#215 CRUSHING with the US Women’s Team

Something pretty special is happening right now in the US when it comes to competitions. This is of course subjective, but in my opinion we have the most dynamic, fun, inclusive comp scene in the world. And it is being led by our women. Our US National Champion this year is Galen Kirkpatrick, who was on the previous show and been lodging some incredible results- 1st, Red Rocks Wide Open (overall), 3rd Chelan (overall), 3rd Monarca (overall); Alexia Fischer is the top ranked PILOT in the WPRS in the United States and just came away with two top ten results overall at the British and Pre PWC in Colombia last month; Violeta Jimenez is currently ranked 3rd in the NTSS (US overall ranking) and is a shoe-in for the podium regardless of the race; and Jenny Oneil has only been in the game a few years and is already competing along with these incredible ladies right now at the Superfinal in Brazil. At the Monarca in January Galen, Violeta and Alexia were all in the top 10- OVERALL. In this conversation, Gavin McClurg talks to our leading US Women’s team members about how they have created this new paradigm. They discuss their backgrounds, breakthrough moments, advice for those interested in competitions, and the formation and goals of the team. The conversation highlights the importance of inclusivity and visibility in paragliding, as well as the progress and achievements of women in the sport. We discuss their future plans and goals for women’s paragliding, and share their experiences of overcoming setbacks and challenges. They also reflect on their personal journeys and triumphs, and express their excitement for the upcoming Super Final. This episode is a blast- enjoy!

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Takeaways

  • Competitions are a great way to learn and improve in paragliding. Even if you’re not ready to win, participating in competitions allows you to fly with experienced pilots and receive immediate feedback on your performance.
  • Focus on performance rather than results. Concentrate on improving your skills, such as climbing and gliding, and the results will follow.
  • The women’s paragliding team aims to capitalize on the current momentum and make their success the norm rather than the exception. They work together to discuss strategies, analyze tasks, and support each other in competitions.
  • The women’s team emphasizes the importance of mentorship and learning from experienced pilots. They encourage aspiring competitors to seek guidance and advice from coaches and more experienced pilots in order to accelerate their learning and progression. Inclusivity and visibility are crucial for encouraging more women to participate in paragliding.
  • Having role models and a supportive community can inspire and motivate women to pursue their goals in the sport.
  • The progress and achievements of women in paragliding are changing the perception of what is possible for female pilots.
  • It is important to create opportunities and support systems for women in paragliding to ensure their continued success and growth.

Chapters

00:00Introductions and Backgrounds

19:44Breakthrough Moments

29:28Advice for Those Interested in Competitions

36:55The Women’s Team

37:45Importance of Inclusivity and Visibility

39:00Inspiration and Support for Women in Paragliding

40:27Progress and Achievements of Women in the Sport

44:38Future Plans and Goals for Women’s Paragliding

50:17Balancing Passion and Burnout in Competitive Paragliding

57:50Overcoming Setbacks and Challenges

01:06:37Personal Journeys and Triumphs

01:09:22Looking Ahead to the Super Final



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Transcript

Gavin McClurg (00:01.806)
Miles talking to the ladies down in Baishu. And I'm sync things up here. Watch your ears.

Gavin McClurg (00:13.038)
Good afternoon ladies, how are you?

galen Kirkpatrick (00:18.444)
Again. Bye.

Gavin McClurg (00:20.814)
I am talking to Jenny and Galen and Violetta and Alexia. They're on their practice day, the day before the big one. The super final starts tomorrow down in Baishu, Gwandoo. And we thought it'd be really fun to sit down with these crushers and find out how they got here and what are some of the things that they've all been through and the women's team and strategies and coping situations and setbacks and a bunch of fun stuff. So.

We're going to get into that, but I thought for the audience sake, let's do some introductions, starting with Jenny, where are you from, how long have you been at this game? Give us a quick rundown on your flying and comp flying resume, and then you can each just hand it off to the next person.

galen Kirkpatrick (01:07.276)
Hi, I'm Jenny. I sort of live in Colorado, but I've been basically traveling in paragliding for the past two and a half years. I started flying in 2020. I did my first comp about a year later at the Applegate Sprint. And in the past two years, I've probably done, I think this will be like my 20th comp, my second PWC. So.

Gavin McClurg (01:33.518)
This is your second PWC, the Superfinal. That rings true to me. That's how mine was. I did a World Cup and then a Superfinal back in 2012. That was pretty exciting. And you've just recently stepped up to the end, though, correct?

galen Kirkpatrick (01:36.268)
Yes.

galen Kirkpatrick (01:45.246)
Yeah.

galen Kirkpatrick (01:48.62)
Yeah, I just was in Columbia and I did two comps on the Enzo and so, yeah.

Gavin McClurg (01:55.022)
How's it feeling?

galen Kirkpatrick (01:56.714)
It feels good in Columbia, it was a lot more turbulent, I would say, and flying it here feels really nice.

Gavin McClurg (02:05.134)
Thanks, Kevin.

galen Kirkpatrick (02:07.36)
Yeah, I'm Galen. I'm from Washington State. I sort of live in California in a van or on a boat and I've also been doing antenna races the last couple years. I've done about 30 and about 10 or 12 of those have been PWCs or other cat one competitions.

Gavin McClurg (02:33.87)
Yeah, and your first was x -ray, correct? In Turkey in 21?

galen Kirkpatrick (02:39.18)
Yeah, my first was Axari and then I did a bunch that season and then the next season and then that leads us to here.

Gavin McClurg (02:50.222)
See you later.

galen Kirkpatrick (02:52.172)
So, I'm Violetta and I've been flying, it'll be 10 years in September. And I entered the World Cup scene around the same time as Galen. We both flew in Aksarai in 2021. That started a lot of competition flying for me. So I didn't count before this interview, but it's been a number and it's been a really fun ride.

Gavin McClurg (03:22.83)
Alexia.

galen Kirkpatrick (03:24.524)
I'm Alexia. I'm from Seattle, Washington, and I've been flying for five and a half years. My first PWC was Castello a year ago.

Gavin McClurg (03:38.574)
in Costello just a year ago, just last March.

galen Kirkpatrick (03:41.452)
Yes.

Gavin McClurg (03:42.926)
and you're all the superfinal that is super duper awesome. Okay, we'll do the same. We'll start with Jenny again, but I'd love to hear from each of you. None of us are Kregel. None of us started this when we were zero. We've all gotten to this when we were basically adults, but I'd love to hear something about your history just so the audience can learn a little bit more about where you came from before you got into flying and.

specifically what is one thing you did before you got into this sport that you think has really helped your success or helped you get to a place where you can be with the best in the world at the super final and vice you.

galen Kirkpatrick (04:27.916)
Yeah, so before I started paragliding I was doing a lot of climbing and slacklining and before that I was a competitive gymnast for pretty much my whole childhood and I think there are a lot of aspects of that with competing that kind of parallels to paragliding in some way. So that kind of helped shape a competition mindset for me.

