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Buckle Up Life Is A Bumpy Ride

by Jessica Hansen

Would you believe me if I told you, I bought a Jeep and it saved my life? It was July 11th, 2014, my husband had been talking about buying me a new car. One that was safer and bigger than the car I was currently driving. After searching and doing some car shopping, I decided we should look at a Jeep. My husband found one that I fell in love with. The decision to go with this Jeep was not only to be driving a safer larger SUV, but it was going to be the vessel, that would bring me up and out of a dark hole in my life.

Jessica-Hansen-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1Let me take you back 5 years. I lost my grandma in June 2009. She was more like a mother to me than a grandma. She loved me unconditionally and life was going to suck without her. Life wasn't done with the punches yet and in December of that same year, I was diagnosed with cancer. I had surgery and was slowly getting back to normal, somewhat. I had a lingering pain in my right hip that started immediately after my surgery. After almost a year of seeing doctors for this hip pain, my husband and I traveled to Minnesota to seek help. It was there after several months of trips back and forth with more and more tests, they found a tumor. It was found completely by accident Jessica-Hansen-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1while scanning my hip for the source of my pain. I had the answers for my hip pain, but was once again faced with cancer. This was the beginning of a real fight for my life.

Jessica-Hansen-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1With another surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, I was down and out for an entire year. Anything that could have gone wrong, went wrong during treatment. It was during this second time around with cancer, that I fell hard into a sad and dark place. There were many times I questioned if I even wanted to continue to fight for my life. I was extremely sick and hanging on by a thread, all while grieving the loss of someone so close to me. If I wasn't at the hospital, I was at home in bed. With the support and encouragement from my husband, I got through it alive.

After recovering for another year and finally getting back to work, I sought professional help to try and pull myself back up and out of my constant hopeless state. Therapy was helping and I was beginning to find the courage to go on living, when another heartbreak came along. My Grandpa passed away May 2014, and followed by my step dad one week later in June of the same year. All of this loss and struggle physically, was becoming too much to handle. My husband was very aware of my struggles and knew he had to do something to help bring joy back to life.

Jessica-Hansen-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1After being in a bad accident Easter of 2014 with a drunk driver, my husband made the suggestion to purchase a new vehicle. He wanted me to have a safer, durable vehicle. After some discussion and searching , that's when he found my Rubi(that's what I named her). We made the appointment and without even driving her I knew I wanted her. We took her home July 11, 2014.

Over the next few weeks my husband suggested we take Rubi on some trails. This is something I have never done before. We had four wheelers and did some trails locally here in Wisconsin, but he was Jessica-Hansen-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1talking about going to Colorado and Utah. This sounded like a great idea to me and plans were put in place. I had a ton of fun researching, purchasing, and installing upgrades on Rubi in order to be prepared for the trails. September 2014 we hit the road to Colorado and Utah.

I can't explain into words, what that very first trip did for me. I was present and took everything in. We did trails that beginners normally wouldn't do. People thought we were crazy tackling the trails that we chose. After we completed our first trail the spark was lit and I was addicted. After many more trips, my cravings for more adventures grew. I started to feel alive and these adventures were getting me out there, living and enjoying life again. My husband and I have been and hundreds of trails and have put 100,000 miles on Rubi over the past 5 years. We have been on trails and traveled all over the United States and have crossed over into Canada as well.

This Jeep, my Rubi, brought me back to life. When I am out on another adventure in her, whether it be a short weekend trip or a long cross country trek, my past always reminds me that life is short, but I was given another chance to live it. While life can be a bumpy road, I now have a mind set that tells me to buckle up, get out there and enjoy the ride! Adventure awaits!

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Posted by: Dulcy Rojas

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