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Neither a broken neck nor an aging body has stopped the oldest female BMX racer in the United States from opening the door of possibility for thousands! In her quest to enjoy her life, 70-year-old Miss Kittie shows us all how sticking to our dreams can not only help us stay happy and healthy but help our communities do the same.
In what started as an act to prove a point to her son 1, Kittie Weston-Knauer A.K.A. “Miss Kittie”, has been zipping around dirt tracks on two wheels, collecting medals, and creating a path forward for generations of women and girls to follow since she was 40 years old.
By the end of this piece, she’ll have you thinking about what you love to do with a whole new appreciation!
“As long as I can keep those two wheels on the ground, I’m going to be on that track.” — Miss Kittie
When you find what you love, why stop?
Finding things in life that make our heart soar can be a process of trial and error. Whether you find your passion for a hobby, your life’s work, or your volunteering, we spend so much of our lives in search of that activity that we want to be doing no matter what; that activity that gives us a sense of belonging, purpose, and uplift.
When Miss Kittie discovered that she loved the fast-pace, dangerous sport of BMX in her 40s, she knew that this was her place! The problem was, there were no event classes for women at the time, making it difficult for her and other women to participate in the sport they loved. (They mainly had to compete against other men!) So, she changed that.
Now, when Miss Kittie races in dozens of events a year, she does so alongside the thousands of women and girls who have joined her!
The always uplifting Great Big Story brings us to meet Miss Kittie and hear how even a broken neck from the sport in 1993 couldn’t keep her off the track for long.
You can discover more unbelievable bits of wonder from around our world with Great Big Story by visiting them over on YouTube!
“Find that one thing you’re passionate about and give it your all.”— Miss Kittie
To learn more about Miss Kittie’s story and hear her inspiring words, you can’t miss this 2-minute video from The New York Times! Here she is with her son on NPR, as well. Give it a listen!
You doing what you love to do paves the way for others.
It’s as simple as that! When we recognize ourselves in the work of others, barriers start to break down. As trailblazers step forward to do what feels right to them, a path begins to clear for us. We have new dreams and aspirations because somebody has cracked open the door of possibility. How many women do you think thought that they were welcome to join BMX before Miss Kittie stepped in?
“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”—Rosa Parks
What would a world look like where everyone was determined to do what they truly love to do? A world where we lead knowing that we’re stepping down a path packed down by generations before us, adding our own footprints to keep it clear for everyone to follow.
Here are just a few of my favorite stories of people doing just this.
Going to Space with Mae Jemison!
The story of Mae Jemison’s life is one about pursuing your dreams and striving for better. And tomorrow’s her birthday! So let’s celebrate.Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
When Dance Creates Opportunities
Hussein Smko grew up in war-torn Iraq, and he’s turned his experience into an opportunity. Through his performance, this dancer is not only telling his story, but making it possible for others to share theirs.Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
The School that Changed an Entire Community
What if lasting social change started by getting adversaries to become advocates for some new future that everyone could imagine together and feel good about? This is how Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya started a revolutionary school that is changing the lives of generations of students!Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
A New “Twist” on Embracing Your Hidden Talents
Was there something that you just naturally did as a child that you stopped doing because of the critique or lack of support from others? What if that gift is just waiting to take you to your zone of genius! This unusually flexible guy shows us what’s possible!Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
So, what is it that you want to do? Who came before you to make it possible for you to be able to do what you love? If you can’t think of anyone, do a little research on your area of interest. Take note of who cleared this path for you.
And if you can’t find anyone or there isn’t a spot for you—yet—maybe it’s you who’s the one needed to step forward and start clearing out space.
As always, stay open to new possibilities!
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” —Albert Einstein
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- McGinnis, Kc, et al. “Meet the Oldest Female BMX Racer in the U.S. (She’s 69).” The New York Times, 11 Oct. 2017, www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000005451144/oldest-female-bmx-racer-kittie-weston-knauer.html. Accessed 16 June 2020. ↩
- Great Big Story. “A Broken Neck Can’t Stop the 70-Year-Old BMX Racer.” YouTube, 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq7TpBlUqC0&feature=emb_title. Accessed 9 June 2020. ↩