One thing that I do think helps a lot is that I've also worked for like 10 years as a software engineer and I've been able to give myself a lot of free time and the finances I need to do this for because it's very expensive and it takes a lot of time. So I've been able to like work remotely from anywhere in the world so I can be where the flying is good. And that's helped me progress as fast as I have I think.

Gavin McClurg (05:18.432)
Excellent. So mindset and work -life balance. There's a lot of software engineers in this sport. It's interesting because it just gives you the time.

galen Kirkpatrick (05:24.876)
Yeah. Yeah, what a chance. Yeah.

Gavin McClurg (05:29.454)
Jenny, talk about, you know, Will Gad always talked about that when he saw climbers get into sport, it always made him way more nervous than flow sports. Someone coming from skateboarding or surfing or mountain biking, you know, when you're dealing a lot with gravity from a non -static kind of position, you know, obviously the climbing has the risk side and...

the just exposure side for sure, but do you think that climbing was more important or was gymnastics? Because gymnastics I see is fantastic, you know, balance and flow and strength.

galen Kirkpatrick (06:07.116)
Yeah, I think gymnastics set me up for a lot of things in life both like mentally and physically. Yeah, climbing is like, it's I mean, when you paraglide, climbing seems really safe, I would say in comparison. And yeah, so yeah, with gymnastics, you just learn from a young age a lot of like your standing balance and motor skills, which isn't a huge part of paragliding, but certainly, you know.

helps make you safer at launching and landing. And then the mental side of gymnastics, I mean, it's usually a mental sport. It's really difficult. You have to make yourself do scary things a lot and remain calm in those situations. So.

Gavin McClurg (06:54.03)
hearing this because my daughter's in gymnastics so excellent. Maybe she'll be a parent later someday.

galen Kirkpatrick (06:56.588)
Yeah, yeah, that's great.

Well, y 'all already heard from me, so I'll try to keep this sort of short, but I think one thing I didn't mention, I have a history of doing improv comedy and improvised theater. And so I feel like a lot of good flying is improvisational, you know, you're kind of like drawing from this skill set, or you have all these tools you can use, but when you're actually performing them,

You can't, you have to get into the flow state. You can't like, you can't get too up in your head about it. And, and so, yeah, just kind of like knowing a lot, having this extensive toolkit, but then discarding it and just going to fly. Like in theater, you're not gonna die probably, but you.

do have this like social risk. You're like on stage in front of a lot of people and you're hoping to give them like a cohesive narrative or a funny, you know, experience. And so paragliding feels in many ways like a lot simpler than that. You don't have to create a narrative. You just have to stay alive and stay in the air. And yeah, so I see parallels in that.

Gavin McClurg (08:20.27)
Love it.

Gavin McClurg (08:25.262)
Sure. Me.

galen Kirkpatrick (08:27.98)
Yeah, so in thinking back on what I did before paragliding, I think it actually says more about who I am as a person and then because I chose those things, I also chose paragliding. I've written a little bit in cross country about how my path through life hasn't really been predictable for a lot of people and certainly paragliding took a lot of my friends and family by surprise as a thing I want to do. So.

One of the big sports that I did before paragliding was ultra running, which is very different in certain ways, but perhaps the more transferable part of it is this idea of going through difficulty and coming out the other side that work pays off in the end. If you put in the effort, and it can't just be the day of, if you put in the effort beforehand, then you're going to be able to perform better when the time comes.

But actually one of the other things that I, Jenny grew up as a competitive gymnast and I grew up as a dancer actually. And I think that's in some ways been a really critical part of my development, again, as a human being, as somebody who literally moves through the world. Because in dance, specifically partner dance, you're constantly reacting to what your partner is doing.

to how you move, how you land, and you're trying to make it look good. So you're thinking about how you move your body through space a lot. And that's been very helpful as I've moved through different parts of paragliding. But neither of those, I think, are directly transferable to paragliding. They're just sort of my background. I am a person who enjoys moving creatively and finding ways to solve a physical problem. And I'm...

also somebody who really thinks that there's nothing I can't do if I try hard enough, basically. So that's it. Yeah.

Gavin McClurg (10:32.59)
are more.

Cool, Alexia.

galen Kirkpatrick (10:37.746)
Before paragliding, I was really big into sailboat racing and did basically every single kind of sailboat racing from small single -person dinghies to large 60 -foot ocean racing. I feel like it transferred quite a bit because you're working in similar elements, especially with the wind and water. And with the racing, it's very similar to paragliding.

You've got a start time and a start line. And then you've got marks, which are like turn points. And then you have to look at wind strength and wind direction as well as current. And it's similar to thermal strength, wind supply, clouds, that sort of thing. So I feel like the strategy transfers quite a bit. I did that for...

Gavin McClurg (11:26.67)
Yeah, whenever I'm trying to describe to someone what we do, I often start off the sentence with it's like sailboat racing in the sky. You have waypoints and you're going upwind and downwind and they're creating a task and they're creating a race course. It's super similar. There's a lot of ties there that relate, lift and drag and.

That's all pretty. So we've got a climber, a comedian, an ultra runner and a sailboat racing. This is, man, you can come from a diverse history there. That's fantastic. You've all, we're gonna get into the coaching and how you're attacking the team stuff here towards the end, but I'd love to hear from each of you and we don't have to do it in that order, whatever order you want, but.

galen Kirkpatrick (11:59.756)
You

Gavin McClurg (12:19.534)
Do you all have a mentor? I know you've been, you've been, you know, you've worked with Maxine Bellaman and you worked with coaches quite a bit recently. Do you have a mentor, either comp mentor or just flying mentor that has shaped how you fly, how you attack flying, how you think about flying?

galen Kirkpatrick (12:41.132)
Well, I could start maybe, but the idea of mentorship, I recently, you know, said that, um, Maxine Bellman was sort of my flying guru mentor. We've only worked together for, you know, three, three days, if that. So it's been like very little person on person time, but I love his philosophy and what he brings towards flying. So I guess that's one meaning of that word mentorship. But another, I think is sort of just,

accountability, like someone that supports you, who you enjoy spending time around with and you like, exchange energy. And I, for that one, I'm going to give the answer of Kansas or Michael Hamill. He's like an old, well, he's a young cop pilot, but he's been doing cops, you know, much longer than I've been flying. And he's just always been incredibly supportive of me. And, you know,

We really enjoy to fly together. So thanks, Kansas.

