Giving Back one broken bone at a time …..

Down Hill Mountain Bike Nationals 

Snowshoe West Virginia 

First hour we arrived after a 2400 mile drive and breaking down road side in Kentucky for 13 hrs.  Leaving on Friday the 13th…….never again!!   This all unfolded. 

I wanted to share this moment. My baby boy was fully in shock and we were waiting for an ambulance transport. He wasn’t even really communicating with me and I was really scared. I want to have a real moment with ya all. I struggle with this on a daily. My children are complete bad asses. I don’t know how it happened. I encourage them to be authentic but I never push them to be like this. Not broken. It’s not worth it. This moment sucked. They push themselves. They are racers. They are senders and they are winners. However as a mommy these moments are so painful. These are my babies. My children. Seeing @jdogjohnston all Busted up like this literally broke my heart. It is still broken. Sitting next to him was his sister. Also with a substantial fracture. I play this moment in my head over and over. Have I given them the tools they need? Am I the crazy race Mom? Have we gone too far? And what does that mean? These are my Fucking babies. They grew in my body. I wanted to make it go away. I wanted to soothe Zoë at the same moment Jdog was going into a weird pain trance and say all the right things. Like Wow you two are rad. But I really wanted to choke them for sending road gaps, huge doubles ….triples and step downs. I wanted to cry, scream, laugh and hide all at the same time. Im so impressed, ashamed and blown away as these moments were happening. What does shock mean? What do you mean his abdomen is hard? What why are we transporting? That means it’s serious? Someone please just grab me and tell me all will be well…..and then it happened. I felt my dads presence and an urge to laugh came over me. The moment when I’m 16 and I’m living in a cave so I can climb rocks full time. (Literally) He looked at me and said. I hope you have kids just like you some day so you can feel the worry and pain I feel every time I watch you pack that pack. Well Dad…: “I hate love you”. That time has come. And guess what …….@zoeraywood and @jdogjohnston are #stillgonnasendit and @gnarleymarleyandfatbaby are right behind them #motherhood #dudemom

Big Mountain Enduro and The big D? 🤣

You know when your world feels fully pinned? OK for those “non bike kook” readers, its when you are “all out” or “fully committed”. It usually happens after somrthing traumatic happens to me and I’m shaken to my core. I go into a hyper active state of “turn and burn”. Is this healthy? No. Is this who I am? Yes. Do I like it? Not so much.

This above photo just completely cracked me up when my buddy sent it to me. I was racing the Kamikaze Games, last Stage and I was crying on the inside.  Like literally.  I was pinned. All in just like I like it. I’ve realized I don’t need to do this off the bike….

Its taken a lot of deep reflectiom to understand why I do this. Here is my confession.

I am sensitive………………

Huh?  Yeah I know it’s hard to fathom coming from someone who loves the F word more than chocolate. Yes,  I prefer to be on the edge of my comfort zone on two wheels and in general.  Faster is just always better. 

This is how I function. I am in a heightened state of awesomeness.  MY emotions and my heart are on my sleeve.  If you are with me, I will slit throats for you. If you challenge my love and loyalty for you with a lack of loyalty…… heart may be forever broken. And I may actually plan your disappearance lol.  

Recently someone I considered family did something really shady to me. When it happened I cried for days. My husband looked at me with despair when he saw my face.  As our parents age I’m sure he expected me to say someone was dead. Nope, no one was dead………..BUT THEY WERE DEAD TO ME.  SO the pain was equivalent.

I constantly coach my agents and friends to not carry others bullshit. However recently when the tables were turned I was a failure at my own advise. I was the coach who became the student. The teacher became the pupil and I got a big fat F! Oops.  

I just couldn’t understand why someone would purposely be such a dumb ass.  What could they possibly be thinking? I kept trying to remind myself that this was their burden  to carry, not mine.      However I just couldn’t shake it. 

Please dark passenger go away!!!  Even though well behaved  women rarely make history, murder isn’t really an option. 

To be perfectly honest I still havent fully recovered.  It will take time,  In the meantime I try to eat healthy, stay present and ride when I can. Of course the person who put hurt in my life is likely clueless.  That’s another life lesson. Narcissism is an actual disease.  I can’t fix people. I can only alter my reaction to it. The experience left me lack luster, and exhausted. Then it lit a fire……………….

I’m in training! I’m learning to be stronger and more resilient with this dark passenger.  So How rad would it be to dedicate some big mountain Enduro races this year to all the ass hats on the planet.  I could call it the douche tour….the final cleanse 😂.  A little vinegar with that? 

Focusing on my super rad kids helps keep things in perspective.  Being the #dudemom is always #1.  There is no lesson plan so I just rock it the best I can. Gauging their radness I think I’m nailing it. 

Ok all kidding aside I’m doing better.  I’m in my happy place living in Big Bear and just kicking ass.  I do look forward to my adult life.  At 41 I just keep learning , turning and burning and yearning for my next big race. 

