My whole life I’ve been drawn to anything which is likely to involve an adventure. Whether it’s been crewing on a small wooden sailing boat to the Norwegian Lofoten Islands in the school holidays when I was 15 or living in Alaska at 18 to mush sled dogs. The more extreme the better! That draw has most certainly been down to family and in particular my Mum. Growing up, Mum and Dad were keen hill runners, cross country skiers and sailors, with their constant activity and racing being a big part of life. Mum and my Grandfather did a mountain marathon when I was 6 months old, so Dad carried me over mountain passes for the two-day race so that Mum could breastfeed me at the midway checkpoint.
Around 15 years ago Mum developed Arthritis, to the point where she couldn’t get out of bed without someone helping her. Everything ached and all her joints were swollen and painful. She is so tough, so it must have been bad. That put an end to her running, and for years the pain and stiffness restricted every aspect of life. After taking the big doses of medication the doctor prescribed, she started to gradually reduce medication herself until she soon wasn’t taking anything, and just listened to her body. Three years ago mum started practicing yoga every day, and also started road cycling. The more she did, the better she felt and now she’s incredibly strong and fit again. She started mountain biking a couple of years ago, and now rides most days, does yoga every day, even racing the local XC races and time trials. Her thirst for adventure and living a good life is infectious. At 62 she’s an inspiration!
Mum lives nearby, so we often get out for a ride together. We decided to make a short video of a recent day out together. I hope you enjoy it!
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! Here’s to sharing sport and the outdoors with family!
- Hannah Barnes