I would consider 2019 my first full season as a rider. I learned last year in July but only became comfortable enough to ride on my own in September. Motorcycles have always been a curiosity of mine even from a young age. The evidence is found in old diaries from when I was 13 describing the motorcycles and gear I wanted. I remember telling my parents at the dinner table that I wanted to ride a motorcycle when I was older and will never forget the horrified look on their faces. I’m sure they were pleased when I grew up and it looked like there were no motorcycles in my future. But that wasn’t to be the case as life has a funny way of bringing surprising circumstances to you when you least expect it. After the demise of a long-term unhealthy relationship I set out to “discover” myself again and revisit old unfulfilled dreams. That road I took eventually led me back to the dream of riding and owning a motorcycle. The journey to becoming a confident rider has been a long and tough one. I struggled immensely with the clutch and throttle control and had to return to the riding school a number of times. I recall being frustrated and angry with myself and there were moments where I was unsure could fulfill this dream of mine. But I wanted to learn to ride. And I wanted it with every fiber of my being. So I preserved through it. Through dropped bikes, frustration, self-doubt, embarrassment and physical pain. Every time I dropped my bike or fell I got back up and tried again. In those awful moments I was lucky that I had the support of my instructors and people who cared about me, to continue forwards. Somewhere along the line the challenge of learning became more than just about motorcycling. I was testing myself emotionally, mentally, physically but also the way I thought about myself. The struggles I faced taught me I am not who people say I am, I am who I want to be. This year all my hard work and practice paid off. I passed my final road test and bought my dream bike a Ducati Monster 696. Every time I look at him (yes, it’s a him), I fall in love and wonder how I was ever happy before motorcycles. I’m an adventurer at heart, I’m happiest when exploring new places and riding a motorcycle has given me a completely new way to do it. This summer my friends and I took a road trip to Vancouver Island. We rode to Tofino, enjoyed the twists and turns of the Pacific Marine Circle, conquered the Malahat highway in the pouring rain, and went off roading to view the beauty of Horne Lake. It was an incredible experience and the first of many more adventures to come. My journey isn’t just about motorcycles, its’s also about self discovery. If there is anything to take away from my story, I hope it is to not be afraid. To be bold enough to try something new with the possibility that you may fail. And if and when you do fail, try again and know that life is full of surprises and moving forward is not always a linear path.