Motivational Monday : Shannon Carson

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A Monday morning tradition that we are starting to keep you motivated and to be striving for your goals even during a hard week or long hours at work.   Do you know someone that motivates and inspires you?  Send us your answers and photo to girly@BikeShopGirl.com

Sorry guys, I never pressed publish on this yesterday morning.. So Monday but a day late!

What’s your name and location?

Shannon Carson, Owner of Tough Chik – Mission Viejo, CA

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road, but I do dabble in the mountains

What is your first cycling memory?

My husband actually taught me to ride in my 20’s. I had a hard tail Trek and we took it for a spin on a large paved trail in the Dallas Suburbs. I got spooked by a group of people coming the opposite way, fearing the sidewalk wasn’t big enough for the both of us. I swerved off the path and my front tire got stuck in between the concrete and the grass and I fell off. My trip computer flew off the bike and a group of young kids ran off with it! Luckily I was in love and stuck with it!

Tough Chik

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

Jacke Van Woerkom – She runs a non-profit organization in Southern California called Trail Angels. The goal is to help other women discover mountain biking as well as discover the confidence and camaraderie that goes with riding. The Trail Angels’ vision statement reads: “To grow and develop a group of women mountain biking enthusiasts and create a symphony of characters that come together and strengthen one another spiritually and physically.”

“On Jan. 8, 2004, something happened that changed the Trail Angels and everyone in it forever.
A 2-year-old mountain lion killed expert mountain biker Mark Reynolds in Whiting Ranch and hid the body in the brush. No one knew. Hours later, Trail Angel Anne Hjelle, 30, happened to be on the same trail. Hjelle was attacked by the same lion. Her riding partner, Debi Nichols, arrived within minutes. Horrified, she jumped off her bike and pulled her bloody friend from the lion’s jaws, saving Hjelle’s life. Several minutes later, other Trail Angels arrived at the scene; Van Woerkom was among them. The tragedy could have ended the club. But instead it did just the opposite. It bound everyone together. Overnight, membership doubled to more than 100 riders.

On Nov. 28, 2006, Trail Angel Christy Kirkwood wrapped up a ride with fellow member Debbie Brown. The pair was in the bicycle lane on Santiago Canyon Road. A car veered and killed Kirkwood, a Garden Grove school teacher.

Again, with the help of Van Woerkom, the Trail Angels banded together. And, again, membership doubled, this time to nearly 250 riders.

For most of us, the saying “what doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger” is just a cliché. But for Van Woerkom and the Trail Angels you could say the saying is a code. Today, the club’s logo includes the paw print of a mountain lion.

Last year MTBChick.com (mountain bike chick), honored Van Woerkom as one of the “Five Most Influential Women in SoCal Cycling.” In the citation, MTBChick.com stated. “Jacke has the energy of an army of women.”

Van Woerkom also rides horses, sky dives and surfs. But, always, she returns to the Trail Angles and her family for sustenance, never forgetting the lesson she learned in the ’90s. Balance.

During a recent talk at REI, she discussed the importance of including one’s self in the equation, along with career and family.

It’s also is a theme she talks about on her website, changinggearscoach.com .

“If you find a place to release stress and relish in what you are passionate about for a few hours,” she says, “you have so much more of yourself to give back to everyone.”

(Quoted from an article in the OC Register)

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

On January 29th I fell off my bike suffering a compound fracture in my right forearm and a slash requiring 14 stitches across my cheek. After 3 days in the hospital and 3 months of physical therapy I was able to get back on my bike. After being sidelined for almost 3 and a half months, it was the most freeing experience on the bike. I was a little apprehensive at the beginning but rode the 25 mile loop with little fear. I was relieved to find that although my arm was a little sore and uncomfortable, my spirit and love for cycling was even stronger!

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?

I am currently training for the AIDS/Lifecycle which is a 7 day, 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles in June. I also plan on competing in my first triathlon.

Learn More About Shannon at her company Tough Chick

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