 I’ve stopped racing “everything” and now just want to tackle the big ones.  If I don’t think I’ll cry  during at least  one stage it’s probably not the race for me.  
In the meantime it’s back to #dudeMom Training and sloughing off the Turds.  Cheers peeps.  It’s true there are more assholes in the world than awesome people, so choose your friends and business associates carefully.  I finally have and I can tell you what a huge comfort it is only surrounding myself with the most awesome of the awesome.  Boom…. 

Now go ride something…..and maybe pack some vinegar.  


MTB Series 1 #2-Podcast with Samm McNees- When life hands us cancer….we ride….Thanks Mom

This was such a dynamic Podcast! Make sure to listen as Samm indulges in his amazing big Mountain Enduro adventure’s  this coming season, his mothers cancer and Michael Pannone’s injury at Snow Summit this past summer




Sam has asked that in Lieu of thanking the company’s and people that have supported his bike addiction he would like to ask that people visit Micheal Pannone’s Go Fund me as his family works towards his recovery from a traumatic brain injury. Please follow this link to contribute to Mike’s Go Fund Me.

JUST GONNA SEND IT!! Interview with Myrie Metzger Podcast 1 -MTB Series

myrie interview photo

Had such a blast interviewing my dude,  the one and only Myrie Metzger today.  This kid is just the whole package. So well spoken for his age. I really enjoyed talking about his amazing mindset and hearing about some of his big diggers.  Myrie is one to watch. This was our first run at a podcast and my mic wasn’t set up properly so I appologize about that.  Onward and upward. Next on our schedule is Pro BMX / MTB star Matt Ortwein as well as Sam Mcnees from Jenson USA.  So many super stars and so little time. ENJOY!!

 Myries big crash at Summit 

Take Out The Trash-AND PODIUM 

SO prepping for the Kamikaze Games left me feeling super overwhelmed.  We just came off the move of the century selling our home in the Wine Country area of Temecula and making the move 2 hours away to our beloved mountains of Big Bear.

There was no recovery time. Mom life just keeps moving forward . So we jumped right into to Home School, long commutes and sick riding sessions in our new home. Life isn’t going to stand still……….so we peddled on.

I won’t go into detail on why we made the move so I will paraphrase it with “We were ready to take out the TRASH!”   For years extended family drama, work stress, one sided business partnerships   and feeling trapped had bogged our family down. One day it hit me like a ton of bricks….”lets just Bounce.” And Bounce we did!

Within a week our home was listed, in escrow, and we were moving. We moved into a beautifil property known as the Moose Lodge.  Sitting perfectly on 1.3 acres in a scared canyon (locals say we have a energy vortex in the middle of our property) my 4 children and husband immediately showed all the stages of awesomeness.  Yep, mom knows whats best.

First month here I raced the Crafts and Cranks Enduro.  It kicked my ass over two days. I felt unwell and overwhelmed. I Knocked myself out on stage 5 (our last stage as fatigue had set in)  known as Fall Line.  I was carrying too much speed and full recovery from the flu just wasn’t in place yet.

Fall line isn’t even super technical but its loose, fast and typical of a back country DH. So  just like in life when fatigue sets in even the most simple rides can become complicated.   It was a little more dry and blown out than usual making a simple error into a TKO!

It got Complicated when the  Pro Catwgory Riders were trying to find a way around me. At one point I sat up and could hear them coming.  All I could do was roll off trail and grab whatever metal I could find.  I realized later I grabbed the cranks and smashed my fingers.  I counted to a full 30 seconds before my eyesight returned.

Somehow I got got upright and made my way down.  I saved my time to secure a solid 4th place and a podium. Dear lord Jesus help me. Was it worth it?  Yep.

Recovery was awkward. I didnt want to make a big deal about how creepy I felt since I didnt want the comments from everyone like “slow down”, “be safe you are a mom”. blah blah blah.  In a nut shell every time I turned my head too fast for weeks I would spin out. LOL   Like I just said,” was it worth it?” “YUP!”      Every experience in life is worth it, FOOLS!

So then I had a month more of the flu and unpacking, commuting, and trying to reinvent myself and my career.   I did a shitty job of that so I just started stressing over all the things I couldn’t control,,,,,Like the upcoming Kamikaze Bike Games in Mammoth,   MY 15 YEAR OLD WANTED TO RACE HER FIRST GIG THERE IN THE DH CATEGORY, And my son would race his 2nd DH. I on the outskirts of being a lunatic signed up for the Enduro.  Then the full fledge personal battle began. Would I finish? Would I start?  Would I DIE?

What is this bullshit war we wage on ourselves?  Self Doubt is my middle name,,,,but  I always show up and I always kicks its ass.  Sometimes I even throat punch it with a big HIIIIYAHHHH! But most often I cry and comepletly freak out. You wouldnt know it by looking at me. You might even think I am a fearless bad ass.   I’m not. I’m mostly Just a scared old lady ready to drop in and shred some gnar. Every single time I do this  i revel at the experience. I more enjoy the fact that I made myself LIVE LIFE more than the actual act itself.

