This weekend we got the opportunity to be part of the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the Brown County Epic. The epic is not a race, rather a group ride with over three hundred of your closest friends. The weekend includes camping, live music, giveaways and local craft beer on tap!
This event is especially memorable for Kate and I because 3 years ago at this event was my first real attempt at mountain biking! I had only ridden once before at Ft Ben on a beginner trail during the Hoosier Outdoor Experience. The first day of the event (back then) was demo day, so you get to ride bikes from Trek, Giant, Surly, Specialized and Rocky Mountain. Some of these bikes could have cost more than my car. I think I rode a full suspension Trek and what I really fell in love with, was the Giant Anthem. I loved mountain biking, after road biking for so long I felt like, “I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this the whole time!”
The next day I was riding Kate’s old bike – a hard tail Cannondale. Which at the time meant nothing to me, and if you don’t know it basically means you feel everything – in the worst way! After our first route I was like seriously why does anyone even make bikes like this?! It was a little painful, especially after riding luxury bikes the day before, but I rode through the day and absolutely loved it. I made it to the top of hesitation point. It was rainy that day and some of our friends chose not to ride, back then I felt like I didn’t know any better. I played outdoor sports growing up so I thought, “what’s a little rain going to do?” Turns out rocks and roots can be kind of slippery on your bike tires in the rain, but that didn’t stop us from riding all day! It was awesome.
This year unfortunately we did not ride, but we did get to support our friends with HMBA who are responsible for all the wonderful trails. We also got to run at Yellowwood State Forest. Kate broke her rib 4 weeks to the day on Sunday, her doctor cleared her to run at 4 weeks and cleared her to ride at 6 weeks. Through that time Kate had a few minor breakdowns but what I admired and love so much was that instead of focusing on what she couldn’t do like running, biking, boxing, and many of the things she loves to do. She focused on things she COULD do! Like John Wooden once said, “Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.” There was a lot of walking, yoga, but she also got to go on our last canoeing trip of the year. It was a time that we were able to think about those who live with disease or impairments throughout their entire lives. It was Kate’s first broken bone, but it was a lifelong lesson for us both.
In life we sometimes take for granted what we have and often times are always wishing and complaining about what everyone else has or gets. From this weekend and through these past few weeks it has opened our eyes to be thankful for our health, happiness, family and friends.
By: Danielle Wolter Nolan