By: Kenna Gubler
To grow up in a family where everyone has the same love for the outdoors is something that can be hard to find these days. Luckily, my family loves everything that the outdoors has to offer. My parents constantly had my brothers and me outside starting at a very young age. We were first introduced to the outdoors through participating in a variety of sports that most of the other kids I knew played as well. As we got older, my brothers and I would push ourselves to try newer and more exciting things involving the outdoors. With all of the activities we have thrown ourselves into such as hiking, biking, snowboarding and more, the one thing that has stayed constant is that you can always find us outside.
Each family member has his or her own favorite outdoor hobbies and sports, but the activity that my family is most passionate about is biking. This passion was introduced and encouraged by my dad all throughout my childhood. I have never met someone as in love with biking as my dad. Whether it is a road bike or a mountain bike, he is the happiest old guy I know when he is cruising on two wheels. He pushes my family towards new adventures and if it weren’t for him, my family would have missed out on some amazing experiences.
Living in Maryland has given us so many great opportunities to ride some beautiful mountain biking trails. I remember my first mountain biking ride because of how nervous and excited I was. I knew it was going to be completely different from any other bike ride I had ever been on. My dad warned me of things to expect during the ride and all I remember thinking is, “Big boulders I have to ride over? Huge hills I have to climb? Creeks I have to ride through? How is this going to be possible?”
That is the beauty of doing things outdoors though. The outdoors is your playground and it provides you with natural obstacles. Overcoming each challenge that is thrown your way is one of the most rewarding feelings to experience. You will be surprised with what you are able to accomplish. All of it is waiting for you, you just have to find it and tackle it. The outdoors does not just give you something to do or something to look at, it also helps strengthen your relationships in a raw and natural way. My dad loves to bike more than anything else and getting to share this experience with him is irreplaceable. So now here I am in the city of Pittsburgh, away from home and surrounded by buildings, cars, and people, and I find myself biking around where I live, trying to find new obstacles and adventures with the same excitement that I have always had back home.