BY EGLE GERULAITYTE
Louise Powers taught me all about figures of eight on dirt, optimism, and confidence back in May when we met at a two-day off-road riding event in New Mexico.
A theatre costume designer by trade, Louise had discovered adventure motorcycling and decided to go at it full speed: she became an assistant off-road riding instructor, a member of the Rev’It Women’s ADV Team and now, she’s on her way riding to South America. As Louise and her husband are about to board Stahlratte to cross the Darien Gap into Colombia, we had a chat about what it means to be truly self-confident.
Louise, can adventure and motorcycling boost self-confidence?
Though not limited to women, motorcycling-and adventure riding in particular-boosts self-confidence in a big way. Every time a woman overcomes an obstacle or an event she doubted she could, her self-confidence gets a good boost. Over the last couple of years of riding with a group of women I’ve gotten to know well, I’ve seen this raised self-confidence show up in other aspects of their lives as well!
What are your everyday practices for self-confidence and self-love?
On the road right now, I read every morning when I wake up. It is a chance to have my mind quiet and not focused on challenges that may lie ahead. There will be plenty of time for focus later-conscious quiet time helps me get ready for it.
Now that you’re on your big adventure across the Americas, – what has been the biggest challenge so far?
There have certainly been some riding challenges in some of the countries we’ve been riding through, but that’s part of the game and the fun. One big challenge has been in speaking a different language. I have some background in Spanish, but though I can often communicate well and even have conversations with people, there are times when it is really difficult. I have realized that if I come away from an encounter with someone feeling as though I’ve really struggled, it affects my confidence overall, including riding.
Can life on the road increase self-confidence?
Absolutely. And all aspects tie together. On the flip side of my previous answer, every time I come away from a conversation thinking I have done well, spoken and been understood well, and maybe learned a little about a person or a process, I know I get back on my bike ready to go! When I come through riding 12 solid KM of twisty, hilly, slick-as-snot mud on my fully loaded GS, I feel great! I can conquer anything!
What’s your #1 tip for women who want to boost self-confidence through motorcycling and traveling?
This probably comes as no surprise, but my #1 tip is to get off-road training. Even if a woman is only going to ride on the street, the confidence she can get from that training is invaluable. Also, if she’s planning on traveling, there’s a good chance that she’ll meet off-road conditions somewhere-even when all pavement is planned-and she’ll feel more comfortable and confident in handling it!
This article is part of the #adventureisattitude campaign: a multimedia project aimed at helping women boost their self-confidence through adventure, travel, and motorcycling.