Happy International Women’s Day! To celebrate, as the female cycling community and its wonderful fans and followers continue to push for greater recognition and equality, we asked our brilliant bloggers to tell us about a woman in their lives that has inspired them AND a quote that has motivated them in their cycling career.
Get ready for goosebumps. Get ready to be inspired. Here’s what they had to say.
Leah Kirchmann – Team Sunweb
For International Women’s day, I want to give a shout out to my friend Lynne Laporte in Vancouver, badass business owner of the gym Enhanced Performance along with her husband Cian (who is also an amazing human being!)
I first met Lynne when she travelled as my female chaperone for mountain bike races as a junior. We reconnected out west in Canada when I moved for university and we became good friends, spending lots of time on mountain adventures and cooking delicious and nourishing meals. Lynne’s warm and open personality draws people to her, and clients quickly become friends and part of the community.
She is one of the most open and non-judgmental people I’ve met, and encourages everyone to get the best out of themselves. Lynne inspires me to dream big, take risks, contribute to the community, and strive for balance in all parts of my life!
A book that I would recommend for female athletes to read is ‘Roar’ by Stacy Sims. She understands that women have specific needs when it comes to health and performance, and that we cannot simply rely on data from studies done using only men!
Ella Harris – Canyon SRAM
A woman who inspires me in cycling is Kate McIlroy, a New Zealand Olympian and a three-time Commonwealth Games athlete in three different sports.
There are two quotes that I keep close to me and use:
“I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I’m not afraid to look behind them.” Elizabeth Taylor, British-American actress.
“I never, ever grew up as a young woman believing that my gender would stand in the way of doing anything I wanted.” Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand
When people think about who inspires them you generally hear about famous sports idols who have achieved the pinnacles of their sport but for me as much as I am inspired by these women I also have so many friends & family members who inspire me on a daily basis. One of these is my sister- Sarah.
She sets her alarm for 4.40am on a Monday morning to do a HIIT workout session before driving 2 hours to work in a school where she is not currently being paid to complete her training to become a PE teacher. I’m constantly asking her for advice… from outfits to wear, house inspiration or some new workouts for me to try, even though she’s my younger sister.
Looking back I can only now appreciate how supportive she was throughout my cycling career. She would joke that she was the ‘shitter’ daughter but I never felt she was jealous, only ever my biggest supporter. She used to tell me how proud she was of me but I always felt she deserved so much more credit for how she lives her life and works so hard. She is the most thoughtful person I’ve ever met.
Tanja Erath – Canyon SRAM
I worked in visceral surgery with a young doctor in her 30s. Visceral surgery can be a pretty male-dominated function. She was the only woman working full time with one female senior, who worked half time. She used to be a nurse before studying medicine, just like me, and I loved watching her and the way she worked.
Not only was she technically really good, it felt like she looked at her patients in a different way to the men around her. She would listen, she would ask questions, show respect and never treat somebody from “above”. She always seemed to find the right words and the right way to treat someone, whether it was a patient, nurse, chief or me as a junior.
She showed me that surgery doesn’t mean you have to start getting “cold”, less empathetic or snooty in the way you treat others. She showed me, that you can be a badass surgeon but still be a nurse at heart.
And here’s to all the nurses that I worked with. For sure there are a few male nurses, but the number is very, very small. A lot of women I met there were so caring, so selfless, but so strong and powerful. During that time I met the most impressive characters in my life.
Elena Cecchini – Canyon SRAM
My Mum is my example and the woman I look up to. She’s never been a sportsperson but she supports me through my journey and I hope I will be as good as her as a mum and wife one day.
A quote I use in life is “Ad maiora”, a Latin sentence that means “always fight for better” or “always strive for more”. I think is a cool idea to follow, in my job and in my life in general, as a cyclist and as a woman.