On the long list of innovations and products women weren’t permitted to use throughout history, add this gem: Women weren’t supposed to ride bicycles. In the late 19th century, a few gutsy ladies did, however, despite often being labeled unfeminine. As one writer stated in an 1896 editorial, the bicycle was a steed on which women rode into a whole new world. Bikes enabled women to travel free of chaperones and restrictive clothing. Do you know what that meant? Independence. What’s the one thing in your life that gives you the feeling of the wind in your hair and your petticoat left at home as you embrace your freedom? From your own savings account to your first roommate-free apartment, let’s celebrate all those victories, Destiny’s Child style, like the magnificent independent women we are!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 6
It doesn’t get much scarier than hopping on a metal contraption with two wheels for the first time. That tenacity required to keep a bike upright when we first learn is just as necessary in our modern-day careers. There are six key traits of mental toughness most often associated with competitive athletes that can help us in other areas of our lives, including at work. You’ve got to be flexible and responsive, strong and courageous with a healthy dose of ethics, stay resilient and always exhibit sportsmanship, or, as we like to say, sportswomanship.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Amy Charity, Cyclist, Author and Speaker
Today’s Woman to Watch is a daring go-getter, and she’s employing her many years of expertise to inspire high performance in other women the world over. Her name is Amy Charity, and she’s the epitome of someone who’s stepped outside her comfort zone and discovered a well of untapped potential.
Amy spent more than 15 years in the corporate and financial worlds, and had a promising future when, in her mid-30s, she decided to leave it all behind to become a professional cyclist. Yep, you heard that right. Long a sports fan and dedicated athlete, Amy pursued her dream of bike racing with some serious fervor. And it turned out to be one of the best moves she ever made.
Amy trained endlessly, trekking across the world on two wheels with little else than sheer motivation to drive her. Her resolve paid off, with Amy eventually racing to the highest level of the sport and becoming a member of the USA National Cycling Team. She even won a national title and raced in the World Championships.
During her cycling career, Amy faced many hardships. For instance, in women’s cycling, sponsorship money is often considerably less, compared with that of men’s cycling. That’s a whole lot of added pressure to stay safe while also achieving top marks.
If the idea of pedaling has your wheels turning, you might want to consider testing out your skills at a cycling camp like the Grinta Cycling Camps in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where Amy coaches. It’s a great way to boost your fitness level, improve your cycling skills and learn from the best in a stunning locale.
Amy has been coaching for more than a decade, and as a sought-after keynote speaker, she brings her many cycling experiences of taking chances and living life without regrets to the corporate world she knows so well. She also recently published an inspiring memoir called The Wrong Side of Comfortable: Chase Your Dream. Discover Your Potential. Transform Your Life.
If there’s one thing to take away from Amy’s story today, it’s that chasing your dreams may be uncomfortable, but it can truly change your life for the better.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Whatever your ambitions, you do you, girl. As Tina Fey said:
“Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions. ... Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.