#HappyNewYear, and to New MAD Adventures in 2022! Lots of Traveling, Alaska and #VanLife Adventure! 2021 was a pivotal year for me. I decided it was time for a major change! For the previous three years I had become obsessed with mountain biking, racing, a team, my MAD Shredders kit line and my regular art. All of this gave me something to be constantly working towards, with lots of traveling and goals to be met.
But, I had been struggling with some really severe fatigue issues, that I would address off and on, but never really dealt with the problem, until it became almost debilitating. I had to finally stop racing, as I was unable to even train for more than a couple of hours a week, and even at that, it was still causing me issues. It was a very frustrating beginning of the year of 2021 because the fatigue had basically taken over my life.
I've never really spoken about this publicly, but sometimes I couldn't even muster the energy to get out of bed. It was very depressing and I was determined not to spiral down a dark hole of nothingness. So, I would make it a point to go for walks, or an easy road ride; mountain biking just took too much out of me so I rarely got out in the trails.
All of this was really hard to bear, but I knew my health was most important and I focused on doing what I needed to get better. I was dealing with almost non-existent testosterone, and out of control cortisol levels. All of which was exacerbated, and brought on to some extent, by intense endurance cycling, which I LOVE to do! But, alas, was not to be for most of 2021. So, I just focused on my art and came up with exciting new work and ideas, that I will be back to as soon as I hit the road in my van, The MAD Warrior!
Which leads me to the major life change I made in August. I was feeling kinda lost and searching for something, and one day it just hit me...I needed to #travel more, just get outside on long walks, #cycling and #hiking, to experience more of the outdoors I'd yet to see. And what better way to do it then in a converted, tiny home studio, van! I was instantly invigorated, inspired and felt full of life and excitement again...THIS was what I needed, a change, with new goals, dreams and adventures. And, I was ready to explore a new part of the country, and have always been fascinated by the #PNW and Southwest parts of the U.S., parts of the country that are meant to be spent outside exploring. I knew
I wanted to take on the challenge of converting the van myself and decided to drive it across the country last September to Washington state where I have lots of family. It just worked out so well to get to stay and visit with my family while having a place to work on the van. I've also started to recover from my fatigue issues and can finally go for longer, more intense rides without being incapacitated for days afterwards. I just needed to give my body time to fully recover, and to adjust the way I exercise and live my life. Also having something new to motivate and inspire has helped me to start feeling like my normal self again.
2022 looks to be an amazing, full of adventure year! Hoping all goes as planned, but prepared for any changes that may pop up. Planning to get on the road in the van by February 1st, even if it's not completely finished...as I REALLY need to get to some sunnier, warmer weather asap, haha!! Then, in the spring my daughter Aroon and I are going on a trip to Europe that she gifted to me for Christmas! Beyond excited for this adventure, as I've never been, and looking forward to enjoying the time spent with my favorite adventure partner 💖
Then I will be going to #Alaska in the summer to work on my MAD Island! Finally hoping to get even a small cabin completed so I can visit and stay more often. Have some really cool plans for the island that I cannot wait to implement!
Then spend time in Washington with my cousin traveling all over the state and even into Canada on Vancouver Island. And then head south again for the fall/winter months traveling in The MAD Warrior.
And all this time will also be spent focusing on getting back to work, creating new, exciting art! There will be a lot of new originals inspired by my travels, can't wait to get started on them! I hope all of you have some exciting new plans for 2022, and embrace any changes that may come your way with positivity and hope for a bright, shining future 💙🤍💚