NICA Mountain Biking

There's A Sport That Allows Everyone In Your Family To Be Happy

More and more kids are getting out and riding their bikes.

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This past Sunday marks the first race of the kid's mountain bike season, I went up to Elizabeth Town, To watch my husband coach the NICA kids mountain bike team. It was packed there were around 450 kids from all over North Carolina that raced on Sunday.

My husband is a coach but he is also called the NICA-Hype man he gets all the kids no matter what team they are on all pumped up, and he gets the parents involved to help motivate the kids as they race.

The race crew gets to Browns Creek trail on Friday to make sure the trail was clear and safe for the kids to ride for Sunday's race, by making sure it is clear from debris and they do a pre-ride before the kids ride the trail, the racers and parents start showing up on Saturday to camp out. These events are an all weekend thing, you get there on Friday and leave sometime on Sunday.

Jessica Christian

The race crew put up snow fences which mark the trails, sets up all signs and equipment and marks off the parking lot. and even had what they can the Hype-Zone, which is where parents, friends, and crew would go to cheer on the kids with cowbells, horns and cheer really loud, as the racers ride by to help motivate them.

On Saturday they participated in GRIT ( Girls Riding Together) this is an all girls ride, where they ride and have a learning experience.

When I arrived the girls were up, and there were so many girls on bikes, and it was so awesome to see these girls go hard, they were bad-ass, just seeing these kids enjoy themselves was great, I was happy to be there to capture moments with my camera, and to witness the passion that these coaches and kids have for this sport.

Jessica Christian

The parents were great, they were not just cheering on their kids, but everyone else kids as well. This sport isn't like football or baseball that kids are in, where parents get into fights with other parents because they think their kid was cheated. This is a community where everyone gets along and talks no matter what team their kid is on.

Jessica Christian

There are sponsors and the event including, the League sponsors are J.A. KING Precision Measurement Professionals, Performance Bicycle, Geocore films, Cutaway bike camp, Squirt, Lead sponsors TREK, platinum level sponsor CLIFF, and then you have your silver level sponsors Camelbak, Yakima, Maxxis, REI co-op, and GU.

parents and coaches cheered-on and motivated every kid that crossed the finish line, this was awesome to see because these kids were so happy and were great sportsmen's even if they came in last, they were there to have fun. All their hard work was paying off as they pushed themselves.

I didn't see one kid upset because they didn't come in first, they were so happy that they finished the race, and had a great time doing it. More sports could take notes for these kids and coaches.

A sport like this is great for kids because they can be competitive but also learn great sportsmanship and make some great friends and memories.

Jessica Christian

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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The Relaxing Physical Activity For The Person Who Loves Competition

How rock climbing changed my view on what it means to challenge yourself.

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I recently went rock climbing with my friends and walked away excited, proud, and craving more. In high school, I participated in competitive activities like tennis or tryouts to make the band. While I love these activities and don't see them leaving my life anytime soon, rock climbing changed my perspective on what accomplishment can feel like.

In sports, especially when competing in tournaments or for a spot, the fun of the game can be overshadowed by not-too-friendly competitors. It makes sense because everyone is fighting to win and prove that they deserve to be on the team. However, the relationship between everyone becomes more invested in maintaining a position than having fun and creating a family. Don't get me wrong, I love this highly-competitive arena, but rock climbing was the first time I had done something where I did not feel the need to compete with those around me.

One of my best friends coaxed me into going to a place about an hour away from my home. I was nervous to climb in front of others since it was my first time in years, however, my friend assured me it would be fine. It turns out she was 100% correct! We went with two other girls who were both very experienced and belayed us up and down walls. They were extremely supportive, and my best friend and I found ourselves attempting to defeat walls we never would have dreamed of climbing alone.

Climbing can definitely be competitive, but when surrounded by the right people, it gives you a chance to grow. It taught me that my biggest competition is with myself. My nervousness to embarrass myself in front of others was holding me back. When I truly started feeling comfortable, the main competitor was the wall. I found myself feeling like I was on a team that did not need to compete with each other but wanted everyone to succeed at their own rates. It was a great experience to feel fully supported and encouraged without the side order of having to constantly maintain rank.

I would recommend rock climbing to any overly competitive person like myself! It helps you challenge your own boundaries instead of other's and will help you to reflect on what it means to challenge yourself, mind and body, and how you work to overcome obstacles.

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