A few days before we were to leave for the kamikaze games we decided to ditch our 2 and 4 year old with our teenager and go ride Summit Bike Park in Big Bear to have some adult shred time. I think my husband and I rode together 4 times in the past 12 months. Our buddy Justin was coming to town and we were pumped to ride with him. I told everyone including my husband and my son “please ride chill, we leave for Mammoth in two days”.  dumbest thing I could be ever said.  And not 15 minutes later my husband broke his leg.   Yeah welcome to the Cass Family Circus! Oh and thank God for those sweet little scooters they have now for people instead of crutches! Will sent that thing all over Mammoth LOL 

Kamikaze rolled around and after a hell ride with three teenagers fighting in the back of the sprinter, a hubs with a broken and painful leg,  a nanny following us in a spare car we rolled into Mammoth ready for a full fledged nervous breakdown.   The car ride wasnt complete without at least one client losing their nuts on me.  AT one point I was ready to just flip the car around, go home and take a nap.

We had decided to dedicate all three if our races to my beloved father. My father passed after a single car accident in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s back in 2000. He was always my biggest fan and it seemed with his 17 year reunion rolling in that weekend (on my race day) it was perfect to give him the glory. My children and I would race with baby blue ribbons on our arms. His nickname was Papa Smurf and this really felt like an opportunity to just HAVE A MOMENT FOR HIM.  I had to race. NO excuses now.

So there we were in Mammoth,   My emotions were all over the place. It was a day away from the 17th reunion of my Fathers death.  MY daughter was racing for the first time, my sons bike was an epic fail, and I truly had heard that the Mammoth Enduro was 100% horrid hard. Yay, well here I am. What is a sister to do? I drank wine. A lot of it.

Day one of riding found me so nervous.  My little bud Myrie Metzger had scored a ride and a bed from us for the week.  He had ridden there often and made sure to make sure I was solid.  It was actually kinda cute how worried he was about me, I could tell he found a lot of pride in showing Zoe, Justice and myself the mountain, Even at home every tie I shuttle him as he rides off h yells a “Love you” over his shoulder.  Best feeling ever watching the kids shred at the level they do.

Mammoth is filled with some of the most physically challenging trails I had been on .   It was legit “kitty litter’ , loose, steep, tons of drops, and a lot of surprises.  Add high winds, frigid cold, high altitude and LONGGGGG decents and you get some seriously intimidating trails.   Zoe and I kept going from “this is epic”, to “How we will ever ride anywhere else again”, to “I’m scared to death” .

Zoe was so worried about not doing well. We had decided to sign her up for Cat 3 since it was her first race.  I knew she was going to be a stand out.  I had watched her ride against all odds all summer and knew she really didn’t know how rad she was.  I was excited to watch her finally acknowledge what a powerful woman she was. Not just physically but mentally.  Riding DH is such a mind slam.  Its a sprint of physical and mental ability that leave the most powerful in a fragile state. She had decided 3 months ago she would start riding.  Within weeks she asked us what she needed to do to be a Cat 1 or Pro rider. I put the steps in place while she checked all the boxes. Life is a series of opportunities,   Those that work the hardest do indeed win.  This girl was a winner. She had that look in her eye. Full warrior status.

When the morning arose for her race I almost puked.  I was more nervous than her. I wasn’t super worried about my son Justice and his race. He was mellow and not stressed at all.  HIs category is filled with boys so much older than him he felt no pressure. He was just stoked to ride. Zoe on the other hand, She wanted to WIN. She wanted to prove to herself that she was a legit competitor .

I stood at the botton of her stage with many friends. My buddy and client Jerry Walton and I took deep breaths.  I saw the first few riders in Cat 1 come through. Then she emerged.  I knew as soon as I saw her round the corner that this chic was for real. I was literally choked with pride and gratitude. This baby had emerged from my womb and now right before my eyes it was like on the bike I got to see her become a woman It happened in an instant. Tears flowed down my face. I had literally reached “BIKE MOM” Nirvana.  Or as most know me by “DUDE MOM”, Nirvana.

Not only did she win but she dropped the competition by Minutes! 

My son pushed through with all the chill glory I knew he would. There was a brief moment in his race I noticed his back wheel was loose.  Oh Baby Jesus being a race mom is tough. I just held my breath……..and he crossed the finish line,   Whew…..

The next day was my day. I was getting scared as every minute went by.  I barely slept the night before and even started my period……..because well that was my stupid luck.  I couldn’t even tell you the last time I ht race day and wasn’t on my period. Heaven forbid I be healthy and feel wonderful. Its almost funny at this point.  I mean who doesn’t want to go race with cramps, headaches and severe bloating? It was a miracle I could even slam my chunky body into my dang baggies.  Yes men, water retention is a thing.   No, beer doesn’t help.   But yes, it eases the hatred I feel during my 4 days of femme battles.  Yay, let’s race lol.  

Before I left to hit the race start line I was trying to remember all my items. I was dialing my bike, flexing my nutrition and making sure I was fully supplied in the case of a technical. I didn’t come all this way to let a flat or dropped chain keep me from finishing.  

