• Melia Dunn

6 of 7: Two (Aspirational) Roads Diverged...

Continued from “Pacing for Distance and Milestones


Gratitude Shout Out to Beth Yohe, who catapulted my awareness of whiteness and privilege to a whole new level. NOTE: The thumbnail image for this entry is one of her recent posts. Humility in her anti-racist bad-assery. Loving Accountability in her desire to bring us along. I aspire be like her.


After just one experience riding to breakfast where I survived navigating the streets of Phoenix (see Knowing my Lane) I was in no hurry to try that again.

That’s generous. I actually have no aspiration to advance my competence to ride the streets of Phoenix, or any city for that matter.

Nor do I have the aspiration to give a go at mountain biking, which in my impression is pretty much the pinnacle of fitness and skill maneuvering on two wheels.

I am satisfied with my casual trips along the bike path and my neighborhood.


However I am genuinely in awe of those cyclists who are so adept that they ride to work, ride in races and/or ride the trails of South Mountain.

I get that excited anticipation watching the GoPro videos of trailblazers on YouTube...often unable to silence my responses, “Wow!” Oh damn!?!” or “That. Was. Awesome!”

And when I do connect with an experienced rider, I am genuinely curious about their experiences... the thrill of downhill speed, jumps that are described as “EPIC” and the stories of each battle scar “earned” along the way.

There’s something inspiring about the look on someone’s face who is talking about their passion. It reminds me to lean into my own.



NOTE: For myriad reasons that I won’t go into here, (but might someday!) a stereotype exists that BIPOC don’t’ participate in nature or outdoor adventure. To combat and push against that stereotype, I invite you to enjoy


So here’s where my metaphor for advancing skills in cycling and anti-racism starts to diverge. But I hope you’ll come along… perhaps it will make all the difference.


On my anti-racist journey, it wasn’t just one time, but multiple experiences of hearing “stay in your lane” or another form of a call out/call in. I may have not always been in the hurry that I should have been (something I own, and regret) but I keep returning to the path.


Unlike my disinterest in progressing as a cyclist, I had a deep aspiration to advance my competence in anti-racism to contribute to change here in Metro Phoenix, in the State of Arizona and for the nation for that matter.


In fact, I still have that deep admiration to advance my competence, step by step, day by day. I have seen those anti-racist activists and change makers who are, in my impression, operating at the the pinnacle of social justice fitness, maneuvering through and dismantling white supremacy culture. They are my role models.


I am not satisfied yet, and will continue working, interrogating my whiteness and engaging with community where I can be of service. In those areas where I have more to learn, I won’t disappear, but aim to practice cultural humility in the not knowing.


And I am genuinely in awe of fellow *white anti-racists who are so smooth in their style that I don’t even realize they are serving up nuggets of truth and wisdom for me to chew and digest until I am actually chewing and digesting!


I get that excited anticipation reading their posts on social or being a participant in one of their workshops… often unable to silence my responses, “Wow!” Oh damn!?!” or “That. Was. Awesome!”


And when I do connect with an experienced anti-racist I am genuinely curious about their experiences... the thrill of seeing the light bulb moment when someone “gets it”, moments that are marked as “EPIC” in tipping the scales of justice and the stories of each battle they’ve faced along the way.

There’s something inspiring about the look on someone’s face who is talking about their passion. It reminds me to lean into my own.


To be continued...


*to be 100,000% sure - my awe extends to countless BIPOC who I remain forever indebted to for gifting their stories and wisdom. And the word AWE doesn’t begin to do you justice. And for this post, I am thinking of the importance of white folks getting other white folks to deal with our shit and to get fucking active in our anti-racism.


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Incorporated 2018.  Melia Dunn Consulting, LLC