Gavin McClurg (13:44.206)
He's a special human. Who's next?

galen Kirkpatrick (13:48.908)
I can go. I mean, certainly all these ladies here have been that for me. And like, I think, you know, there is really something behind representation matters. You see people doing it and they're like, oh, I can do that too. I was also fortunate to learn with a bunch of women and to have women who are all learning together and traveling together. And that's really helped me a lot. And then, you know, all of the US competition pilots.

just being able to ask anybody anything and fly in all the US comps over the past couple years.

Gavin McClurg (14:25.07)
Excellent. How about V?

galen Kirkpatrick (14:27.82)
Sure, so this is such a great question, Gavin. And as Galen said, we've been thinking a lot about mentorship. It's part of this team that we'll talk more about later. I would be remiss if I didn't give some credit. I spent a couple of years spending a lot of time with Mitch Riley, who I dated for a while. He's great, shout out to Mitch, but he was a very, very helpful.

mentor at that stage of my flying journey. I think the last few years, I've really spent a lot more time. I've worked with several sports psychologists, which has been really great, you know, kind of thinking, who am I in the sport? What do I want? What are my barriers? And that's been really important for my personal development. Like Galen, I also developed a relationship with Maxine Bellemann last year, who's been just fantastic.

He's a great person who's continued to help give me strategic advice and that's awesome. I would say there have been a number of other people in the US community who've given me advice at times that I needed it and sometimes they may not even have realized that they were doing it, but it's been really helpful. Bill Belcourt is somebody we all know and...

I really treasured the times I've gotten to pick his brain. Josh Cohen is another person who gave me some really great advice and recommendations in the last couple of years when I needed them. And really, this goes beyond the topic today, but I'd love to see us get to a place in the US community where actually we can all develop that mentorship relationship with each other, where even if it's not, you know, we're gathering, you and I are on the phone every month, like,

you know, maybe there's a time you can give me mentorship or I could give you mentorship. I would love to see that happen where we can all support each other and share some of our wealth of knowledge over the course of time.

Gavin McClurg (16:33.774)
Yeah, I mean, just listening to you say that, that could be a whole show in itself. I mean, I think that one of the things that you ladies are doing is forcing all of us in a really good way, forcing is a negative term, but forcing all of us in a really good way to be more like the French, which is they're constantly getting coaching. They've gotten coaching since they were juniors. This is something that...

it's hard to learn when you're in your own echo chamber and you're doing it totally on your own and you're trying to figure it out on your own and you're not hearing from, I mean, I've been super fortunate to have mentors who live here in Sun Valley, but when it comes to comps, we're all just freewheeling, you know, where it's a very cowboy environment in the US. And yeah, that's another topic that I said we can talk about for a long time, but I really appreciate that with all of you that you're, you know, hey, to get better.

we gotta work together.

galen Kirkpatrick (17:31.19)
And just real quick before Alexa goes, Gavin, we appreciate you, you know, like what you've done with this show, especially, you know, worldwide, but also for the US funding community. Yeah, you're we've got so much information or you you've been your book and your show. You're a big part of that.

Gavin McClurg (17:51.662)
Thank you. I'm glad this isn't a video podcast. We don't need to be looking at any blush. Alexi, what about you?

galen Kirkpatrick (18:00.588)
So I started competition flying in 2021, or the Apple date of them. And I feel like it's been a bunch of mentors throughout my career, mostly Washington and Freshers. But like that comp, that senior actually pushed me out of the sprint into the open saying we should do this, you'll have more fun. And Owen Shoemaker, Matt Tenzi, and when I started competing, these lovely ladies, I was very proud of them as well as Bianca.

learning just how to do certain things in the air and fit in and all that sort of stuff.

Gavin McClurg (18:37.23)
Yeah, great. Alexia on fire. I'm down in Columbia. It's going to be a fun week for you all this week. OK, we're going to talk about breakthroughs. And you all suggested this. I thought it was fantastic. But what I love about it is you're all coming together, but you've all had very different paths getting here and your own individual.

journeys, obviously, to get to this point of working together and even creating a U .S. team. I don't even know how long that's been a thing for the women's team. But talk about that journey a little bit, that independent journey. And then maybe along the way, I'd love to hear if there was kind of a breakthrough moment, whether that was just.

working and working and working and working and you get there through hard work, you know, like Violetta said, but was there a light bulb that went off in the path? And let's go just so the listeners can orient. Let's just go in the order we've been doing it. Start at Jenny.

galen Kirkpatrick (19:44.092)
Yeah, so I started doing like some of the score class competitions first, which I find really helpful. It can be really frustrating to be in a B wing and a normal competition. You just can't keep up and you kind of miss out on some learning, I think. So if you're on one of the wings that can go the fastest with all these people, you can learn quicker. So I kind of did those first and then started stepping up wings.

I wasn't doing especially well. I just did a lot of competitions. Like I probably did 10 last year. Um, and I think like one of the moments I remember, I wasn't actually, I didn't do the PWC in Perseverance last year, but I was there. And on the last day I flew the task and I flew it like very well. I was in like the lead the whole time. I like couldn't believe it. I was like, wow, I'm just doing it. I'm just following these people and keep doing the same stuff. So over and over again, and kind of after that, I was like, okay, I think I can do a PWC.

I'm gonna ask for a wild card and see if they let me in. And they did and then in Turkey, I kinda did the same thing and just stayed really consistent every day and did well, so.

Gavin McClurg (20:57.582)
So the aha moment was kind of a, oh, wait a minute, this isn't outreach. This is something I can do.

galen Kirkpatrick (21:03.404)
Yeah, yeah, I felt like I had, you know, worked on all the technical skills a lot, like flying a lot of cross country, doing a lot of competitions. And then, you know, it's like, I was just like, I want to try to climb as well as I want to glide as well as everyone do that over and over again. If you continually do that, you'll get to go with them. So yeah, staying in that moment of that and not getting too ahead of yourself. Yeah.

Gavin McClurg (21:20.142)
Keep it simple.

Gavin McClurg (21:30.962)
Jenny, what was the catalyst to get into the sport? Because I think of everybody here, you've been in it the least amount of time. But what was the...

galen Kirkpatrick (21:39.468)
Yeah, yeah, so I started it pretty much during the pandemic. So I had been climbing and I've been living in my car and climbing for a couple years. And I had seen paragliding and I had seen how much money it cost. And I was like, I'll do that when I'm not living in my car. And I, you know, have a home and a job. And so once I was in, I ended up in Colorado and I had a friend who's taking lessons in Boulder and I just was like, oh, just try it. And then, you know, like everybody else, you try it and then you just.

can't stop doing it. You're like, I'm climbing, whatever, I gotta go paragliding. So yeah.