Our two babies Marley (aka Gnarly Marley and Fat Baby) and Willie were signed up for a toddler race. Just as I was due to leave on the chair lift their race started. I could see both of them crying their eyes out and refusing to move off the start line. Yeah that big Mammoth running around THIER start Line had them both in a panic. Large Creepy animal alert . They just went into it.   Boy did I now this feeling!!! . All I could do was watch as I boarded the chair lift.  I felt like a complete mom failure, but I was here to race. SO racing is what I would do!

So there I was. Sitting on the chair lift pondering all the things that could go wrong.  All the while I coached myself to feel rad and ready.   It was working.  I was cold and teerifed.  Here’s a little selfie action on my way up.  

It was time.   I had to deal with 4 stages of utter crazy. Our Enduro stages were as follows.  Stage 1 we had Flow Trail.  Mind you the day before I had watched one of our close buddies get carted out Via Patrol with a fractured hip off  Flow.  

I rolled up.   Pulled on my helmet.  Adjusted my goggles and waited my turn.  As each racer left the gate I wondered what the Hell I was doing?  They counted them down and every 30 seconds a rider would leave the gate.   

Then it was my turn..,”5….4…3…2…GO!” The stage started out great for me. I was really flowing into the technical kitty litter loose chutes and just felt over all ON. Then about 1/2 Way down I heard a rider coming in hot behind me. Instead of waiting for safe place for me to exit the loose section we were in he screamed at me and hit my back wheel. Over the bars I went and into the trees.   I went down good but landed softly on my shoulder. I yelled some choice obscenities.  It took me the rest of the stage to get myself back together mentally.  I imagined meeting him in a good bar fight but eventually let it go. My heart rate was really high though after and I just couldn’t get it down. I was severely amped out.   
Stage 2 was the stage,  the Bike Games were named after…….Yep THE Kamikaze.  It Turned out to be my favorite stage. We started out on the very top of Mammoth Mountain on a  fire road where I got up to speeds of up to 35 MPH. I was stoked beyond belief.  The bottom of the stage flowed into some fun single track and flowy drop sections. I really found my groove on this stage.   I was smiling and my racing reflected that.  I was a little discouraged when my husband called me with our live timing results at the base    I was in 2nd but it looked like I was clearly getting bumped to 3rd.  So I focused on making sure 4th place didn’t catch me on the next stage.  Smooth is fast o repeated over and over on my head.  

Stage 3 was a big climb and then a fun stage into a Jump line. I felt awesome through this catching tasty airs and just felt super solid. The extra climbing I had done back at home with the hubs was really Paying off here.

My fav part of this stage climb was a big group of hecklers  trail side on our climb up.  There weee about  8 men lined up with FULL MOONS.  The horrible things they were yelling at me had me almost peeing my pants with laughter.  It was epic.   Oddly this gave me extra energy and smiles. Heckling at mountain bike races had become an event within an event.  It was awesome .  SO off I climbed on what felt like fresh legs.  This allowed me to be extra playful through the jump line and into the finish of stage 3.

Then there was stage 4. CRAP! For the transfer we had to climb all the way from the Canyon Lodge at the bottom of Mammoth Mountain to the main Gondola.  It sucked.   I handled it one pedal stroe at a time. I ended up riding the gondola up with a random fellow racer and tried to ease my nerves with stupid jokes. The more nervous I get the weirder I act. I giggle and talk to much and I’m sure he wanted to throw me off the gondola but luckily we were locked in. 

  I knew this was the stage of all stages. We had to drop into Skid Marks and then directly into Follow ME. This would turn out the be over 20 more minutes of technical sprinting,  I was terrified.  The crazy part of enduro racing is, we do all the Down Hill stages but we also stack them on top of each other. Then we climb to the top of most of (if not all) of the stages.  It combines the cardio and suffering of XC racing with the technical demands of DH and then adds them together. In DownHill races they do one stage and they take the chair life up. IN my opinion Enduro is just plain rad!!  We are not timed on the climb up.  Only on the stage races down.  

So finally We got to the top of the gondola. Talk about Torture.  The top of Mammoth Mountain is mind sucking. Here’s a photo of us (Jdog, Myrie, Zoë and #DudeMom) up top two days before. It’s expansive. 

The wind had picked up and it was painfully COLD! It had snowed up there a few days prior and it felt like something as brewing again.  We had a short traverse to the start of Skid Marks.  I saw the line up of racers and wanted to cry. I was done. I had sipped my trusty CarboRcket all day, ate my fuel, and tried to pace myself.  There just isn’t a lot of ways to pace yourself in a Big Mountian Enduro. Its just mentally and physically draining.  

I knew this stage would take me at the very least 2o minutes.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the bottom sectiom of “Follow Me” so fatigued.  This was the stage my daughter raced. It was just crazy hard.  Plus it had a whole other stage added to the top doubling its distance.

I stood at the top with the wind literally cutting through me. The sweat that had piled up in my jersey was making it even more dramatic. The first part of the stage I needed to be smooth and fast.  However I knew ……. I had completely bonked.  I was praying for a Rally.    I knew I would do more drops in this race run than I had all year! NO joke.

