My first Fuji was…
It was an orange and white Supreme --a race bike. I had never ridden a race bike before and had never raced at that point. She was so smooth that I named her Butter!
What kind of impact did cycling have on your life?
I came to cycling in my late 30’s because my knees could no longer take the pounding of running. Depending on what was going on in family life and work, I was on-and-off with recreational and fitness cycling for decades but, I always came back to the bike when life allowed.
When I turned 50, I decided that I would take the year to do new things and things that stretched me physically, as well as intellectually. As it turned out, all of my "new" things centered around the bike --I did a 7-day bike trip in Girona, Spain with 10 of my favorite people (almost all novices to cycling and hadn't been on a bike since they were kids) and I decided to compete at the 2015 USA Cycling Masters National Track Championships. I had foot surgery that year and only had two months to train. I did well at Nationals that year, but more importantly I realized that I loved it --the speed, the competition, the social aspect of the sport. I also loved that there was so much that Ididn't know and understand about track cycling. Fuji was a huge part of what I called my Year 50 Journey. We all rode Fujis in Girona and all of my track bikes have been Fujis. Well beyond the bikes, it was the team at Fuji that made the biggest difference when I started to race competitively. I would never have had the confidence to do what I did without the encouragement from warehouse mechanics to the executive team
I had discovered my sport and from that point forward, I decided that I would work toward mastery each year learning more and improving my track cycling skills. I've been surprised by how much of this journey has reflected the way that I lead, but also how much of it has made me a better leader in work and family life.
Now, at age 55, I’ve been able to use my Fujis to navigate new challenges. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in April 2019 while I was recovering from knee surgery (after competing with a torn meniscus all of 2018). Yes, a lot happened in 2019. It was scary. I lost over 20 pounds in less than a month –I didn’t mind the loss of fat, but the loss of muscle mass was not okay! I felt that my body had betrayed me, but with the support of a solid medical team, nutritionist, cycling coach and strength trainer I was able to achieve three personal bests over the course of the 2019 season and medal at Nationals. But, this was the year that medals didn't matter to me –I was then, and am now, focused on being holistically healthy. Being on my bike is a big part of that goal. And, it is not an overstatement to say that my road and track Fujis are literally helping me manage my diabetes, keep me healthy, and live a full life. PBs and medals are just a bonus.