by Meg Argubright
This year I married the man of my dreams, won a Women’s Overall AMA championship, was nominated by the AMA for Female Athlete of the Year, began a dream job, moved near many of our closest friends and was elected Chairman of the NHHA group. Sounds like the perfect year. But really, everything (other than becoming Mrs. Meg Argubright!) I owe to luck, and therein lies a bit of humility.
Though ironically, I don’t believe in luck. I believe that whatever happens in life is a result of 90% preparation and 10% luck. And after reviewing my accomplishments of 2015, the reality of how they were achieved was not up to par (at least in my competitive mind). I didn’t put the work in, but somehow reaped the benefits. But…admitting is the first step. Right?
This year kicked off, really, in December 2014, after my colleagues at Vurb and I agreed to split ways starting Jan. 1, 2015. While it was no doubt a very tough (and emotional) decision for me, I had to let go and hold on for the ride. I didn’t have a job sorted, but was hopeful after applying for Kiska Inc. By the end of January 2015 I became the first employee of Austria’s first subsidiary studio as a Copywriter for clients including KTM and Husqvarna. To be fair, this was a result of 90% preparation and busting my ass to get ahead.
My racing season began with moving to the A class. And ultimately, it became a challenge for me not just mentally, but also physically. With a wedding in the works, a new job, moving our life and committing to a new bike that was faster and handled nothing like the one I learned on (KX 250F) 2015 was going to be anything but easy. But as a woman who is most efficient while multi-tasking, “Doing it All” is the name of the game and I wasn’t backing down.
To backtrack slightly, I learned to ride in 2010; and I did it purely with the intention of assembling another piece of the puzzle together in what was (and still is), an absolutely satisfying adventure of experiencing the world of off-road motorcycling.
From the beginning, I have been equally fueled by the people who said it wasn’t possible, just as I am by the ones who have said, “F*&$ yeah, you can do it.” When I was a novice, my greatest achievement was finishing 40-miles on a motorcycle in the middle of nowhere. I won the Women’s C Championship my first year racing (2011), and from there I was headed to the intermediate class; I was hungry for progress, willing to get sketchy for a pass and eventually considered a sandbagger when I perfected the prior.
After I tied for the National Hare & Hound Women’s B championship in 2014, I entered 2015 as an expert racer, which I felt was too soon. Regardless if you are you man or woman racer, moving up to the expert class is a WHOLE other ball game. But realistically… it’s just a mental ball game.
I purchased a Husqvarna FE 350 to mix things up; I loved the power, but couldn’t handle the bike comfortably. And after racing for 100+ miles, or over the course of 2.5 hours, I found myself constantly defeated by the time I crossed the finish line.
It took me until August to commit to change. I set up a Husqvarna FC 250 and settled with the difference. By now I had a grip on the points lead, but mentally, I felt like I was on the decline. It was, and still is, a gut-wrenching feeling. I am not good at losing, even at my own mental games; call me a sore loser if you will.
In August, I lined up for the penultimate NHHA round, and all I had to do was finish to wrap up the Women’s A championship. My start was excellent, and I had clear view through to the end of the bomb. When we took to the trail, we funneled onto a fire road and the dust became immense. Before I knew it, it was mile-three when a gnarly, dried up rain rut ate my bike up and threw me to the ground. I sat up and the pressure in my shoulder led me to assume I’d broken my collarbone. I’ve never suffered a broken bone, so I felt around, moved it a bit and decided it was still in racing condition. I had to finish.
When I rolled through the finish line, I couldn’t take my right arm off the bars. Long story short, I dislocated my shoulder posterior and suffered a Bankart tear. Fortunately I wouldn’t need surgery, but physical therapy would certainly be in my future. I raced the final race of the season, and finished somewhere off the podium. The championship was mine, but the feeling of unworthiness lingered. Yes, I finished every single race in the series, but my results were lackluster.
In December, I was nominated for AMA Female Athlete of the Year alongside some highly respectable women in motorcycling; a great feat in my books regardless of who wins. Overall, I am extremely grateful for the fate I encountered this year. And really, my marriage is my greatest accomplishment yet.
Racing motorcycles requires a unique, and special characteristic. There is something we all have in common; and perhaps that is simply a fighting spirit. In the beginning we experience progression as a human, and we start to feel fearless. Then defeat, no matter how big or small takes place, and the flame becomes slightly tamed. Once you make that realization, it becomes a fight in its own to keep feeding oxygen to the combustion and get the flame to burn wild.
Racing satisfies a part me that inspires me to dream bigger and live extraordinarily. Looking ahead into 2016, I am focused on getting focused and appreciating the rewards that come from the 90% preparation that will always beat the unreliable rewards that come from 10% luck.