Monday, November 02, 2009

Thanks for reaching out

I had to do a long ride today to work out a thick case of malaise. I'm not really sure what caused it ... hormonal, maybe, or possibly because the end of daylight savings time means that darkness starts creeping in at 4:30 in the afternoon. Either way, there are just some days that I wake up feeling bad about myself, which necessitates going out into the gray morning and pounding out 40 or so mindless miles on pavement, with 10 fast and fun miles of swooping, Ewok-forest trail on the skinny tires, even if it's snaining and there's slush on the road. I almost never return from a bike ride grumpier than I was before I left. Tired, sometimes. Cold, sometimes. Wet, many times. But usually with a brighter outlook on life.

I am grateful for a couple of people who contacted me this weekend, and inadvertently helped me work through the grump. I was wedged in a thick Halloween crowd at the Alaskan last night, wearing a tiger costume with a hood and pointy little ears and looking decidedly different than I usually do, when I woman pushed her way toward me and yelled over the bluegrass band, "Don't think I'm some kind of crazy stalker or anything, but do you have a blog about biking?" She went on to tell me that she just moved to Juneau from Seattle on Tuesday to work as a nurse at the local hospital. "Your blog is pretty much the reason I came to Juneau," she said. "I wanted to get out of the city and be somewhere where the wilderness was all around me."

Then today, I received an e-mail from a woman who wrote, "I got myself in the Iditarod Invitational and it is pretty much your fault. :] I am always looking for a new adventure. A friend of mine gave me your book to read and I was hooked." She wanted to ask for some advice for the 2010 race, which she's signed up for.

I think the most any of us aspire to is to make a positive difference in the world or in the lives of others. It's nice to think that in my own small ways, I helped inspire other women to embark on new adventures. I like to think that's the difference I can help make in the world. If more people come alive, than the world will come alive.


  1. You do inspire! I was griding into a headwind the other day, and all I could think was that this is not a Jill Homer moment, she knows how to suffer!
    "We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard". I am so old I remember JFK saying that, and is has resonated through my whole life. You personify it. Well done.

  2. congrats! 'snained' here briefly last week. once. for about 10 minutes.
    yes, you inspire.
    thank you.

  3. Yes you do inspire, because of you I have signed up for the Arrowhead 135 :-)


  4. Your form of inspiring individuals to live life rather than live THROUGH life is way more real and effective than anything Oprah could say on her show. ;) Thanks for the inspired push when I'm getting lazy and need it!

  5. I was taken out of action by a spine fracture (or two)...

    Reading your blog helps me remember that it's worth the cold sweats and pain from physical therapy so I can get back out there and enjoy the outdoors again. (especially snow!)

  6. Of course you inspire us! You are part of the reason that I moved to Juneau also, to LIVE my dream.....Everyday I wonder if I'll bump into you somewhere on a trail or see you riding your bike. I think..'I can hike alone, because Jill does, and she's ok!';} And I keep taking my photos too! (did I see your tire tracks at the Glacier yesterday??)

  7. First of all...what an awesome thing to see that your life is impacting others. It truly is!

    And also, I've never heard the word "snaining" before, but I love it!

  8. I can add in my two cents here. I've been a lifelong trail runner, and recently moved to Western Massachusetts where there are great trails. One day recently, I realized I had this mad urge to try mountain biking as I have been reading your blog for years and have been inspired by it. I tried it, and love it (though I'm really not very good at it at all). I've got a lot to learn, but am really looking forward to continuing down this path/trail! Thanks for inspiring me.

  9. I'm sorry you were having a rough week! But you do inspire a lot of people.

    A nursing supervisor at my work has worked as a flight nurse on life flight for years and she said her really good friend follows your blog avidly and is going to do the iditarod this year. I forgot her name, but she asked my maiden name, because she saw my picture on one of my comments. That's how she made the connection (Since I have had my married name since she has known me)

    You are an inspiration to many. But if anything, you definitely inspire me and I am so proud of you.

  10. You apparently have no idea how inspiring you are. I'm sure I speak for many when I say thanks for sharing what you do.

  11. Yes, Jill I have been following your blog for a few years now and you are really inspiring. You help me get out and just do my not so exciting biking and working out, as after all Jill goes out and rides in snain!


  12. Jill, I'll just throw in my sentiment here, which will echo everyone else's. You are amazingly inspiring, and I started commuting to work (as often as I'm able) on my mountain bike...

    I also appreciate your clothing tips here because I'm a grad student, can't afford much, and am finding it's hard to ride to school when it rains - which lately seems to be most every day I'm available to commute. So, thanks for you. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Inspire you do! And not just women!


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