Webster defines, “The Bee’s Knees” as being a highly admired person or thing. I define it as something pretty similar, adding on, “and awesome.”

I strive to be the bee’s knees when doing things outdoors. Whether it’s something new or old I am learning, I take it as a challenge to either learn something new or get better at what I am doing.

I recently picked up single track bike riding. I grew up riding a bike, not just around the neighborhood, but around our entire town, nearly every single summer day. I loved it! I remember struggling to make it up a hill with my mom in front of me saying, “Just keep thinking: I think I can, I think I can!” I often reflect back to this motivational memory at trying times.

Just like most things we find a passion about in our childhood and lose throughout our busy adult years, I put bike riding away for a while. It wasn’t until this year that I picked it back up, but a little differently this time. I soon learned there was a huge difference between road biking and trail biking. After some research, I picked up a Cannondale Hardtail from REI and soon discovered the amazing, bright and shiny world of single track riding. It was an entire culture I knew nothing about!

Needless to say, I am still very much an amateur at the sport. I’ve been to the smooth flowing single track trails of Kincaid a few times and then switched gears (literally!) and recently found myself on the struggle bus headed up the steep mountainous single track trails on Hillside. I was stoked. The struggle was a lot more real heading up a mountain on a bike, but amazing nonetheless. The first time I hit the trails, my biking partner complained about how bad she felt at biking. Well, room for improvement and a challenge, I thought. Eventually we made it to the top, and both of our frustrations melted away with every downhill foot of trail we sailed down on. It was absolutely exhilarating!

Over the next few days, I kept at it on Hillside. It is a struggle, mentally and physically. This was about both the struggle and the fun, becoming better at something that gave me an adrenaline rush and sense of satisfaction after a difficult workout.

So try and be the bee’s knees at things that you find difficult. Or even things that seem easy- don’t settle, push yourself. Give yourself some credit for getting outside in the first place! And also, don’t be so hard on yourself for something that you may feel you are not great at it. It probably comes across just the opposite to those around you. We are much more critical of ourselves than anyone else. Know your limits: You can’t control nature and the elements it may pit against you, but you can control your attitude about it. Single track riding isn’t exactly a leisurely walk in the park; however, it is meant to be fun. It’s meant to push you.  It’s meant to bring together the shared passion you have with someone else that culminates in that stoked high-five at the end of the day.

So be awesome. Be the bee’s knees.

 Striving to be the bee's knees

Striving to be the bee's knees