Gavin McClurg (22:10.03)
dominoes topple. Yeah.

Gavin McClurg (22:17.646)
Yeah, my last day climbing was my first day kayaking, my first day paragliding, my last day kayaking was my first day paragliding. He oh, this is really fun. Uh, Galen.

galen Kirkpatrick (22:23.372)
Ha ha ha!

galen Kirkpatrick (22:27.148)
Yeah, this is the coolest one. Well, let's see, just really quickly, I think two years ago, I sort of had a breakthrough when I started really believing in myself. I was in Brazil here in Bishow for a PWC and then the Pan -Americans. I was just like, well, it's possible. Let's try this out. And I didn't have any expectation on myself and it went really well. And then I think this year I had...

a breakthrough when I started just being really nice to myself again and kind of owning my skill set or just believing in myself again. And then I'm just very excited for whatever the next breakthrough is. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but I feel like it has to do with working together like with these women and with the greater community at large and just like continuing to open myself up and be comfortable and, you know, perform.

Gavin McClurg (23:26.924)
I love it. V.

galen Kirkpatrick (23:29.708)
Awesome. So I'm going to give a little bit of a different story to start and then the same story to finish. The different story for me, when I started competing, which was, I don't know, five years ago or something like that, I was on a small wing and people told me, oh, the smalls don't go as well. But a real breakthrough was when I switched to a small medium. And this is something I want all small people to hear, not just small women, small men too.

because I've seen people be incredibly frustrated, you know, on a small Zeno at a PwC and I've been there too. And I mean, I'm here to tell you like that, you know, if you can carry that extra five or 10 kilos of ballast, it makes an enormous difference, an enormous difference. You won't believe how much. And where the sport was for me in the United States, despite having mentors, they were all...

bigger people than me. Nobody could tell me, you what's the best way to ballast and how much of a big difference it would make. And when I made that switch, which was at Monarcha a couple of years ago, it enabled me finally to keep up, which was kind of amazing. And so that is a really critical thing for women and again, small men to keep in mind is you are really, really handicapped if you're on the smallest size.

Gavin McClurg (24:43.95)
Hmm.

galen Kirkpatrick (24:53.804)
and it's needless. And in some ways I had to relearn some things about flying once I got on a bigger size because there are things you cannot do when you can't keep up that suddenly are possible and you have to figure those out. So that's a really important thing to keep in mind. That was a big breakthrough. Kind of following on what Galen and Jenny said, another thing is when you begin to trust yourself and...

Maybe that's a struggle that we all have for our entire flying careers is how do you trust your instincts? When do you trust your instincts? When do you hold back? When do you push? But I have felt those moments as well where I realize, ah, yes, I do trust my instincts here. It is time to go. These people are right. These people are wrong. Being able to trust yourself in those circumstances is the basis of comp flying, actually. Even if...

Gavin McClurg (25:47.566)
Do you think that comes from time in the saddle and just doing comps or is that a switch in your emotions? Is that a switch in yourself?

galen Kirkpatrick (25:59.404)
I think it depends on how you as a person interact with yourself and what makes you trust yourself. For me, it is a certain amount of time. I don't trust situations and people until I know them really well, until I have a certain amount of knowledge. That's just who I am. Other people I think are more intuitive and it might be more easy for them to make that leap to trust. But whoever, and that's part of the work too. You have to figure out who you are.

and what you need in order to trust yourself. And we don't have to get into accident and injury here, but those things can make it a lot harder. Getting stared by something can make it a lot harder. So you need to figure out what your barriers are as well.

Gavin McClurg (26:47.086)
See you.

galen Kirkpatrick (26:49.9)
So I had a little different beginning to doing sport class gliders, but I started doing them in open class competitions, and only a couple of sport class competitions. So my big thing was just trying to stick with the group as much as possible and not lose them. I did one thermal after the start, two thermals, three thermals, and realizing that the only way to do that on a B and C wing was to climb.

as best as I could find better than them. So I really focused on climbing and then moved up riders fairly slowly and listened to mentors when I did that and also did a bunch of practice at the lake SIDs. I just got on the Enzo in Turkey and that again made quite a bit of a difference, especially since I could be confident on it and feel good under the wing. And then in Utah, actually,

struggled a bit and bombed out twice and so twice in a row so that took a lot of pressure off because it made me realize it's okay to fail and so I had like all this internal pressure I put on myself and and getting that release allowed me to trust myself more like the others were saying having that confidence and that like knowing that these ideas are good or my intuition is right and

that helped a lot there and translated more into Columbia and also getting a submarine and not a really blown out PR phone.

Gavin McClurg (28:32.238)
Excellent. I think it'd be great to hear from each of you. You've kind of run the gamut here from, you know, from learning to super final and all.

things in between. I want to talk about setbacks in a bit, but let's talk about advice to the folks listening who are thinking about getting into comps, whether they're maybe they're a newer pilot or new to comps. Those can be two very, very different things, but we've got wicked pilots who never gonna fly comps, but they might be thinking about it, especially after listening to this. And so...

galen Kirkpatrick (29:05.996)
Thanks.

Gavin McClurg (29:10.592)
Let's start again with Jenny, because you're the newest one to comps. But looking back, if you could pull from that lexicon of knowledge, pull out one thing that would be something you'd like to impart or something you wish you would have known.

galen Kirkpatrick (29:28.748)
Um, yeah, so I guess, yeah, I don't think you, I think if you want to do a competition, you should, you should do it. You don't need to feel like you're maybe like totally ready for it to just try it. You can go and you can thermal in the start gaggle and you could go out on the first flight, but you're still going to get a lot out of flying with 100 people for an hour.

And it's yeah, so I just think it's a really good way to learn. I did my the sprint on an a -wing which was like painful, an extra small a -wing. And a lot of people were like, why are you, why are you doing that? And I was like, well, everyone says comps are the best way to learn. So I'm just going to go and like see how it goes. And by the end of it, I was making goal the last few days. I'm just making goal after it closed, but I was still there. And yeah, like Alexia, you get really good at climbing because that's the one thing you can.

you can try to do. So yeah, I would I would recommend yeah, if you're interested in competing, finding finding a sport class competition and just trying it and not worrying about the results just thinking of what it is a way to get to launch every day and a way to fly with a bunch of people who are better than you. Let's see how it goes.