So there I stood. It was time to finish this thing. There were 4 guys ahead of me and every 30 seconds one of them would take off out of the gate.  I was shaking with nerves, cold and exhaustion. Then it was my turn.  Shit…………. The guys from Team Big Bear counted down from 10 seconds,  looked at me,  (I could hear my heart beat) nodded with a 3….2…..AND GO….. and off I went.  I had a terrible time clipping into my pedals.  The cold had made me very clumsy. 

 I flowed perfectly through Turn 1, 2, 3 , 4 and  then I wrecked. I came hot into a section that I kid you not had 3 foot deep kitty litter on it. It ate my tire.  I jumped up and fiddled with my pedals again and was off.

The rest of Skids went OK . I was tired, stressed and just couldn’t get my flow.  I could see the bottom of the mountain MANY MANY miles away.  i just couldnt find my MOJO. My brain and my body were no longer connecting,  It was no longer fun,   I survived the very “pedal heavy” middle sections and came onto the start of Follow Me.  I could hear the crowds raging below. I was already about 13 minutes in and I knew I was about one error away from hitting my face on my handlebars. Or just crying.  

I cinally made it through a section I had dug Myrie out of a tree the day before after a hilarious fall.   At this point I knew the heavy Gnar was just getting started.  I could hear the cow bells of the spectators below through my full face helmet.  Then my fatigue went to a whole new level……..My pace had slowed heavily. Every drop section had me barely hanging on to my ODI Grips. Luckily my husband had swyxhsd them out the day prior     I needed all of them.   The rock gardens felt stacked on top of each other with loose scary kitty litter chuttes separating them.   There was no rest sections for your mind or body. My calves and Quads were burning as I hadn’t sat in the seat once yet.   I was racing.  I wanted that podium so bad. 

Then the real drama started. The racers behind me (all men) had stared to catch me.  I was practically getting ran over. I would pull to a safe spot, let them pass, get caught up in my pedals, get it together, wreck, pull over, repeat.  I finally got into the worst of the hard sections and I saw my sweet boy Justice.  I couldn’t even get out a smile. Later he told me he knew I needed all of his support at that moment. So He was screaming his head off for me to stand up, pedal and go after the section. “ Send it Mom” he was screaming.     This was the bottom of Follow Me. Around the next corner was my daughter Zoe in the same manner. She was in my face.   At one point through the hardest 20 feet of the trail I screamed at her to SHUT UP!! LOL  I was completely falling apart. People were standing everywhere with cowbells in my face, and all I could do was try to hold it together for 1 more minute, PIN IT and finish.

I  crossed the finish line literally in tears to a 3rd PLACE! I fell to the ground and couldn’t even remove my goggles.  I just sobbed.  I am still to this day not sure if it was the dedication to my father, the demands of the race, the recent move, or just plain success, but I was emotionally DONE.  

I don’t know why I question my abilities before every hard race, why I torture myself for days with self doubt.  But I do it and I am working on it. We are all just a work in progress.  I have people all the time ask me how I am so fearless……OH HONEY CHILD,  I AM NOT.  I am afraid.  Yet I am living so I just keep charging ahead one technical stage at a time.  Don’t be afraid to Take out the Trash in your life and hit the Posium     As my daughter likes to say “I’m still gonna send it” 

Women’s Mindset Winner’s Box

Yeah Yeah I know!! Stop talking about it Holly. I can’t . Its not in my DNA. I have this horrid thing called passion.  Trust me when I say I annoy even myself sometimes.

So this week we had a huge change in our country. We had the inauguration of Donald Trump as our president.  Some hate him, some love him, some not so sure.  Well at the end of the day we are stuck with him. Like it or not he’s our president. I have a lot of national pride so I choose to stand behind our president. I have stood behind them all.  Thats what it means to be patriotic.  Im a proud patriot.

I’m sure if Hillary would’ve won I would’ve cried a a small tear and cussed then went on about my business.  Yeah I voted for The Donald.  I like him.  Sure he grabbed a girls crotch. Want to freak out ….record me and my girlfriends talking a bottle of wine deep.  Come on!!! LOL  We all have our reasons for the way we vote.  We vote for different reasons….mostly its based on our life experiences.  Thats all fine and dandy. Its what makes our nation so incredible. You can, I can and everyone else can.

You know what else makes our nation so incredible? The strong and fiercely independent women of our great country. Sure the glass ceiling may still be there for some in the business world.  There are many numbers and statistics that go together when depriving these figures though. As a student of numbers,  I look at things like what was used to come up with these statistics. How and where are women being underpaid to do the same work as a man.  Well first of all……..we have babies. So if you have 100 of us women, 75 of us will have children.  During those child bearing years most of us have to give our careers a backseat to the rigors of motherhood. This sets us back. And thats ok.  I’ve had 4. I would be rich by now!! However I made an investment in my family.  That was my CHOICE. I can’t expect to be at the same pay rate as a man or women who has had no distractions to their career.  .  I work with one of the top 100 franchises in the world.  We have a female CEO. She is a mom.

