My Cycling Life

I still remember my first "real" bike, perhaps it's because of this really awesome picture I found at my parents house.  

IMG_1239.jpg

I don't think much as changed since back then, I still love bright colors, I'm still riding bikes, and I have an obnoxiously loud laugh, I probably still stand like that too, and my Dad probably has less hair (sorry Dad).  Putting those colors and my Dad aside, when I was 12 years old I was hit by a car and didn't ride a bike again until I was 22.  Bikes introduced to me to my future husband, and thanks to him I learned about cyclocross.  My first thought was "you're crazy".  He kept telling me I would love it, and I kept telling him "You're crazy.  I don't like the cold, I don't like the mud, you look silly".  Three years later I bought myself a Cyclocross bike just to fit in with my friends and ride the dirt trails around town, and perhaps try Cyclocross.  It took one race and I was seriously hooked, no, addicted.  Cyclocross took over my thoughts, and every year after that I kept working towards getting better.  

It wasn't until 2012 when I decided to hit up Cross Vegas for a little "mini-moon" after our wedding.  I thought it would be fun to race a UCI race with all the big timers.  I set my standards low and was hoping for a top 30.  I started in the back row and thought a top 30 would be tough, but hopefully I could do it.  I finished 13th, my jaw dropped.  I couldn't believe the women I was riding around.  The rest of the season was quite a show of the Seattle cyclocross community donating air miles and assistance to get me to the USGP races.  Not only was I hooked on Cyclocross, I was now hooked on chasing those valuable UCI points for a better call up at nationals.  Finishing 14th at Nationals that year left me hungry for more, I really wasn't satisfied and I was quite disappointed.  

From that first taste of the highest level of racing, I continued to work hard, be focused, and progress within the sport.  Every year became better and better, until the 2015/2016 season when I started having troubles with my hip.  The season was subpar to my standards, enter Physical Therapy and imaging to find FAI and a torn labrum within my hip joint.  My surgeon recommended surgery, but I wasn't mentally ready for such a daunting ordeal.  I rehabbed like crazy for the 2016/2017 season, which turned out to be my best season to date, with a 5th place at Nationals, sealing a spot on the USA World Championship team, and finishing 15th that year.  

10 days later I went in for surgery on my right hip, and spent the better part of the year rehabbing.  2017/2018 season proved to be no less than the year before, shocking everyone at my comeback, once again sealing a spot on the World Championship team with a 4th place at Nationals.  

I look forward to the challenges of elite athletics and pushing my mind and body further than I ever knew was possible.

When I live a normal life...

McFaddenEllis_261color.jpg

I'm always enjoying life on two wheels.  Outside of bike racing I try to hold as much of a  "normal" life as possible.  I hold a B.S. and M.S. in Exercise Science, so I know a few things about the human body.  I've worked as a Group Fitness Instructor for the past 13 years and as a Personal Trainer for the past 12.  I can't possibly imagine another career path for myself.  There is nothing I love better than watching clients get stronger, helping clients live a healthier life, and teaching my clients about how their body works and moves.  I have my job because I love it and I care about the people I work with.  I aim to motivate, guide, and act as an inspiration to those wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle.  

When not on the bike, training clients or teaching classes, you can find me either cuddling with my adorable cat Nugget or spending time with my supportive and incredibly awesome husband Chris.