’08-’09 Tucker MacKenzie
I believe I express myself through outdoor activities like mountain biking and kayaking. Pushing my limits in the outdoors shows me what I can do. I get to know who I am and what I am made of. Kayaking and mountain biking build character and humility. I think when you gain a sense of humility it helps you strengthen your relationship with God or a supreme being. When I am about to run a big rapid or climb a big pass I usually get reminded how small I am and this helps me turn to God. Turning to God gives me the strength to achieve my goals and I think everyone should do something to push himself or herself and discover their relationship with God and themselves.
When I was finishing the White Rim, a 103 mile mountain bike ride in Utah, I had a very challenging finish. We had a three mile, three thousand foot climb at the end to exit the canyon and my goal was to climb it without touching my foot to the ground. I failed and touched my foot the first time on a turn up near the top so I rode to the bottom and started again. The second time my calves started cramping and I remembered that I wasn’t an invincible teenager. I had to turn to God for the strength physically and mentally to reach my goal. This humbling experience helped me realize where my true strength comes from and how my relationship with God benefits my life. I think everyone should have something in their life that pushes them physically and mentally simultaneously. The things I have discovered for myself in my outdoor experiences have been more valuable than anything I could have learned from any kind of teacher and this is why I believe I express myself the most through outdoor activities.