Gavin McClurg (30:43.02)
Yeah.

galen Kirkpatrick (30:44.908)
Um, yeah, I think that, you know, not trying to be competitive, it's not really, I mean, you don't get to not to be focusing on the competitive nature of it until you're, um, you know, ready to win it, which is, you know, just the top five or 10 pilots, maybe. Um, but I guess the advice, which, uh, would be like become, become your own teacher.

Um, which that feels like an idiotic thing for me to say because I'm a paragliding teacher and I would like you to hire me, please. Um, but you know, at a comp you have all the, all the pieces to, um, to put together yourself to, um, imitate what these other pilots are doing and to see how they're doing it.

And so it's a lot like a tour if you make it.

Gavin McClurg (31:53.486)
V.

galen Kirkpatrick (31:54.636)
Yeah, so two things. First of all, people, I think, put a little too much pressure on themselves to, to when they start competitions, you know, they think, oh, I have to be in it to win it. And like Galen and Jenny said, you actually don't. So what I wanted to say about that, they've already said a lot of it is think about it like Parallel In Summer Camp. These comps can be so fun. And I mean, even if you're not in it to win it, you should be there to see your friends and

get transport to launch and be on a task where if you bomb out, somebody is going to show up in a nice van. If you go to the US cons, it's going to be a nice van with a cold beer or cold water, which is awesome. Somebody is going to get you. Like it's the easiest way to fly cross country. And then you're going to go and tell lies about it to your friends over burgers that night. It's going to be great, you know? So think about it as a fun time to engage with your community first of all. And our communities, I think, are a really, really important part of our third -level careers. Now here's the converse.

There is a game within the game, right? If you like games, if you like sports, if you like to play chess, if you like challenges, there's some really cool stuff in there. So like Galen said, figure out a way to teach yourself. Figure out what are you, once you're at that stage where you're like, yeah, I wanna go deeper, what are you trying to learn? Is it to why you're getting dropped on glide? Is it how you can climb better? Is it how you can observe better? Is it how you can make decisions better?

figure that out, maybe make a couple goals for yourself, and then teach yourself, take notes after your flight. This sounds really nerdy, but again, I'm saying if you're there and you're like, I want this, I want to get better, do those things. You can hire a coach, like a Galen, for example, or a Maxime, or whoever, you can ask your buddy who's a good pilot, hey, can you give me some advice about what I can do better? So.

engage with it. I'm giving examples of how I learn. I'm a nerd, I like taking notes, I'm very exhausted with that sort of thing. Other people are different. Figure out how you learn and get back to it. Maybe it's just practice, but really engage, go deep.

Gavin McClurg (34:07.33)
Great, Alexia.

galen Kirkpatrick (34:10.86)
I think anyone who wants to do a comp should do it. There's a ton of fun and a really great way to learn. And why there's such a great way to learn is you get to see immediately whether or not your decision was the right one. Or how well you're climbing or how well you're gliding. So having that immediate feedback is such an enormous help in your progression, I think. As well as just hanging out with your friends like everyone else is at already.

Gavin McClurg (34:41.068)
You know, I did a ton of work, great advice. I did a ton of work before the last couple of X Alps campaigns on the thing upstairs here on your head and tons of sports psychology. And I worked with Thomas Therlo who was Kregel's supporter for years and wasn't till this last one. And is a sports psychology coach. One of the many things he does, but.

What he wouldn't mention and what none of you mentioned is focusing on results That's not what you want to do is focus on results. You want to focus on performance you want to focus on Your strengths you want to focus on all the things Climbing gliding the little things that you can improve on and the results will will come so that that was it was cool to listen to you guys talk about Just the things that matter and the things that don't

Okay, let's talk about the women's team. I'm going to tell you what I think it is and then you all just correct me and you tell me what it actually is. It's been really remarkable and it seems pretty recent to just see you all get together after the task comes out in each of these comps and you kind of gather up and I don't know what you're talking about.

galen Kirkpatrick (35:44.364)
I'm sorry.

I love you.

Gavin McClurg (36:04.686)
but it seems like you're talking about what the strategy for the task is and maybe good lines and maybe bad lines and things you should be thinking about. And that's about all I know. So tell me what the women's team is, what your goals are, why you put it together.

why it's necessary. And this one, I don't care about your order, just take it. Each of you take it how you want to talk about what's going on. Cause it's, we're all fascinated. We're all, all the men are all talking about it. You know, I was just talking about the other day with Nate, what are they doing? I want some of that. I want to, I want to know what they're doing. I want to be part of this. I'm going to put a wig on at the next one and I'm going to show up. And I love dressing up as the girl. So that'd be fun. So tell me, tell me what is it? What's going on here?

galen Kirkpatrick (36:54.962)
Okay, so I'll start. So I think one thing that you can, you're right, this is a recent effort on all of our parts and we really, we saw that there's a lot of momentum around the fact that there are four of us performing at a very high level right now, which is an unprecedented situation in the US or frankly anywhere. That's why everyone's talking about it. And.

I want to be clear that one of our main goals, although all of us have individual goals and we all care about our own individual performance, one of our main goals is to ensure that this moment in time is not fleeting, that we capitalize on this and we make this the norm instead of the exception. And so that's really, I would say the thing that motivated us to start working together is like, how can we...

How can we keep this going? How can we bring more women in, not just us? And where can we take this group of women who've all gotten ourselves here on our own merits, by our own steam? And so that's probably the most important thing to say, first of all. And as to why it's important, I think...

Our US community and our flying community in general is making strides as far as inclusivity. But when I started, for example, you could go through the lists at a PWC and you'd have to go through manually and look for women who are doing well. And it was really sad. I had nobody who really was an iPod to me who I...

who I could say, oh, this person showed me that I can do this because what motivated me wasn't to be the best of a small group, but to be the best overall. And that, I think we're changing that. Jenny mentioned visibility. That's a really critical thing. Had I, had this been in place when I started, I would have had people I could reach out to, how did you get there? I would have had just a path that was laid out that would.

galen Kirkpatrick (38:59.916)
be more clear for me and that would have made it easier. I think I wouldn't have felt some of the struggles that I did feel. And I wouldn't have experienced some of the doubt that I did feel. The last thing that I want to say, and I want to let my teammates answer this as well, I was reflecting at Monarcha this year, which is when we launched our women's team and we did very well by winning the top two teams, which is great with our combined women's teams.

