I can tell you one thing; whenever someone tells me what I should do, I almost always do the opposite. I have been that way for as long as I can remember. In some psychology class years back, I learned about the theory of psychological reactance. It all boils down to an idea that people believe that they possess freedoms and the ability to participate in those free-behaviors. When those behaviors are threatened, something within us is sparked and we react. I find myself pretty apprehensive when it comes to telling anyone what they should be doing. For that matter, I mostly, don’t care what anyone else is doing. A person’s true character comes out regardless. You are what you do.
“When I cross the line, people seem stunned”.
“The sun is beating down from a relentlessly blue sky on an 80-degree late-May afternoon in Emporia, Kansas. Alexandera Houchin is joking with her friends and supporters at the starting line of the Dirty Kanza XL, despite the fact that she’s just ridden her bike a few hundred miles through rain and mud from Iowa, napping under a highway overpass to get here on time. The laughter masks her misgivings about this race. It’s not because the DKXL is a notoriously difficult 542km ride through the steep and sharp Flint Hills of Kansas. It’s the race’s name, “Dirty Kanza,” that gets her. Kanza is a nickname for the Kaw Nation, the “People of the South Wind,” who lived in this region long before white settlers arrived. To preface that with “Dirty” shows a disconnect of the history of place that is ironic to Houchin, whose mother is Ojibwe.”
Check out more at Bicycling Magazine!
The University of Minnesota – Duluth has pulled together an exceptional profile video on Alexandera Houchin, the SS TDR record holder. Check it out!
“After living thousands of miles away and spending time zig-zagging down the Continental Divide on bike, Alexandera Houchin’s homecoming is extra meaningful. Growing up, she never saw a Native American dentist or doctor, and decided to counter that with plans to practice dentistry on her reservation. Through her example, Alexandera envisions empowering the next generation to take care of its citizens. “If you can’t see it, how can you believe it?””