In its evolution there has been some confusion, even in my mind, as to what Bittersweet is about. I have to be honest and say that its initial purpose was to grow the women’s field at Rasputitsa. Yet, over time, Bittersweet began to mold itself into something more all-embracing. It transformed to inspiring human connections and belonging. Belonging doesn’t seek approval. Belonging is when we are our authentic selves. Belonging requires us to be vulnerable. It requires us the courage to try without shame. It requires us the courage to fail and not give up. It required us the courage to accept our imperfections without sacrificing who we are.
We partnered with Orvis to include a fly-fishing segment. but what we didn’t realize was the impact this would have. As Chrissy Atkins of Orvis eloquently described in the day’s opening comments, “get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Orvis has done just this by launching a national gender parity campaign known as 50/50 On The Water.
The days enthusiasm was contagious as groups of women challenged themselves with a new adventure whether it be fishing or riding. With legendary leaders at the helm, they too were put out of their element by taking on activities they didn’t necessarily excel at. We saw Lea Davison try her hand at fly fishing. We saw Whitney Allison prepare pizzas. It was everyone give a go at everything.
Colavita has supported Bittersweet events since inception. They have a community outreach program called Colavita Cares led by Mary Zider and Andrea Smith. Together they helped us bring together a wonderful community of strong women.
Our friends at Specialized Bicycles joined us with a fleet of Turbo Levos and a stack of Women’s Power Saddles with Mimic. If ever an argument was lacking for e-bikes, the opportunity for a 75 year old participant to leave Lea Davison in the dust on a hill climb was made.
.I think everyone can agree, however, was an impromptu dance party celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Lea Davison and Frazier Blair. A little Beyonce, a little Whitney kept the spirits high.