I was looking back to my first monarchy five years ago and I was remembering being on a small glider, seeing maybe five or six women in the conflict, may not be in toad, I don't remember how many there were, but there were too many. And there was just this tacit acceptance that a woman would never be on the overall podium, would never be in the top 10. And that was just the way it was. And I accepted that too, even though I hated it. And now five years later, we have,

two teams of women on top of the podium. We had three women in the top 10. It was amazing. I mean, it was just everything that five years ago me would have needed to know and would have wanted to know to give me like, to keep that fire burning, to keep going. And so that's to me why the women's team is important. My dreams of five and 10 years ago when I started flying, I wanted that inspiration and now we can provide it. Isn't that amazing?

Gavin McClurg (40:27.502)
Yeah, before the next person jumps in here, that was awesome. I want to give some perspective here. About five years ago, I think, Violetta, was when I met you at that pizza place. It was more or less five years. You were a complete noob. I mean, you were completely new and you were dating Mitch. And, you know, I mean, it's just pretty rock. It's just awesome that now.

all of us and by all of us, I mean, the men in the sport are competing. It's not just the women's category where, like you said, you pretty much guaranteed a podium spot that now it's, you know, I think Alexia, you're our top ranked WPRS pilot in the country right now. Galen, you're our national champion. Violetta, you're second. And NTS, I mean, I just looked at the results and Jenny, you're brand new to the game. You're 15th and NTS, I mean, it's pretty awesome. And

it happened really quickly. That's interesting that I heard, so I wasn't too far off. So this Monarcha 24 was the first time you literally kind of put the team together and someone else can take that.

galen Kirkpatrick (41:34.86)
Yeah.

galen Kirkpatrick (41:39.468)
I mean, I guess I just have a few things to say. One is that, yeah, we all just really respect and love each other. At the Monroe comp, there were three of us and, you know, Alexia had to go bomb out a couple times so that she could completely crush Columbia. But there very well could have been four of us in the top 10. And so, yeah, just kind of like...

working together and honoring each other and figuring out, yeah, well, what can we do if we help each other be more of who we are and encourage each other to be great? We're all different pilots with different styles, but I think all of us have probably been on a women's podium and felt like, you know,

that was an awesome thing to inspire other women, but that it didn't really matter in terms of the overall ranking. And so I know, I think we're all, I hope it's okay I can speak for everyone, but we're all like fighting for the overall podium. Seeing...

Meryl on the overall podium two years ago in the Columbia, like by a point and a half, was incredibly inspiring and seeing Violetta on the podium last year at Monarca, again, it's just, it's like, yeah, it's just, you see that you become inspired and then you want to make that a reality, both for yourself and for the people you love and support. And so just experimenting.

Gavin McClurg (43:29.134)
I have to share it.

I have to share a funny moment internally when we were down in Columbia at the pre -PWC. Alexia, the day before was, I think Alexia, one of you was up front every day for the women's win, but Alexia, I think you were fifth or sixth that, that task day. It was pretty stiff competition at that, at the pre -PWC. The meat director made a comment, kind of, he was kind of, wow, you know, this is amazing. What did you do? And I went, uh -uh.

Oh, not with these girls, dude. You don't know these girls. They're going to be up there all the time. And then you were. It was awesome. It was so funny. Yeah, OK. So a little bit more about that. Jenny or Lexi, tell me more about how this has encouraged you, how this is open to new women in it. Why is it necessary? Why is this?

galen Kirkpatrick (44:06.476)
Yeah.

Gavin McClurg (44:30.35)
I mean, I didn't know that it just happened at Monarcha. That's pretty recent. But what are the plans for the future? I've asked a whole bunch of questions. Take whatever you want.

galen Kirkpatrick (44:38.32)
Yeah, I think like speaking to what Violetta was saying like I came into this Already seeing that it was possible, which is awesome. Like you hear like oh you're honest You can only be out of a small you're never gonna be competitive But at the same time I'm hearing that I'm seeing the opposite almost I'm seeing you know, you know dance and smaller men and whatever

competing at the highest level too. So like I'm sure that had some influence on me being able to come up as fast as I did. And like what you were saying about the glider size, like I didn't even consider what size, you know, to buy because you just said buy mine and I said, okay, I'll take me. So yeah, I think, yeah, for me just being able to see that right away, it shows that well, it obviously had a difference because you know.

Gavin McClurg (45:18.798)
Hahaha!

galen Kirkpatrick (45:30.444)
I was able to do this so much quicker because of the women that came before me. So obviously we need it and we need to keep it going. And one other thing to say is like, I think that we're very clearly inspiring other countries and maybe they'll realize that they need to do this too. Alexi and I were in Turkey and Violeta and Galen were not.

so many pilots were like, wait, there's two moroccan who are also doing well? Like, what's going on over there? Like, I don't understand, I've never seen this before. You know, and they want that too, they want to have more women flying with them. So it's really cool to inspire the other countries as well.

Gavin McClurg (45:55.918)
I

Gavin McClurg (46:11.182)
special moment standing next to Revis at the party at Menorca and I can't remember who it was but one of the pilots from Mexico came up and brought me a shot of tequila which I didn't need at the time but and he said you know hey I

galen Kirkpatrick (46:24.748)
Thank you.

Gavin McClurg (46:29.494)
I think we were nine out of the top 10, right? We were US pilots at the Monarch. The Monarch is pretty heavily US pilots anyway. I mean, I'm not trying to shine too much of a light on that, but it was pretty remarkable. And then three of the top 10 were you ladies. And he just said, I've heard from a number of different people, both Norwegian and Mexico and other countries that were represented there that, hey, something's going on here.

And we need to, we need to start imparting this in our own pilots, in our own countries and bring this, you know, you guys are bringing it. And it's, it's, it's really cool. It's, I, Galen, you and I talked about this a lot on, on our show, but it's the community aspect of it. It's not just the women's team. It's the community aspect of it is, is really neat to see. Alexia, do you have anything to say about the, the women's team and how that's affected your own success?

galen Kirkpatrick (47:22.954)
I when I started I had the support of Yoletta, Galen, and Bianca and that helped a lot especially with the questions you don't want to ask the guy pilots like how do you pee in the air and other things that are more women specific and it also created this like safe space I guess where I could ask more personal questions and get their take on things versus guys and coming from sailing that's also very male dominated and they're also trying to do with

women's teams and women only regattas and women only boats and so it sort of transferred it. It clearly helps a lot.

Gavin McClurg (48:01.294)
Hmm, yeah.

galen Kirkpatrick (48:01.74)
So Gavin, we've talked a lot about how this has helped us and why it's important. I just want to add a little tactical stuff about how this is coming together. So as I said, this is very new. I want to give a shout out to Yushba, first of all, which gave us some seed funding to get started. And we're really considering hard how we can best use not just the money, but the momentum and all the energy around this team right now. Because,

really, as I said, we're trying to make sure this is the norm, not the exception. So that includes, you know, bringing a lot of other women along for the ride.

