A Ferret Called Wilson

Chasing Happy, Chasing Dreams



Martyn Ashton Rides Again

For some of us, we are afraid to chase our dreams. For others, we chase them, only to get discouraged when people tell us they are impossible.

For Martyn Ashton, however, “physically impossible” wasn’t a reason to stop chasing his dreams. He took the longest, hardest fall a human can: From international bike trials champion, to a wheelchair. He tried typical parasports. He tried giving up the bike, but to him, biking is in his blood. Martyn needed to get back on a bike like he needed to breathe.

For Martyn, some dreams really do come true.



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Monday Morning Mini-Mopes

(I adore alliteration. It inspires me.)

So, it’s monday morning. I have to go to work today and teach young humans the pillars of the dying religion of economics. I don’t want to do this.

I have discussed it here in detail yet, but I have come full circle on economics. I no longer believe its tenets.

But that is a story for another day.

Today, this Monday morning, I just want to note that I am tired and heavy. My coach has always warned me that physical tired and emotional tired can cross signals and to always tend to both whenever one arises, and she is a wise human. So I keep in my awareness the possibility that this tired is just the result of a week of unrecovered legs taken through another 100 km day of hills and hard riding. However, my heart is heavy in addition to my legs.

Yesterday many of my dreams were drawn into question. Can I make it as a cyclist if at my age I still haven’t found people who will teach me how it’s done? Do I have the courage to race alone in a sport designed for team strategy? If after all this work and effort I still can’t find what I’m looking for, is my dream to create it for other women misguided?

Where do I go from here?

不安で胸がいっぱい。My heart is full of uncertainty.

And in spite of this, Monday has arrived just as it has every week of the past 1642 weeks of my life. Ready or not the next step must be taken. Heavy or not, recovered or not, tired or not, inspired or not.

And so I go forth into the wilderness that is a (not so) young (not so feminine) woman’s future.

耳の届かない話 Words I cannot share with you








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女子練!Girl Ride!

Today I had the privilege of joining the Kunitachi Giant Store girls’ morning practice. Tired of getting dragged around by boys who always wanted to ride courses that were too steep, or who wouldn’t wait for them, they decided to organize a special practice. Compared to what I usually put my body through, it was a walk in the park. We did a 25 km loop around Saiyama lake, which is a lovely shaded, winding, slightly rolling bike course. It took about an hour and a half, so slower than I usually ride, but still enough to get a sweat going.

Part way through the shop owner had to take off for some work that he forgot about, and so the last 40 minutes or so was just us girls. That was when I finally got to see their true colors. Far from having no desire to ride, they mostly just felt overwhelmed. No matter how hard they tried, it was never enough for the boys — a girl just can’t keep up, and it’s unfair for a boy to expect them to.

I felt like I had finally found people who could understand me. We were all struggling against the same obstacles, and like so much else in the world we were made to feel like we were lacking because the bar, and all the rules, were set by boys, for boys.

On the way home it dawned on me, the solution to all of our problems. The boys make the girls feel bad about themselves because they don’t give us any credit for trying despite an extremely unfair disadvantage. The girls in turn wear the boys out because they are reluctant to subject themselves to more machismo. I, however, am both male and female and I can speak both languages. I can tolerate the boys’ crazy training concepts, learn from them, and make my own body stronger. I can then give what I learn to the girls in a way that I know will preserve their desire to ride, and maybe even grow it. The shop wins because it gets staff that know more and care more about bikes. The girls win because they get to practice without the pressure and abuse. And I win because I get to say that someone has to train me (Thunder, I’m 100% talking about you, here!), and I get to get faster while at the same time finally having people to ride with.

And I get to be team captain! Duh.

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