So I choose not to buy into these stats. I just don’t relate. I’m sure there are women who aren’t paid fairly. There are men too. My husband is a stay at home dad.  HIs pay sucks!!  I make more money than my male friends all while nursing babies and carrying humans around in my uterus. I have done deals while minutes away from natural childbirth. Its a mind set. I love working.  I also love being a mom. Would my income be higher right now had I not been having babies the last 10 years. HECK YES IT WOULD! I kept working but I was very distracted and pretty much just doing what I had to to make ends meet. Not exceed.  So to put me side by side with a man who hasn’t  pushed a human out of their vagina would just be kinda silly wouldn’t it.

Now let me please talk about these women’s marches. It was a huge disconnect for me. I don’t relate to these women. I grew up poor as hell. I wore clothes to school that my mother made me out of material we found in a dumpster. A dumpster that smelled like bum piss. We never owned a home and moved every year. I was never in a school longer than a year…ever.  My father was a disabled veteran who passed in my early 20’s with little help from our government (nice way to treat a Vietnam vet eh…if anyone needs a march its these guys and gals) while our crackhead neighbor was completely taken care of. My life hasn’t been peaches and cream.  I’ve seen enough to say with 100% certainty, we have choices.  The government will never be perfect.  I never really considered that an option. We win, we lose and we accept outcomes like adults.

I worked two jobs , had no family support to help care for them and I did it.   Why? Well because I knew I could.  I never got welfare or anything. Did I try? Nope. Should I have….probably.  Do I look down on women that do?  Absolutely not. Do I look down on ones that abuse the system……HELL YES!  I even had women say to me  this week “well just because it worked for you!”  What does that mean? Just because I didn’t wait for my night in shining armor to rescue me? And what worked?My hard work? It sure did !! Or that I choose not to bitch and complain?  SO now as a strong woman I don’t get the respect of the ones who complain? I should march against them!  I FIND OTHER WOMEN MORE OPPRESSIVE THAN ANY GOVERNMENT HERE.   And that is why this was not MY MARCH.

I don’t relate to the women out there wearing pink pussy hats holding signs disrespecting our new leader.  I just found it frustrating that there are actual women’s issues in this world that should be handled. (lets deal with Monsanto since it’s making our babies sick, or fight for making our own health choices for our children like getting rid of forced vaccinations) However piggy backing an ANTI TRUMP rally as if its a women’s rights rally appalled me. It appalled me because it didn’t represent all women. It only represented the women angry that Bernie or Hillary didn’t win.  This is exactly the problem with the vast majority of the people in our country. Complainers..

We have such an amazing country. Our women can ride bikes, bear children in the manner they choose, work alongside men , make our own health choices, vote, show our boobs, or cover them up, practice religion, wear pants, use cuss words, go to bars, etc. It never ends.  I have never felt oppressed. Not once. If we get raped we don’t get Stoned to death, or our lady parts mutilated. Come on….

What we have in this country is a huge mind set issue. We choose to see the world how we want. We can either cry about it or stand up and be the change we seek.  Marching in vagina costumes is not the change we seek my friends.  The change we seek is reassuring our daughters that they can 100% be anything they want to be. The option is there. Weather or not they decide to take it…..well that is unto them.  My daughters will, I can assure you of that.

Today I rode my bike. I rode with men.  They schooled me on the technical sections and high five’d me on my endeavor.  Did it cross their minds that I was even a woman. Probably not! LOL  Sure I cuss like a sailor and think fart jokes are funny.  Yet at work I wear heels, makeup and can sit in a board room any day and handle my business. I can talk about foreign affairs with a Chinese investor and then rap with a commercial lender about cap rates and market trends. I can be anything I want. I am still figuring out who that is.  Its my choice. I have many choices.

Come on ladies. Unless I missed something you have more rights than any of you will ever even use. So get up off your butts and take whats yours…I HAVE!

There was a day when I doubted myself as a woman. It wasn’t my presidents fault. It was mine.  My good girlfriend Pamela took me by the hand and told me I could do it. At the time the market had crashed and I had two babies. I was flat broke and terrified, and a single mom.  Its all I needed to hear. When it came from her it just meant more.

Tonight I did the same for one of my lady friends.  I am kindly urging her to race this weekend because I know she will kill it.  I am also pushing her to follow her business adventures. She’s a talented pastry chef.  Its her time. She just doesn’t know it yet.  On a bike she’s one of the fastest ladies I know …yet she questions herself.  We all do. SO march for that! March for mind set changes in our women and children.  March to help them see themselves for what they are……beautiful women who can be the change they so desperately seek.

No one is holding us back but ourselves. God Bless America. Go find your winners box and stand on it.  You will be amazed how few women realize what they are capable of. Grab their hands and help them see what you see.

For now ….we ride. And eat pastry’s.