And this is our third month of existence, basically. So we're just starting to try things. But one of the things we've been doing, you saw our briefings. Basically, wherever we have a group of US women at a competition, we're trying to do briefings. We're trying to be on radio in the air, if that's allowed by the rules of the competition. Most competitions do allow that.

We're trying to get good at radio communication and get good at what it is we can, what information we can pass to each other in the air to help fly together. We've got a lot of other plans that we're thinking of too, you know, like perhaps having an SIV for women who are interested in flying competition wings and perhaps, you know, cross country flying together in pursuit, you know, just giving you a preview of the world record.

And so lots of really cool goals that are coming together. I think the thing that I want, that we want everybody to know here is you're talking to four of us, maybe the four who are hopefully on the crest of a wave. And so we are really wanting to bring along the rest of the women in the US and by extension women globally as well.

galen Kirkpatrick (49:58.696)
And so I think, you know, you're seeing four right now, but it would be good to think of the women's team more broadly. And we are too, we're asking those questions of how can we, you know, bring everybody else along with us and make sure that behind us four is another four.

Gavin McClurg (50:17.166)
Yeah. I hadn't planned on asking you this, but I feel like it's that the timing is right. Just by nature of age, I've been at this quite a bit longer than you all have, and it's really inspiring to see what you've done.

One of the things I'm a little worried about is you're doing, you're all doing it a lot. I mean, you're investing a massive amount of time into this. You know, Jenny, you did, you should say you did 10 comps or something last year. I was going to actually predict 15, but you're doing a lot of comps. You're dedicating a lot of time, a lot of travel.

You know, I think those of us who are a little more jaded and pessimistic and been in a long time worry that is it. This is a lot. You know, is the comp scene is it's easy to burn out on or to lose the passion on or to lose the drive. Is that something you're talking about considering worried about? Are feeling it at all? You know, you're you're about to partake in the super final super final.

and the Pan Ams, these Cat 1 events, they're an endurance race. They're long. Especially if you have a couple bad days, it's pretty hard to, it's kind of sometimes hard to climb out of that emotional hole. Anybody take that if you want.

galen Kirkpatrick (51:37.932)
Well, you know, Gavin, that's why we have each other. It's to keep us from booking a ticket home early and, you know, going and crying in the poor weather back home. There was a bunch of questions in there, but maybe what I wanted to just say is when I...

Gavin McClurg (51:45.774)
Hahaha

galen Kirkpatrick (51:58.668)
When I did the PWC, the first one, Oxer Eye with Violetta, and we both qualified for the Super Final, which at that time was 14 months away. For me, I was just in kind of a special spot in life where I sort of had some time, free time resources. And I was like, what if I, on my own,

take this really seriously and train for this super fun. Like I just did my first PWC and I qualified, but I have 14 months. Like what would it look like if I took a quote unquote professional approach to this training? And it was just an exercise for myself and it was like fun, it's paragliding, you know? But I guess, you know, since it's really difficult,

to make a living in paragliding. I think you see, there are far more incredible pilots or cop pilots than are represented on the current score sheet because people add in and out of it. And I think that's really natural, but there's certainly a fun or a really gratifying aspect to taking it seriously and...

and treating it as if it were a real sport, or as if being in the top 50 or top 100 actually quote unquote mattered. It matters to us and that's about it. But perhaps we can change that, or perhaps by working together and I don't know, I'll stop dragging on but.

Gavin McClurg (53:43.278)
That's a good answer. Anybody else want to comment on that? You don't have to.

galen Kirkpatrick (53:47.692)
Sure, yeah. I do not plan on doing 10 counts this year. I will probably scale it back a little bit. I certainly do feel, yeah, especially after the two counts in Columbia, I was a little tired. And so, you know, I'm just gonna work on making sure it's still always fun. And when it doesn't feel fun, focusing on something else. But, you know, I still plan on doing all of our, you know.

US cons because they're so much fun. Like we said, not just the flying part, but just hanging out with everybody. I just want to be there. So that's, that's really motivating to just know that you get to hang out with your friends for a week in Chile. It's the best. So.

Gavin McClurg (54:31.022)
Yeah.

galen Kirkpatrick (54:32.908)
I also really enjoy the traveling aspect of it, seeing new countries and cultures and new places to fly. So that's one thing that motivates me a lot. Even if people are like, oh, you shouldn't go to Switzerland, it's going to rain six out of the seven days. But you look at the photos, it's stunning. I've never been there, so I don't care.

Gavin McClurg (54:55.566)
Yeah, you go to a place like that, you just, the flying is a bonus. That's the attitude you have to go in with. If you get to fly, great. If not, fine. You're in Switzerland. Life's okay.

galen Kirkpatrick (55:05.366)
It's a great point. And Gavin, I'm going to add a little bit of a philosophical spin to the question of how do you maintain interest and preface this with I'm also an ultra runner, which means I'm probably insane and a lot of people won't necessarily agree with me on this. But Galen said sometimes there's something really exciting in taking something seriously and seeing what can come out on the other side if you put in a lot.

And to me, again, I've written about this a little bit in cross country, but it's sort of like the question of how do you stay in love with one person? You've got a wife and a kid, you know, I'm pretty sure you're gonna be together for a long time, Gavin. How do you make that work? You know, are you doing the same thing every time? Are you trying to keep it fresh somehow? And so really, I mean, this is a little bit philosophical and perhaps too much so, but.

I see my relationship with paragliding in a somewhat similar light. I may not do as many comps every year. This year I'm actually trying to focus a little bit more on cross country in between the comps because that's something I also love and I've neglected it honestly for the past couple years in favor of comps. There are so many expressions of the sport, so many new places to see like Alexia said, so many people I wanna fly with. For every...

For every person who goes in and out of the sport, we also have examples of people who really stayed in some way or another, like Belcourt. Take Nick, who had a couple kids, came back, smashed it at the Pan Ams. There's all kinds of examples like that. I think it's wonderful to see.

Gavin McClurg (56:48.814)
It does seem like once you kind of crack the code, you know, thinking about people like Josh Cohen, you've kind of cracked the code. You know, you can, you can go do a lot of other stuff and come back and still, you know, you're always going to expect somebody like Josh to be on the podium, no matter what he's doing in between comps and that kind of thing. And that, that is pretty exciting. That's certainly motivating to me.

