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She Took A Leap Of Faith And Found Her Wings Were There All Along

by Bonnie Lake


Bonnie-Lake-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1For thirty-five five years I lived a secret life.  I was bulimic and did not want anyone to know. I feared life because it was not like a Math Problem but instead like an English problem.  Instead of being black and white with a definitive answer, it was gray with many different meanings. I closed myself off from anything that would take me out of my comfort zone. After many years of wondering why I was this way and working on getting better, in June of 2013, it all of a sudden made sense and I have been clean since then.  What do I do now? I am emotionally scared. Fifty-one years old and have the emotional maturity of a sixteen year old.   

Bonnie-Lake-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1After twenty-one years of carpooling with my husband, we purchased another vehicle for me to drive. My daily driver ended up being a 2006 LJ. We had wanted, and looked for a Jeep for a while and this seemed to be perfect fit. Which I can say today was the best decision ever made. I had not driven a Jeep before let alone been out wheeling in one.  My off-road experience involved quads and the sand dunes.  This was a whole new experience for me.  It was cool and relaxing.  My husband drove while I sat in the passenger seat like a tourist. Looking out the window enjoying the views and the scenery, I was not paying much attention to where we were at or anything trail related.  I was the passenger enjoying the afternoon in my Jeep.  Ha! Ha! Ha!  I should have been paying more attention to what my husband was doing and how he was doing it.  But I did not.

Bonnie-Lake-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1Being involved with the Ladies Offroad Network, I have been given the opportunity to learn how to do recovery and many other of aspects of recovery such as how to work a winch, a Hi-Lift Jack and Pull-Pal along with how to plug and change a tire. The best opportunity I have had in my life with being selected as one of the ladies for the Wild Wheeling Weekend here in Arizona. Nine other ladies were selected to come to Arizona for four days with wheeling activities each day. 

Bonnie-Lake-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1Being from Arizona, I did not have to travel far for the adventure.  The others traveled from Michigan, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California. I was so excited for the adventurous weekend, not really knowing what all was planned or what we were going to do. Thursday we rolled out and did a final fuel up before heading out just to have one of the Jeep's radiator go bad.  It had a crack in it so we left the vehicle at my house, which was just around the corner. The day was a typical hot day in Arizona. We made it about 10 miles into the trail when my temperature gauge went crazy. I stopped immediately. Sure enough, I had a crack in my radiator too.  We analyzed the problem then took a short break for lunch. There was no fixing the radiator out on the trail so we towed my Jeep back to the pavement. The other ladies took turns on towing me out using 2 different towing straps, a regular strap and a kinetic strap. Towing with a regular tow strap and a kinetic tow strap was great learning for all of the ladies and a great experience for me for I had never been towed before.

Bonnie-Lake-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1Friday I did not get to drive my Jeep due to getting the radiator fixed so instead had the honor of co-driving with Tonya Mercer.  Her Toyota was acting up earlier that day and she was concerned something may break and we would be in the same situation as the day before. After a quick check of the vehicle we were off for day 2 of our adventure. I was asked to go with Tonya to keep her calm due the vehicle issues she was having and provide moral support. What she did not realize, was I had dreading going out wheeling on my own and I needed the moral support.  I had never driven on the trails by myself.  I had always been the tourist enjoying the view. Now I had to step up to the plate and put what I had been learning to work. Yes,the trail did present issues for the day but as a team we grouped together and resolved the problems, and making it back home safe and sound.

Bonnie-Lake-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1Day three is here and my Jeep has been repaired and ready to go.  I am terrified to death but too afraid to saying anything.  I was here to go wheeling and not wimp out. I did not get the co-driver I wanted and felt even more scared. This was my first time out on the Arizona Trails by myself without my husband. The fear seemed overwhelming but I knew I had to conquer the fear.  I could not let the others down or hold them back. I drove my way up through the obstacles and conquered my fears. My co-driver was amazing and I had nothing to fear. By conquering my fears, my level of confidence rose from 0 to 10.  I knew now that I could do this and I could enjoy it. 

Bonnie-Lake-Ladies-Offroad-Challenge1In all of the activities I have attended or been a part of, the WE Rock series has been the most exhilarating!My husband and I went to Congress, AZ to support our friends at a rock crawling event.  I had never heard of this or attended an event so was excited. Instead of being spectators, we ended up being judges to one of the courses. Again, I was in a new situation not knowing anything about it but I did not let that stop me. Instead I learned what I needed to do for the day and loved every moment. Because of this fluke of events I stepped out of my comfort zone and found I had developed a passion to rock crawl. My goals are to build a buggy and compete in the rock crawling contests. I will be a WE Rock Crawling Champion!

My Journey can be compared to the life of a caterpillar. Crawling around in life and later living in a cocoon only to emerge as a butterfly. Being more involved in the off-road circle is like being a part of one HUGE family. We take care of each other and never leave anyone behind. We build each other up. In the past 3 years I have learned so much and want to learn much more. My Journey continues to allow me to grow from within but also allows me to help others. Life is hard. John Maxwell states: “Everything worth having is up hill.”  How you approach the hills in your life is how you approach life.  We must honor the struggle! I took a leap of faith and found my wings were there all along!


Posted by: Dulcy Rojas































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