Kailey Kornhauser and Marley Blonsky are on a mission to change the idea that people in larger bodies can't ride bikes. They have jumped in with both feet to change the entire idea of what it means to be a cyclists on screens, trails, roads, and in people’s minds.
This short video by SHIMANO and All Bodies on Bikes is powerful and a must-see for anyone who thinks they are not 'the right shape' to be an athlete. These two women will help you change your story. It is helping me change mine.
As a bigger woman, when I became co-owner of bluerub, I struggled with being part of a sports brand. Dave has been an athlete his entire life. Tennis, climbing, golf, running, skiing, cycling, and hiking. And I was thinking about myself as 'wrong' for the business. I loved being active in sports and outdoor adventure when I was younger and thinner, but I had stopped seeing myself as an athlete when my weight went up and when the nerve damage in my leg made it hard to walk. But like the women in this film, I am fighting back about how size defines and limits me.
The honesty with which these women show up and share their pain and experiences is humbling and remarkable and transformational.
Expanding the definition of an 'athlete' to include anyone who moves - no matter how far, how long, or how often - is powerful. No longer is being an active person the exclusive right of people who 'look' the part.
I purchased an ebike last week. Tomorrow I get the rack on my car and Friday I will get fitted for my bike. I have been nervous about how the bike store team will treat me when I show up. It was difficult to talk openly with the bike team about my weight and limitations, but I persisted because I really want to be back on a bike and riding trails. With this film now in my mind, I am happy I am getting back on a bike and am eager to work with the bike team to get a proper fit.
Follow along with them as they bring us on a 60 mile ride in Oregon, and as they work to include all people in cycling.
|Growing up in Southern California, Val played competitive softball (coached by her father), was a gymnast, swimmer, ran cross country, fished, hiked, kayaked, and as an adult, experimented in rock climbing and golf. In 2010 she was diagnosed with a rare cancer; a liposarcoma was growing on her sciatic nerve. Once this tumor was removed, she has been cancer-free!
Left with significant nerve damage, she now has limited mobility. Yet still moves and engages in the world around her. She snorkels, walks, travels, and practices yoga to combat chronic pain and to maximize her ability to keep moving. She works with a personal trainer, acupuncturist, physical therapist, and massage therapist to maximize her mobility.
She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and her dog and gets her fins on so she can swim with the fish any time she can.