2017 has been a great year. Even though I raced less, I had an absolute blast, met my expectations, and did not get injured (well, save for the back episode which caused a DNS at The Ozark Trail). I also got to enjoy 3 1/2 weeks on a camp-about with my daughter ... which is priceless! All my sponsors treated me like royalty, to which I can only say a deep and humble "Thank You!" and hope that I was able return their generosity by adding some new members to their respective tribes.
I was heartbroken when my LBS went out of business, but since have been taken in by Scott's Bicycle Center. I am excited to be able to stay on as Ambassador to Industry 9, Christopher Bean Coffee, Chamois Butt'r, Endless Bike Co., and Xpedo. I have yet to reconnect with Hand Up Gloves and Backcountry Research, but hoping they will be on board for 2018 as well.
New for 2018 is Revive Massage Therapy. Virginia has been instrumental in my recovery process for the past 1 1/2 years. She lives to learn and provide the best care for her clients. And she enjoys working on athletes and improving their ability to perform and recover.
I am so happy to say that I have found a team for next year. I am hopping aboard the Rescue Racing team where there mission is not only to make good bike race, but to raise awareness for spay/neuter, microchipping, pet rescue, and animal shelter support.
In additon, Industry 9 is stepping on board to provide tremendous support to the team. I cannot say enough about this company and their willingness to provide support at a grassroots level. But I think that they love our furry little companions as much as the Rescue Racing members do.
I had been thinking for the past couple years about what I could do to "pay it forward." I wanted to tie it into my day job, but just did not have the energy or focus. But since I have stepped down the intensity on racing a notch or two, the door has opened for me to put forth a little more time and effort in other areas.
So I have decided to give back to my community by offering free spay/neuter days. My clinic is on board, as well as several of our drug companies. My staff and I will be giving our time to perform the surgeries as well as offering other free services (exams, microchips, vaccines, heartworm and flea/tick preventatives) to those who can demonstrate a financial hardship. I have been blessed with the support from the bike racing community and I want to be able to pass this on to those who love their furry companions as much as I, but may be going through a difficult time where they just cannot afford the proper health care for their pets.
It looks like 2018 is going to be a busy, busy year for me ... in a good way!