Author: Trisha Glezen
Even though my career was never based on working in a garage, I still found myself drawn to it. My father never taught me how to even change my oil, and I was never welcomed in the garage. As I grew older, boyfriends would teach me more. I was always eager to learn about vehicles because I had such a love for them. I always prided myself in being independent and understanding a vehicle, so I tried to gain as much knowledge as I could from those who would teach me.
Some of the best memories I have originate in the garage. My best friend, Scooter, was the most talented mechanic I knew. He could make anything run and understood everything about a vehicle. I strived to be even half as good as he was. He was more than ecstatic to share his skills with me, and this is where I began to really understand and grasp more skills. We had more laughs and frustrating moments than I can count in that garage, those memories mean the world to me now that he is gone. He taught me how to MIG weld when we installed the truss on my axle that we built together. Since then, I have dabbled with small welding projects, but I always had someone by my side telling me what to do. I felt far from confident with welding and wanted to change this.
When Ladies Offroad Network posted an opportunity to go to The Fab School in California as part of the Ladies Offroad Garage, I didn’t have to think twice. Although I was initially panicked and thinking, "What if I’m not good enough? What if I mess up?", I quickly reminded myself that it was SCHOOL after all, that its purpose was to teach us more and not expect us to be professionals. I was ecstatic when a good friend of mine, Ann Woodward Mallery, also expressed interest and was quick to sign up. I was dragging my feet to be honest. Sometimes things out of my comfort zone are hard, but with Ann’s encouragement I signed up, excited for a new challenge!
As the event grew closer, I was notified by Charlene that our time at the The Fab School might possibly be limited to one day. Let’s just say I was bummed. Charlene called me to confirm the event change and that she was changing it for the better. She couldn’t tell me what she had planned but promised that it would be worth it. I trusted Charlene and quickly started packing for the unknown. As I had previously spent last year with Charlene during the Ladies Co-Driver Challenge, I knew that Charlene was crazy awesome and always throwing intense events into the mix. So, I prepared for everything, and let’s just say overpacked!
In the end, I understood why Charlene could not tell us what she had planned. One, she did not have confirmation from everyone yet and two, I probably would have been a lot more nervous about things if I knew what we would be doing and who we would be meeting. Looking back on it all, I can’t help to think how fortunate I am to have had this experience. I met the people in the industry responsible for making it what it is today: the icons, the legends, the inventors, and I got to witness all of their hard work and success that they have to show from it. These people were awesome. They were not only talented, but they were humble, appreciative of their success, and eager to share all of the time and quality work that goes into their business.
Let's start with Greg Mulkey, of Raceline Wheels. He designs beadlocks, the technology that wheelers depend on. I shamefully used to think that a wheel was just a wheel, that I only really cared about the tire. Seeing all of the workmanship and design behind the scenes, along with the reasoning behind it all really opened my eyes to the importance of a quality wheel. Now, I can honestly say that I understand the costs behind a good wheel and will never complain about the costs again. Personally, they should charge more after watching what it takes to make them!
I was lucky enough to meet two badass ladies that have made a name for themselves because of their talents and hard work. Sara and Theresa of LGE CTS Motorsports blew me away. Never did I think that I would be holding a paint brush learning how to pinstripe from a professional! Meeting John Currie from Currie Enterprises was another amazing experience. To see how much hard work, welding, and engineering goes into their axles was exciting, to say the least! We also had the pleasure of going to sPod, where we were shown the quality and craftsmanship behind their product. It was another family business that started from a need and wanted to share it with everyone. Meeting Max from Pull-Pal was great; he is such a fun, talented, and ambitious guy. He was so excited that we took to stick welding so fast (even though I didn’t think I did such a great job).
The highlight of my trip was when we pulled in to this random part of town (god knows where we were), and there stood this tiny little blonde woman waving her hands at us. It was Jessi Combs! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I thought I was hallucinating! She welcomed us into her shop with open arms, and I think I was officially on cloud nine. Her shop was probably the raddest shop I had ever seen. I mean, would you expect anything less from Jessi Combs? She was so beautiful, humble, and well spoken that I couldn’t help but become more impressed by her. I could go on and on about our experience with Jessi, but that will be another story submission.
I got to spend four days with some amazing women that shared the same passions as me. It warms my heart to think about the bond that we created this weekend. Rileigh Augustine is one awesome chick! She is so smart when it comes to mechanical work and has gained my utmost respect. She stayed so humble but really knew the ins and outs of a vehicle. I was lucky enough to already know Ann Woodward and Makayla Holstein, both fantastic ladies who I was happy to grow closer to. Seeing other strong women become so successful in a “man's world” only empowered me further. These women worked hard to get where they are today and were nice enough to share their experiences with us. Talk about badass women!
The things that I learned will forever be a part of me, a memory, and a skill that I can show other people. I am so happy that I trusted Charlene because what she gave us was much better than the original event plan. The Fab School was amazing, but we were able to learn a variety of different skills by being “thrown” into different aspects of the off-road industry. From learning MIG, TIG, and stick welding, to pinstriping a vehicle, to vehicle recovery, the skills that I never thought I would have the chance to learn were all given to me in this weekend, and I will always be grateful for that. I don’t know if I would have ever had the opportunities like I had this weekend, and I am excited to broaden my knowledge further and share my skills with those around me. This trip not only taught me new skills, but it deepened my understanding of the complexity of the off-road market. It opened my eyes to the value of a good product, the skillset that is required to make it happen, and the drive that these individuals have. I have gained a new level of confidence in the garage. I find my peace in the garage, and I cherish the memories that I had in the garage with my friend, Scooter. I know that he is so proud of me for doing this, as he always believed in me and knew I was capable of doing more. I am so thankful to Charlene, her team, and those that came together to give us the trip of a lifetime. You are truly all
This trip not only taught me new skills, but it deepened my understanding of the complexity of the off-road market. It opened my eyes to the value of a good product, the skillset that is required to make it happen, and the drive that these individuals have. I have gained a new level of confidence in the garage. I find my peace in the garage, and I cherish the memories that I had in the garage with my friend, Scooter. I know that he is so proud of me for doing this, as he always believed in me and knew I was capable of doing more. I am so thankful to Charlene, her team, and those that came together to give us the trip of a lifetime. You are truly all rockstars, idols, and have my utmost respect as business owners. Thank you!
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See all the action from the 2017 Ladies Offroad Garage!
Kick-Off Dinner - http://bit.ly/2uuUlXa
Day 1 - The FAB School 1: http://bit.ly/2v4r1GA
Day 1 - The FAB School 2: http://bit.ly/2v4rs3p
Day 1 - Photos: http://bit.ly/2sXGtYq
Day 2 - Raceline Wheels Shop Tour: http://bit.ly/2tGWQpe
Day 2 - Jessi Combs Shop Tour: http://bit.ly/2uaR1n1
Day 2 - Currie Enterprises Shop Tour: http://bit.ly/2sXGL1y
Day 2 - LGE-CTS Motorsports Shop Tour: http://bit.ly/2sXSWv3
Day 2 - Photos: http://bit.ly/2ub2fIw
Day 3 - Recovery: http://bit.ly/2tGN5r8
Day 3 - sPOD & Premier Power Welder: http://bit.ly/2sIH4cr
Day 3 - Photos: http://bit.ly/2uJz3Fg
Day 4 - Hollywood: http://bit.ly/2tH6F6S
Day 4 - Venice Beach: http://bit.ly/2t6kytf
Day 4 - Photos: http://bit.ly/2sICmeI
Full Coverage: ladiesoffroadgarage.com/event-coverage
Author: Trisha Glezen