Self Love and Power

I once lived on oranges, ramen noodles and toothpaste for 6 months.  I slept under boulders in Yosemite National park, smoked used cigarette butts out of ashtrays at the Yosemite Deli and lived life by my own terms. I had dreadlocks, a dream and what I thought to be a clear vision plan.  I would never be boring.  More importantly I would never be weak.

Being a self described dirt bag was easy. I had grown up dirt poor so living simple was easy.  I truly didn’t know much else. So this was my plan. I would spend a couple more years hitchhiking and dirt bagging my way from climbing area to climbing area and then I would go figure the rest out. I was in no hurry,  The mountains had called me and I answered.

One dreamy morning years into my groove I found myself sleeping behind the infamous Camp 4 in Yosemite National Park under a boulder.  Climbing bums didn’t pay for camping! Anyone even remotely connected to the rock climbing community knew this was the place to be.  Rangers would make their rounds around 7 am so I was up by 630, and off to El Cap meadow to handle my morning ritual. This is where my best thinking happened.  Peeling an orange I slowly ate my rations for the am and enjoyed it’s sweet grandeur.

As I lay there I stared up at El Capitan’s intense beauty. My dreadlocks below me acting as a pillow, I could see climbers up on its 3000+ foot face. The climbing life was foot loose and fancy free but after a few years of keeping this pace I was starting to yearn for something normal,  like a bed.

I wanted to go to college, I wanted a writing career and a family. I knew the party was over that morning so I was in deep reflection mode. I made a solid promise to myself as the morning dew was still settling on my face. Number one,  I would always love myself as I had these past years in the mountains,  and I would never stop being me.  Oh,  and I would never be a soccer mom. (Insert eye roll here, oops).  At that time I really didn’t know how profound this moment would be later in life.

Fast forward 21 years. I am all the things I said I wouldn’t be. I drive a Luxury SUV, live in the Southern California suburbs (The mountains here are its bitsy), I’m in Real Estate Sales, (Never would’ve guessed that one)  and my daily lists look more like this.

  1. work
  2. kids
  3. ride
  4. repeat

Those years in the mountains I pushed my levels of physical endurance to the ends of my psyche.  I did long backpacking trips for weeks on end alone SCARED OUT OF MY MIND, I would do a 12 mile trail run for lunch IN FULL SUFFER MODE, and a 3 hour climbing session before dinner. On a typical day climbing I would have to use all of my mental energy to focus so I didn’t die. This threat was real as silly as it sounds. Most of my friends from those days are gone. Many from sports induced trauma. I considered myself strong mentally and physically.

Well when I left that life I didn’t go back. 4 kids later I am here, I am alive and I have the scars to prove it. Bikes have given me my life back and have kept that valuable need for adventure my soul seeks.  One ride at a time I am finding that old Holly again. Sometimes I still sit somewhere alone on a trail and peel an orange. That quiet solitude when I hear nothing but the wind flowing through the trees,  do I feel the core of who I am settle. Many times I sat there and said to myself,  “But do you feel strong…………I think so?”

And then I go home where all hell is breaking loose. Only mothers of 4 little ones may follow my anxiety moving forward…..HAHA

Jesus take the wheel! Its not uncommon for me to walk in to 2 babies crying, one teenager that hates the world and a 10 year old boy that is a hyper active example of hyper active. They all take their “crazy” to a new level.  Not sure what I expected when I spread my genes around like I did. My children can rattle even the most relaxed visiter. My own mother is often found sitting in her car in our driveway when my husband and I return from date night,  She’s like, Im out!  Yes my kids seek adventure as feverishly as I have and their energy levels reflect that.

mom photo 7

They make me completely nuts. They tire me to my very core. The endurance I need to be their Mother makes a mockery of my previous life of Marathons, backpacking trips and Ironman’s. My mom-self laughs at what I used to think was strong. Oh you ran 26.2 miles uphill in the snow? How cute.  Spend a day with these assholes on 4 hours of sleep day in and day out and lets see what you are made of.  I assure you its a suburban soccer mom version of Hell Week.  They make me feel weak as hell and there are days I feel like I can’t be their mom.  I am wrecked mentally and physically.

holly mom 19

Get up for School, then drop offs, pick ups, (someone forgot there lunch) , babies wiping poo on the wall, 4 year old has locked herself in the bathroom again, I’m late late late, dogs are howling at a ice-cream truck, work, work work, baby hears ice-cream truck and also howls, soccer practice, nap times, dinner time, bed times, tantrum time, “witching” hour time and FML life time. At around 7 every evening my hubs and I can take no more. Please God let them sleep. Yeah they don’t sleep. Alcohol, coffee, repeat!

holly mom pic 9

Knarly Marley has a Complete meltdown over a lady bug

MY girlfriends and I laugh that my house is an all out shit show. But its our shit show and we love every second of it. Well most of the time we do………14 years ago my first baby was born over a month early right after my cancer went into remission. We named her ZOE (greek word for life), then came Justice (all 9lbs 7 oz of him). I knew this kid was going to kick my ass up and down but he was cute in his hyper tazmanian devil  sort of a way.

