Author: Trisha McMurray
I started my adventure with Ladies Offroad Network in 2016. I ran across a post searching for ladies that loved to wheel and who wanted to co-drive with an amazing woman from the industry. I needed something in my life, a change. I had just come out of a 12 year relationship with a man who had taught me everything I knew wheeling. It was a devastating life changer but I had to conquer and overcome. I loved wheeling and wasn’t going to stop, I was just starting over. I was running with 90 other women that were avid wheelers, known in the wheeling community, that was a struggle but a challenge. I did not make the cut but I was determined to do it again when the opportunity arose.
During the next year I pushed myself to get more involved, be open to new things and get myself out of my box. In 2017 the Ladies Offroad Challenge appeared again and I was anxious to do it it again, but better. I knew I was capable and I wanted so badly to break into this. I put myself out there on social media which I had been teaching myself to use for the prior year. I wanted to be a Co-Driver so bad! I wanted to get out there and show people what I was capable of. I knew I had a lot to offer but only my friends and the crew I wheeled with knew that. I wanted to get out there, outside of my comfort level and see if I was all that I thought I was. During the initial Vote of Confidence time I really had to get creative with my posts, I was looking and reaching out to anyone that would see me and see my passion. Although I didn’t get as many votes and I wanted I still challenged myself and felt good with the effort that I put into it.
The day of decision came and I was so nervous! I couldn’t listen to the live broadcast, I had to workout and get over my nerves. I went to my Facebook to listen to Charlene. When I heard Charlene say my name I could not believe it, I had to listen to it again. Did she really say my name? My friends listened to the live broadcast as well, they were so excited for me! Although I really wanted to get away and actually cover an event, I was totally excited about the adventure I would be taking, and it would be just a fun one. No work involved. A trip to meet other ladies with the same passion as mine, and hangout with Charlene? Yes! I could barely contain myself, this would be a trip of a lifetime. I couldn’t believe that I was really going!
When I started planning my trip it became clear to me that I really don’t get away like this enough. Normally my trips include my boyfriend, my truck, camping, a known trail, friends, my dog, my kids, and all the comforts in my life. I was doing this all on my own, getting a plane ticket, figuring out rides, what to pack and what the heck I was getting myself into. I knew I was getting away to an amazing opportunity but this was really out of my comfort zone. I knew I was capable I just needed to keep going!
When it came down to the last week, the week I was leaving, I started to slide backwards. It was stressing me out, but I knew I had to keep going, keep climbing for my goal. I had a lot to prepare for my absence but my goal was worth the work! I was strong and I could make this happen. When I got to the airport, I knew this was going to be special and amazing. I still could not believe I was doing this. A girl from a small town that liked to play in the forest, rocks, dirt and trails was going to Arizona to wheel with some cool ladies that liked to wheel like me!
When I got to Arizona I had to use Uber, again something I’ve NEVER done before, but actually very easy to use. So here I am, out of my small town, out of California and in this unknown place with ladies I’d only talked to through social media. “One foot in front of the other” is what I always tell myself, when life throws me a curve-ball or at work when I get challenged or when I’m hiking and my legs are starting to ache. I was a strong woman that was on a mission.
When I got to the house I was greeted and welcomed by some wonderful ladies! I felt comfortable and at ease finally... I made it! During the first night it was great talking with everyone and getting to know who these women were and what they were about. We had some great commonalities and I knew this trip would be awesome!
The first day of our trip was not ideal and casual. We were given some challenges right off the bat-breakdowns! But that’s ok, that is life. Definitely my life anyways, at times it feels like no matter how hard I try the black cloud follows me. We then had to brainstorm and work our way out of this moment. This was a great learning experience for a lot of ladies but to me it felt pretty normal. Life challenges were nothing new to me-just stop, take a breath, evaluate and think and then fix it. I’ve been on enough wheeling trips with breakdowns to last a lifetime. Finding solutions and getting it done is the only option.
The next few days were exciting and fun, with lots of teachable moments. Lots of time to get to know these wonderful ladies and what they were about. Their experiences and abilities, their strengths and weaknesses, their kindness and passions. I was starting to realize and reflect on myself as well. I did have a lot of knowledge and experience but it took this trip for me to realize this. I was out of my comfort bubble, and it took this trip for me to gain that confidence. It took this trip for me to realize a lot about myself and grow as an independent woman.
Author: Trisha McMurray