Our quest to celebrate the indomitable spirit of women has led us to an exceptional trailblazer. Her story is a testament to relentless bravery, unyielding dedication, and an insatiable thirst for adventure on two wheels. In this exclusive interview, we aim to illuminate the challenges and triumphs that accompany being a female enduro rider and how bravery is a mental attitude that can be practiced in all forms to help you reach your goals in life.
What drew you to the world of Enduro riding, and what inspired you to pursue this physically and mentally challenging sport?
Em Hall: Initially, it was my Dad, he rides enduro and we are very lucky to have a farm to ride around. I'm not a very competitive person so I enjoyed learning the techniques and progressing personally. Racing is something that I do to improve myself rather than for results. When I care about the result I ride much worse!
Now my inspiration is my younger self, I really didn't think I'd ever get this far.
In a male-dominated sport like Enduro riding, what unique challenges have you faced, and how has bravery, or any other character trait helped you overcome them?
Em Hall: There are a few challenges, starting with basics like the kits don't fit very well and many events don't even have toilets 🙈
Then there are the emotional challenges and bravery has definitely helped with those. Feeling part of a team has helped alleviate that feeling of being out of place. The casual sexism, although usually well-meaning, can build up and make you feel like you're being scrutinized and judged.
To be honest it's not something I've fully overcome, I've just learned to listen to good instead of just holding onto the bad comments.
Enduro riding is known for its challenges. Can you share a specific moment or experience where bravery played a crucial role in your success?
Em Hall: I recently competed at Weston Beach race for the first time. It's a daunting event with nearly 900 riders in a mass start so it's absolute chaos! There's a lot of big blokes barging you and massive dunes, I was terrified the whole way round the first lap. But I kept my head down, battled my way from back into the top 200, and won the lady's class.
Many people associate bravery with extreme sports like Enduro riding. Can you tell us what bravery means to you in the context of your sport?
Em Hall: The cool thing about enduro is that at whatever level you ride, bravery is crucial. To push to that next level everyone has to do something that scares them. It might not just be the big logs or long hills. It could be traveling up to a new event on your own or progressing up a class and starting with faster people.
It's clear that bravery in Enduro riding is not just physical but also mental. Can you share a moment when you had to dig deep and find that inner courage to overcome a particularly daunting challenge?
Em Hall: For me personally, I'm a bit of an overthinker and struggle a lot with nerves before a big race. This season has been difficult. In the first round of the British championships, I had a big crash where I landed on the end of the handlebars and broke some ribs. It was one of the scariest crashes I've had as you suddenly can't breathe. I also bruised my heart so had to be in hospital for a bit which shook me up. Since then every race has been daunting as that accident is still in the back of my mind.
What advice would you give to aspiring female Enduro riders or anyone pursuing their passion in a male-dominated field, to find their own courage and break through barriers?
Em Hall: I think women have more than enough courage to do everything and anything!
But I was told the other day by a lady I coach that she worries about the people who watch her in the pits. This is something I used to worry about as well. You stick out being a minority and there have been negative comments before. I said to her rather than immediately assuming they're thinking that's a girl, she shouldn't be here. Think instead that maybe they're looking at me because they like my boots or my graphics. Almost fake it till you make it. Try not to hyper-focus on your gender and hopefully others won't either.
As we conclude our journey into the world of enduro riding with our fearless female rider from the UK, we're left not only with a newfound admiration for her exceptional courage but also with invaluable lessons about cultivating a bravery mindset for life.
Enduro, with its treacherous trails and adrenaline-soaked challenges, mirrors life's uncertainties and hurdles. It reminds us that the path ahead may be rugged, steep, and muddy, but it is also incredibly rewarding for those willing to embrace it with courage and determination.
Our enduro rider's story isn't just about conquering physical obstacles; it's a testament to the power of the human spirit. It teaches us that bravery is not the absence of fear but the willingness to face it head-on. It's about pushing beyond our comfort zones, embracing challenges, and growing stronger with each obstacle encountered.
Follow Emily on Instagram - Em Hall (@emhall121) • Instagram photos and videos
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