I felt so at home in. How I had missed this.
I spent the following days with some key people in my life. Being shown some really cool Dutch MTB trails (they do exist!!) drinking hot chocolate and chatting the day away with a close friend in a cosy pub whilst the snow fell outside. The realisation I did have somewhere I could go home to whilst staying with my lovely uncle Aede and Aunty Gerby. And last but not least spending 24 hours with one the few people who has known me since I was 9 years old, my best friend Suzanne, leaving absolutely no secrets between us. We chatted till deep in the night like teenagers until I had to leave for my flight at 4am.
Where normally my mental batteries got charged through adventures and wilderness, this time my batteries were charged through spending time with people who were dear to me.
And as I travelled back to Scotland I came to the realisation that for me the truth of my happiness always falls back to the same thing. No matter what age or stage of my life I am at, I believe that chasing opportunities and aspirations should always be endless. As cliche as it sounds, when people ask me “why?" I immediately think “why not?” And although this view often gets perceived as a lack of commitment or an inability to settle, I never see it this way. Wanting the freedom to dream, to challenge myself and to keep on evolving into a richer bettered version of myself is fundamentally who I want to be and what inspires me and makes me happy. How to engage to this on a daily basis I have not figured out just yet.
So here is to a healthy, happy 2018, to endless amount of adventures and inspiring experiences accompanied by the loving people who share this roller coaster life of mine with me.
"it's the possibility of a dream come true that makes life interesting" Paolo Coelho
My best moments of 2017
Catching up with one of my Uni friends Karen in the snow
New York with Michael
MTB adventures in Utah
Catching up with my sister after 5 years
Meeting Naomi together with Michael, Charlie and Rachel
Grandraid Nisramont with Karin, an absolute surprise podium!!
Surprising myself with a 7th female overall on the skinny tires in the tour the Borders
many adventures with Naomi
The Engadine Bike giro in Switzerland, catching up with the lovely Sarah Riley
Surprise podium in Glentress 7, solo female
3rd year being sponsored by big bobble hats
Karin joining me on a MTB leaders course in Scotland
the Himalaya Bunch, what a dream come true
riding 650km, climbing 17.000m in the Indian Himalayas
2 day MTB expedition with Jantiene
Riding the French Alps
My favourite adventure buddy