When I find time, I like to scour the Internet for videos of people doing amazing things on human-powered vehicles: bikes, skateboards, kayaks, rollerblades, surfboards, skis, whatever it might be. Today I had some time to look for videos, and I found this one and was mesmorized.
Although I have often dreamt of being so fluid with a skateboard, I have never had the discipline to practice much or be able to masater this art, but I still love to watch others who have. The skaters in this video are definitely talented, but the sound and images are what kept my attention. Since I was little I have loved particular sounds like the crunching of gravel beneath one's feet, or the thud of a softball into the leather of a mit, or the crack of skateboard wheels on pavement. The creators of this video must appreciate these sounds just as much. Every slide and drop is audibly crisp. The simple, slow motion images also mesmerized me. Each shot captures the man, the board, and the trick simply. Additionally as a viewer, you get to enjoy the show with other onlookers as they watch in realtime.
Be Brave, Be Strong is a non-fiction account of Jill Homer's mountain bike ride of the Great Divide Trail. Homer tells about the hardships she faced leading up to and during this amazing race that stretches over 2,700 miles from Banff, Alberta, Canada to the U.S.-Mexican border town Antelope Wells, New Mexico.
The majority of the story takes place along the single track and dirt road trails that make up the Great Divide Trail that follows the Rocky Mountains. In the book, Homer shares the physical struggles she endures along the way as well as emotional trials. She must fight through rain, mud, lightening storms, and cold as she moves south along the trail. While these physical obstacles try to impede her way, she also struggles with job, love, friend, and family issues.
This was a really fast read for me. I enjoyed the adventure of her story and how she described not only the beauty of the land around her, but also the struggles she had to endure to complete the race. I also enjoy how she turned her experience into a real story of triumph. She introduces the reader to her life well before the race and then leads us up to and through the race. This enables us to understand the internal struggles she was dealing with during the race in addition to the physical obstacles the trail would inevitably throw at her.
I love to mountain bike and backpack, so this was a particularly interesting story for me. The Great Divide Tour is a trail that I hope to some day finish myself. Though Jill Homer's story particularly resonated with me, I think anyone who enjoys stories that involve adventure and people who go after their dreams would enjoy Be Brave, Be Strong.