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Meet Angela Wolz of WER – Women’s Empowerment Ride

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Wolz.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
A few years ago, I had a quite traumatic relationship experience. I was physically and mentally drained. No longer was I sure of who I was. The deception and lies had stolen my ability to trust myself, anyone, and anything in my life. I started jumping on my bike every day. It was my escape. Mentally I stopped thinking about everything else to just focus on moving my body to tire myself out.

The next three months I was cycling up to 500 miles a week. Physically I was regaining my strength, but I was still dealing with the aftermath of mental abuse. I decided to remove myself from society (so I thought), and went on a solo ride along the Continental Divide, from Banff, Canada to the Mexican Border of Antelope Wells, New Mexico. I had never ridden a mountain bike before, nor had I ever navigated solo through the remote mountain terrain.

My instinct told me that this was the appropriate medicine. Oh boy, was I right! It ended up being the best decision I had ever made. When I arrived in Antelope Wells, New Mexico after having ridden almost 3000 miles, I had taken back my power. Along this very special ride, I had met the most caring and kind people that gave me a new love for humanity. Being in nature for so long had soothed my wounds.

For a few years, following this adventure, I had been thinking how to help others, who were going through similar dark times, to bike back into the light. I understand that not everyone wants to go on a 3000-mile ride through the wilderness. Organizing multi-day Women’s Empowerment Rides in the outdoors, struck me as a great way to pass on, what I had experienced.

The inaugural Women’s Empowerment Rides (WER) ride successfully completed the White Rim Trail, Utah. The next team crossed the European Alps on mountain bikes. These women, from both teams, did not have any previous experience cycling and completed the rides after only training for a few months.

WER continues to organize rides and other outdoor adventures for women.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As any endeavor which doesn’t follow social norms, WER had challenges.

Most people that have experienced breakthrough success say that when they started, everyone they knew said they were crazy. What pushed them to move forward was the belief in themselves and their ideas. Such it has been with WER.

Challenges were presented by some participants, who weren’t ready yet for true change. They made decisions based on what everyone around them wanted them to do, rather than doing what was right for them. Hence preserved the Status Quo.

Other obstacles are of financial nature. WER is in the process of building an inventory of mountain bikes, cycling and camping gear to make it possible for any woman to join.

Please tell us about WER – Women’s Empowerment Ride.
WER (Women’s Empowerment Ride) helps women who are facing life struggles such as a difficult divorce, death of a loved one, depression, anxiety or addiction, to change mental habits, reduce stress and develop their strength. The approach to accomplish these changes is unique as the women will work as a team to take on a challenge they previously thought impossible.

WER follows the principle of ‘The Hero(ine)’s Journey.’ Someone who has never been an athlete in her life, let alone ever owned a bicycle, will train for four months and then cross the European Alps on a mountain bike. Or, with minimal training, go on a self-supported hike through the longest slot canyon in the US.

Accomplishing these adventures of the mind and body builds resiliency and self-efficacy, which translates to confidence in all aspects of life. Women learn to trust themselves through unparalleled opportunities to overcome obstacles.

Be it cycling up a steep incline over rocks, hiking through deep mud and pools of water in a slot canyon or finding your way while not proficient in the local language. There is no better place to heal and reestablish one’s sense of purpose than in nature.

Wilderness also gives the mind, heart, and soul, peace. The women participating in any adventure are not being catered to. They will cook their own meals on a ride along the White Rim Trail in Utah or lead the team on a stretch through Italy, finding the right trail, relying on their own resources.

WER strives to offer these life-changing adventures in a way, that they are accessible to any woman who is committed to change and to become the one who she was always meant to be.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Hindsight is 20/20 and looking back, I would not change a thing. Since all the obstacles have taught me a great deal, going forward, they are providing me with the wisdom I otherwise wouldn’t have now. If you skip a lesson, you cannot complete the full circle to then do it differently next time.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Angela Wolz

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