Hey there, my gorgeous Diamonds,
Hiya, Rocky Trail racers and friends,
I hope you are happy and well. Here is an update on this year’s Diamonds in the Dirt events. Originally scheduled for 18 July 2020, we had big plans at Awaba MTB Park to truly take this event to the next level – I have always wanted this to become an occasion for women who love being out on ‘rocky trails’ and active in nature to truly be themselves. I want to keep evolving it as an inspiring, motivational and safe space to re-discover and share and embrace our female spirit.
With the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic and only being able to put more specific plans together for our events as of 1 July, based on my experience it is simply not possible to put a race out there that has enough lead time for women who don’t regularly participate in organised rides or races – and for me as an organiser from a logistical and operational point of view. The last few months – and year in fact – have been really challenging for me personally and I’ve had a huge awakening. I’ll give you a bit of an insight below.
But for now, let me tell you that I do miss the connection with you all and I want to still foster and grow the amazing Diamonds women’s community we have created over the years. Therefore, I’d like to announce a FREE SOCIAL RIDE for all at Awaba MTB Park on Sunday, 26 July. This is the day after our Shimano MTB GP and I hope that we’ll get lots of our regular racers come along for a ‘recovery’ Diamonds ride. This would be also the perfect occasion to introduce girlfriends, partners and daughters to riding in an event! Please help spread the word!
How to Sign Up
Head to our event and registration page and we ask that all event participants reserve spot – in return for the FREE Social Ride, I’d like to ask that you help me answer the question:
What Women Want
In particular, I am interested in what the women in our Rocky Trail community who ride and race and enjoy activities outdoors on trails want. We are still on track for the second Diamonds event in November and I will be working on the event concept over the next weeks and months to dial it to, well, what you want.
You will see a link on the website to the survey, which shouldn’t take longer than 5-10 min to complete and at the end you’ll be rewarded with the registration link for the social ride.
My Diamonds journey
Growing up in a very protected and loving family environment and community in rural Austria in the 80’s and 90’s from a young age I was fortunate and blessed to have the world at my feet. My parents paved the way for me to be anything I wanted to be and after a commercially-focused secondary education I graduated from university with a degree in Marketing, Economics and Foreign Trade. I always dreamed of travelling and living abroad and fast-forward almost 20 years, I am now at the helm of one of the biggest private cycling events promoters in Australia, Rocky Trail Entertainment. I built this business from the ground up together with my husband Martin – a fellow Austrian and my uni sweetheart. Together we are also parents to a funny and active preschooler, Cosmo.
When I held that little boy in my arms for the first time, I only realised that becoming a mum had been a dream come true. And, can I be honest, only in that very moment the gravity, the magnitude and the joy of the adventure ahead became evident to me. I created the Diamonds in the Dirt event to motivate myself to get back into riding and racing in 2016.
The last few months of COVID-hibernation of our business, family and social life have been disruptive and yet calming, full of uncertainty yet the source of motivation to work on new projects, a fight for the survival of our business and the strengthening of resilience – for me as a woman, as an entrepreneur, wife and especially as a mum.
You see, I feel like the last 12 months have truly transformed me. A tragic incident at one of our races in May 2019 resulted in the death of one of our competitors. What I only realised this year in January, in the weeks following that event I spiralled into anxiety, brought on most likely by that stressful time. So oblivious had I been to the topic of my mental health, that I didn’t keep track of the sleepless nights. I didn’t put much thought into my back suddenly playing up. When I suffered an episode of a severe bowel infection and landed in hospital last August, I just punched through it. Then, when my little boy was sick with a nasty respiratory virus for three weeks in October while my husband was away and I worked for 2 weeks straight, late into the night to make up for the cuddles and hospital visits with my son during the day, I went into plain survival mode. I know, in the grand scheme of things now, all those feelings seem so trivial and easy, but to me the combination of it was a massive shock to my system.
It all resulted in a literal ‘big bang’ in January when I had to be treated for Tinnitus. Finally my body was getting its message through for me to slow down. To be more mindful. To start looking after myself. I have been able to find a way to manage the constant ringing in my head and in hindsight it all makes a lot of sense. We spent the Australian summer overseas with our family until mid-March and to be in that safe space again was my source of strength and healing. Physically, mentally and emotionally.
What I learned
I have found tremendous inspiration from some very strong women these past few weeks and months – my mum, my mother in law, cousins and friends, colleagues and teachers. I participated in a women’s workshop in Vienna in February and my eyes, heart and soul were opened to the Principle of the Female Yin Energy. So many things suddenly fell into place and made sense.
The whole idea behind the Yin-Yang energy principle in my very simplified terms is that neither is superior to the other, but in every human being – male or female – the two energy poles ideally should be in balance. As a human being you can be strong and driven and results-oriented, however, if you loose sight of refueling that ‘cup of energy’ by being mindful of what nurtures you, you will loose strength. By constantly being in a mode of managing, analysing, scheming, optimising, target-oriented thinking we slip into a Yang-dominated state. Our cortisol levels rise… we can’t sleep.
My take on it was to allowing myself to slow down. To realise that showing vulnerability and holding my space is not a sign of weakness. That I can be proud of my emotions and how they enrich not just our family but also our business life. My husband and I had many a conversation about all this and in hindsight there are very specific decisions we made as a couple and as entrepreneurs, where we can see the two very different approaches and energy sources complement each other. Ultimately, we believe, it’s how and why we thrive.
I know now and am convinced that we as women, all over the world and across any dimensions, are connected. Spiritually and in our source and force of energy. That we yearn to be in nature. I can also finally put into words what I have felt, especially throughout my time working in the corporate world, when every weekend I felt this urge to be outside and it’s where my love for mountain biking started. That we as women have been living in a fast-paced environment that is characterised by power, action and rising social and economic and pressures. An environment where the male (YANG) characteristics have been dominating the performance scorecards.
It’s a fact that we all love a good chat with our girlfriends. And I can’t believe it took me almost 40 years to find out WHY. It took me all this time to step back and think about it (thank you, Tinnitus!). So in our mountain biking and outdoor community…
I so enjoy riding with women and racing with my Diamonds team mate Erica in ‘my race’! During my soul searching (literally!), I learned that “When women gather in circle, in full support of one another, our Oxytocin levels rise.” A study from UCLA resulted in findings that Oxytocin is released in both men and women as part of our natural stress response. I learned that the presence of Estrogen in women amplifies Oxytocin flow, whilst the rise of Testosterone in men diminishes Oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is known as the “love” or “cuddle” hormone, and when it flows through womens bodies, it reduces stress and boosts love feelings. With its natural rise, Oxytocin encourages bonding amongst women. So the more we gather in friendship, the more Oxytocin is released. It’s an organic wanting, a beautiful process encouraging togetherness.
What I want
Giving into the YIN energy has changed my life. And I want to help as many women as I can (in my little world) to get that ‘happy feeling’ more often. To spread the word about our female spirits, to let them soar and to re-create and nurture this connection between like-minded women.
I love that we are all different. There are so many different wants, styles of riders, life stages that we’re on and I want to use my talents, business and personal resources to help women connect. Out in the bush, out on trails.
If we give in to it, if we are mindful, we can see the signs of a new female awakening. When we all help each other think positive, bring our energy levels back into balance, we will be able to foster the change and the healing that needs to happen in this day and age.
I want ‘my’ Diamonds in the Dirt event become more than a race. And I would love for as many women as possible help shape it together with me and my Rocky Trail crew.
You’re invited and I can’t wait for what’s ahead.