Author, speaker and motorcycle touring business owner Liz Jansen has written an inspirational book entitled: Women Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment, 50 Inspiring Stories of Adventure and Self-Discovery
Interspersed with the author’s own personal story of triumph, growth, discovery and overcoming adversity on her path to discovering her true calling are 49 other stories written by women who explain how integral motorcycling is in their lives and how they got their start. The stories come from women of every profession and background from a stunt woman and mother of 3 to a policewoman responsible for training motorcycle police, to the world’s fastest woman on a motorcycle, as well as politicians, activists, authors, artists, businesswomen and musicians. Each shares her unique story in her own words.
Some of the stories involve women who were raised riding while others tell a tale of discovering it later in life. Having discovered riding at age 33 I can relate to the women in the book who shrugged off convention, faced their fears and refused to quit until they became competent riders. I run a motorcycle group with over 100 members, 30% of whom are women and I’ve had the opportunity over the years to hear some of their stories which mirror many of those shared in the book.
On a personal level the motorcycle has been an agent of change in my life as well so much of the book resonated with me. I saw a lot my personal history in the stories, particularly the learned fears and personal traps I’d set for myself that stopped me from becoming all that I was capable of becoming.
People take many paths to empowerment. Sadly, some never make the journey to becoming what they truly are meant to be; but for many the motorcycle is the catalyst for that change which then spills over into other areas of their lives. The women in this book illustrate that point beautifully in story after story. I was moved and inspired and often nostalgic when thinking back about my own fumbling beginnings on the bike, what riding has meant to me and how it has changed my life.
A common sentiment by the women who share their stories is that they reject being called “brave” or “courageous”. They own that they have all the same fears as everyone else; but of course the very definition of courage is the taking of action in spite of fear. So these women in fact personify courage and bravery; yet they are like so many empowered people: humble and quietly inspiring. Another common thread is that each woman, once empowered, felt the strong urge to pass that feeling on, to “pay it forward”, and help others feel it too. Once again that is a sentiment I connected strongly with.
I highly recommend Women, Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment to not only women riders; but to everyone who rides or knows a rider, anyone who is considering riding and particularly to anyone who is unfulfilled in their current place in life, feels the universe has more in store for them and wants some inspiration to begin their own journey towards empowerment and personal growth.
I carry a laminated card in my tank bag with some of my favorite quotes printed on it. One of them is by Robert Louis Stevenson who said: “To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life” . Each of the stories presented in this book reminded me of that quote, which is so much a part of me. This book is a gift Liz Jansen has given the world.
Free Book Giveaway: One winner will be chosen at random from comments left for this post. Comments must be left by Tuesday May 29th at noon. The winner will be announced Tuesday May 29th at 3pm.
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