The mom thing, I was rocking it . However when it came to my poor body I was trashed.   My body was tore back. I was sad and frustrated but I knew with hard work I would get my sexy body back. Right before I got pregnant wth Justice  my body was so rad I was a featured athlete in 4 page article inBest Body Magazine. I got most of my body back. Sorta……

Well then came my 3rd  (9 lb 3 oz), my baby girl Marley. Oh hot damn this chick was rowdy from day one.   My poor body was now starting to go to a place of no return.  But guess what? It sorta went back. Then came Willy……………>WELL SHIT! Point of no return,  This guy weighed in at 9 lb 14 oz. and came via C-Section. SIGH……the surgery was horrific as was the recovery.

After 4 pregnancies with the little punks laying the LONG ways in my stomach and having no remorse for my body I was left with some pretty gnarly carnage on my abdomen. I would spend long minutes staring at it in disbelief. How could this happen? I would never rock a bikini again. another heavy Sigh…………..

I sat many hours staring at my stomach. I hated it,  or did I love it? I wasn’t sure.  Some days I would almost cry looking at it, there were even days I was quite proud of it. It was a perfect replication of something I couldn’t control.   Sit ups wouldn’t fix it. 3000 miles on the bike didn’t change it.  It just hung there slack,  mocking me, just like my children. The challenge of loving it lurked in my thoughts through most days as I shoved it into spanx for work, tucked it into chamois for riding and sucked it in when I could.

holly mom 14

My new challenge would be learning to truly love it.  Not just pretend love it when I was pretending to be strong minded.  This took deep reflection.  Remember I promised myself I would never be weak. What does that mean?  Shit I am a human woman! I like looking good! But what does that mean? The journey began to work on my mind set.

mom photo 5

So with my youngest 2nd  birthday coming up on me in the next couple months , I made the decision, its time to rock the shit out of my MOM body. Its way more rad than any of my Enduro injuries, way more brutal than any sports injury and way more fascinating than any boring bruise.  My children permanently branded me with their bodies as they grew in mine.  How do I get to that point where I really truly accept and love the body I was blessed with?

holly photo

When I broke it down I have been either pregnant or breastfeeding for 10 years of my LIFE! WOW cut a lady some slack will you Holly! SO I started with committing to this photo shoot over 6 months ago.  During that time I truly seeked the answers to my insecurity.  I’ll be honest I never found that answer.  Maybe there isn’t one.

MY stomach was a constant reminder of the sacrifices I have made for our babies and will joyfully continue to make. Life isn’t perfect , and motherhood in my world is a shit show so why should my abs look any different?  They don’t define me.  I would no longer see my stretch marks and empty layers of loose skin as a defeat.  Instead I would see them as my trophy.  I LOVE TROPHIES! “SO come on girl…….look at yourself,”  I would plead within.

mom photo 6

The day came for the photo shoot,  I was nervous, excited and apprehensive.   I have hidden my stomach for so long when I took my shirt off for the this photoshoot I felt as vulnerable as I if I was baring my Vagina. True story. I started to sweat I was so nervous.  I took a deep breath. Then the moment happened.  MY children (all four of them) put their little hands on my belly. I fought back tears.  The intense gratitude I felt for them sharing this moment with me completely made the mind shift I was seeking. I loved my mom bod! Guess what , so did they, and so does my husband. Yeah he was checking me out. I saw his eyes. LOL

holly mom 12

Its funny how people can perceive me. I hear all the time how tough people think I am. I am self conscious and have things that make me insecure, just like anyone else. When I tell them how profound of an experience motherhood  and the changes in my body has been for me they blank stare me.

For me the BIG moment was knowing that I had almost faked myself into believing I loved myself.  Remember I would never be weak and I would never be boring. Well I now realize its in these weak moments that help us have a huge powerful break through. I have broken through my friends! I am on the other side.


My body feels strong. I feel powerful as a woman and as a mother.  I feel sexy and love watching my husband pine for me.  I love feeling my abdominals hiding under my loose and scarred stomach.  My abdominals fire now and guide my body through technical Enduro trails on my bike. I could kick your ass if I wanted to. (A little giggle for my close friends)  HAHA   I am on fire right now and I truly love my body. What a journey this has been.

holly mom photo

I made it!

I wonder how many people do this ? DO you really love yourself? Be honest. Seeing how STRONG I look in these photos helped me see Me for who I really am. I am Strong, scarred and RAD! I urge you to really look at yourself for the beauty created. My scars are a road map of where I have been and where I will go. These children of mine in all their wild glory knew exactly what they were doing when they chose me as their mother. Out of respect for them and the GOD that gave them to me I will love my body for the rest of my life. Amen sisters,  and I hope you can do the same.


Thank you Zoe.  Thank you Justice.  Thank you Marley and thank you Baby Willie. I adore you 4 to the moon and back and would shred my body limb by limb and do it all over again for you in a heart beat. You are glorious.

mom photo 9


So Cheers, eat an orange, live life by your own terms,  be authentic, and a big huge salute to all the mom and dad bods out there. Lets ride!