by Tamika Willstead
It has been a little over a year since I wrote my story for the 2018 Ladies Offroad Challenge. A lot has happened since then. Its been one amazing adventure after another.
I made it to the top 10 weekend, I met some amazing women who have become life long friends. I met some amazing people in the offroad industry, and will never forget this experience. I ultimately made it to the Yukon Gears experience in Washington. It was Kat, me and Theresa that made the trip out there. It was another amazing experience. I learned a lot, met amazing people and even got to wheel "Frankie". Followed by my 1st Ladies Offroad Convention. I will never miss another one. I made life long friends, and learned so many new things I can't even begin to explain how so much education and experience was shoved into 4 days. It is an event that is not to be missed! And then followed by King of the Hammers adventure earlier this year. KOH changed my life. I got to meet Jessie Combs, and wheel with some awesome people from AZ. I got to be part of so many experiences, BFG pitcrew for a day, drivers meeting, behind the scene type of stuff. I traveled there with another LON member(Kathy) who I never met before Ladies Offroad Network. Probably one of the best weeks of my life! I hope to go back next year! And being able to have a safe place with LON made everything that much better!
My goals have changed a little. I graduated last year from welding school and wanted to pursue a career in the offroad industry. Well, I have learned a lot more about the offroad community in the last year. For one, the midwest (where I live) is not the prime place to be to work on offroad vehicles. I even traveled out west for a job interview. My challenge with this is starting over. Yes I raised my boys, they are all graduated from high school and one from college. So why can't I just make the jump and go where the wind takes me? Still trying to figure that out. I love being involved in the offroad industry. It's pure adrenaline, it's ever changing, it's challenging, it's rewarding, it's all things amazing. Just trying to figure out where I belong in it. So far that is Ladies Offroad Network.
I truly believe in Charlene and what she has built for us. The challenge every year reminds us where we came from, and where we are going. It educates us, pushes us to our limits and even reminds us of our goals, dreams, and affirmations in life. This challenge has been a little different than last year. Its all together a little harder but I totally understand why. It supposed to be a challenge, duh, lol! I don't deal with change too well and I've been procrastinating writing my story. I don't like writing about myself. Who does, right? Who wants to put their struggles out there for the world to see. Well I learned after last year a lot of people have gone through some of the same things I did. People reached out to me, thanking me and telling me that they too struggle with PTSD or mental illness. And them seeing me overcoming life struggles, picking myself up and still enjoying my life, made them more motivated. Yes I still deal with C-PTSD, mental illness, and Fibromyalgia, but I quit using it as an excuse and used it as motivation. I have good days and bad days still. But being involved with Ladies Offroad Network has helped me immensely. It reminds me I am not alone in this journey. It reminds me I'm still learning everyday and I have an amazing support group with this tribe of amazing women.
I haven't been able to to do as much offroading as I would like right now, but educating myself and preparing myself for my next adventure is my goal. Who knows what the future holds for me, but I'm keeping my options open and educating myself along the way! Love the life you're in, if you don't, then do something about it. Educate yourself and make it better! I did!
Posted by: Dulcy Rojas