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Pushing Myself

by Taunya Jones

Taunya-Jones-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1So, back in 2007 after graduating from Surgical Technology school I decided to purchase my very first Jeep.  Now mind you it was the first year of the 4 door and I absolutely had to have one! No mods other than a little more aggressive tread. Took it out on some mild to moderate trails and was blown away with what it could do! Then came 2011 and I wanted a hardtop or so I thought, and traded my 2007 for one. Now this one went offroad even more than the last one and again no upgrades other than tires.

Taunya-Jones-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1After going out and doing more technical stuff, it was time for some serious upgrades or a new Jeep. So, I pulled the trigger and bought a 2014 Rubicon that was sweet! It was brand new with a 4.5 inch lift, aftermarket wheels, and rock sliders. My husband was just awesome and started doing some pretty serious upgrades for me and then started taking me out on much more serious trails and obstacles.

With that being said my skills also needed to become more serious. I’m not going to lie... I thought I could just start driving over, through, and around crazy cool stuff but I was wrong! Taunya-Jones-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1I don’t know if it was fear of messing up my Jeep because it’s also my daily driver or if I just got old and less fearless. I know some people who wheel and just have the awesome knack of being able to pick great lines most of the time so I really try to pay attention to what they are doing. I would be like, I can do this too and then not being so sure of myself.  Why? I have no clue but I am working really hard on fixing that Taunya-Jones-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1part of my brain! I am very fortunate to have people that encourage me and cheer me on when I’m not so sure of myself.

I have been on some cool trips and have made many new friends along the way. My favorite place that I’ve been to is Moab, Utah, which is where I first met Charlene.  Meeting her gave me a whole new outlook on women and the off-road industry. It made me realize that there are so many other ladies out there doing Taunya-Jones-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1similar things. Everyone is at different levels but everyone had to start somewhere, right? Just knowing that there were so many other like minded women gave me more confidence on the inside. Sounds weird I know, but I knew that I had a place to go for advice, support or whatever I needed and someone one would always being willing to help. I was experiencing some extreme upheaval in my life at one point and so many of the awesome ladies in this group were so encouraging. They checked in with me to see how I was or just dropped me some kind words. Taunya-Jones-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1They will never, ever know just how much it meant to me.

Becoming a part of the original co-driver challenge is what lead to all of this. It has made me want to go so many place! I am fortunate because where I live there are awesome place to go off-roading.  I can drive 30 minutes or 3 hours and be at some cool place. I have some places that I want to go to that are on my bucket list: The Rubicon, KOH, and Glamis are my top 3 right now and I would love to check them off within the next 7 years.

Taunya-Jones-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1I know for a fact that my rig is way more capable than my skill level and that’s awesome because that means I have lots of opportunities to increase my skill and knowledge when it comes to off-roading. I am always learning and educating myself when it comes to my vehicle components and how it all works together.  I like to know and to work on things as well, besides just general maintenance.

For a long time I was just content in the passenger seat chillin' and taking care of food, supplies and what not. Then I was like wait a minute! What am I doing? I have this awesome Jeep and I need to be the one driving! So that is what I started doing. Luckily I have an excellent mechanic, spotter, and mentor with the patience of Jobe! I am lucky to have never asked a ”dumb” question and have totally been encouraged every step of the way.   I've been told not to worry about what other people think of my skill level or how dumb I think I look out on the trail. I don’t know why I worry about that stuff anyway but sometimes I do.

There are not tons of ladies where I am to go out on the trails with but I’m going to try and work on that. I absolutely hate writing about myself and this is really out of my comfort zone, but I’ve learned that we don’t get any better if we don’t push ourselves and this is me totally pushing myself!

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Posted by: Dulcy Rojas

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