Excellent. Okay, I would love to hear that, you know, none of us got here by this rosy candle lit path of wonderfulness all the way through. There's some deviations, there's some roadblocks, there's some ditches. In some of your cases, there's been some pretty big ditches. Setbacks, I'd love to just hear about a struggle or struggles, plural, you know, what

what have been some of the things you've had to battle through to be in Baishu.

galen Kirkpatrick (57:49.932)
Okay.

galen Kirkpatrick (57:54.124)
Of course this is the question that I don't think any of us have struggled whatsoever Gavin it's been a pain in the ass in unicorns the whole way.

Gavin McClurg (57:56.302)
So none, nobody has any setbacks, you're all good.

Gavin McClurg (58:03.47)
Hahaha!

galen Kirkpatrick (58:10.028)
So I can go first because I let my teammates think about it. So again, I've written about this and many people in the US community in particular know I had a couple bad accidents, one of which a few years ago was really terrible. I could have died. I could have lost the ability to run, to walk, and I didn't, which is great. And go read Cross Country for the whole story and a lot more about that.

Gavin McClurg (58:38.318)
It's a great story, by the way. Yeah, it's fantastic.

galen Kirkpatrick (58:40.332)
Thank you. Literature. It's literature. I read about it. It's written across country, more to come. But anyway, so I think that's been definitely a big challenge has been recovering from that. And the physical recovery is one thing, the mental recovery, which I alluded to earlier, is another entirely. And the choice to fly again for me was...

Gavin McClurg (58:43.062)
It's literature, exactly. It's...

galen Kirkpatrick (59:07.82)
Again, you know, this is maybe why I think of it so philosophically. It was like, are you going to do this thing that you love again? So are you going to do it again? Are you going to, um, stay the course? Are you going to break something else inside of yourself after so much has already been broken? And for me, being who I am, um, being the way I am, there was no answer I could give myself that felt right besides I will try again.

and I will see how I feel and I will see what I want to do. And I got in the air again and I realized that my goals were largely the same. How it made me feel was largely the same with a hefty dose of gratitude added in. And what was different was how I wanted to approach it. As people like Will Gadd say, you can never enter the air without risk. You're always going to be at risk. You cannot promise yourself you're not gonna hurt yourself.

But I did believe that I could be better, that I could make better decisions, that I could address some of the things that had led to me almost dying. And I could mitigate some of those risks. And I have over the last two years, and I hope I will continue to do so. And in some ways, although there's plenty of things in our lives we wish we could do again, if I had it to do over again, I would have done it.

I would have made different choices so that I didn't have those accidents. But I can't. And so the best thing I can do is kind of take that Japanese Kintsugi approach and paint gold over the broken places and say maybe in some ways I'm better because I had those accidents, because I had those terrible things happen to me. I can now look at flying in a way that's...

You know, it's harder because nobody likes being scared, but that fear is what can keep us safe sometimes.

Gavin McClurg (01:01:13.774)
I heard you say you wanted to come back to the sport because you felt like you could mitigate the mistakes, you could become a better pilot. How much of it was just the love of the game?

galen Kirkpatrick (01:01:28.62)
There was a lot of love of the game, but there was also a lot of fear, and the love outweighed the fear. But you can't, now, you know, I'm talking about flying is falling in love and being in love. You can't go back to an abusive relationship, Gavin. You have to find some way to say it's not gonna happen again. You have to find some way to, you know, think it's healthy and feel that you're going to have a healthy relationship with it going forward.

So that's what I had to do and ultimately I did do it.

Gavin McClurg (01:02:01.966)
Anybody else?

galen Kirkpatrick (01:02:05.458)
Everybody else feels great. I guess I feel pretty pretty grateful and it's a partial. I'm sure it's also due to me being so new in the sport that I haven't had any major setbacks or injuries to speak of and I try to make safe decisions. Two years ago in Chelan I did throw my reserve and it did make me realize I need to learn some stuff.

So I spent a bunch of time over the water learning to stall my glider because I had not focused on that very much. And that definitely gave me confidence again and flying Acro too. So.

Gavin McClurg (01:02:51.214)
All right.

galen Kirkpatrick (01:02:54.792)
Well, I'll go next. I guess it would be appropriate to mention that I'm a trans woman and I started transitioning right after I started flying about seven years ago, which was about a year and a half before I started my first competitions and...

Gavin McClurg (01:02:55.052)
No.

galen Kirkpatrick (01:03:21.708)
about two and a half years before I really started competing at the Nationals or on the world level. And so when I finally made the decision to come out, it was really important to me that I didn't change anything or that I didn't let that change anything about what I was going to do in life. I didn't want to shut myself up or live in fear.

So I just sort of decided on this resolve that I was just gonna do what I was gonna do otherwise. And I faced a lot of unfortunate situations and our interactions with people. We've all faced sexism and misogyny. They're like very...

the very standard on launch sort of stuff and then also like the effects or the deeper effects of how you're treated and taught differently. And I have experienced a special version of that. And yeah, it just sucks. So it was a couple years of, yeah, just like really unfortunate experiences, especially internationally.

Just like dealing with people saying awful things to you like on launch or on landing or online or harassment blah blah blah anyway, so that all sucked and it really You know, I mean it really sucks but it also helped me develop this level of focus which feels very strong now and I would be remiss not to mention that as much as

As difficult as it was and as much sort of pushback I received, it also, I received so much love and support from people, especially in our national community, from all of these folks, but also from around the world, from cross country magazine. And so.

galen Kirkpatrick (01:05:46.784)
you know, as difficult as it is being maybe the only trans person that a lot of people know, it's also like, you know, been this amazing experience and so, and so sort of trying to, or getting to prove that.

galen Kirkpatrick (01:06:10.014)
She deserves to be here. Winning the National Championship last year was a big deal for me. It just felt like, especially to the people that harassed me, it was just like, well, this is your game and I also love it and I belong here. So, yeah, anyway, that's all.

Gavin McClurg (01:06:37.902)
Thanks, Galen. Lex here, how about you?

galen Kirkpatrick (01:06:43.884)
She's going to talk later about something else.

Gavin McClurg (01:06:47.758)
Ah, cool. That's about where we are, ladies. I don't have too many more questions for you. We've talked about the community. We wanted to talk about community and stuff, but I think you've all done that already. So I would like to just wish you the best of luck with your next couple of weeks.

Have fun, that's the most important thing of course, and everybody will be watching you very, very closely and rooting for you. So have fun, enjoy.

galen Kirkpatrick (01:07:22.092)
Thank you, Gavin. Thanks, Gavin.

Gavin McClurg (01:07:24.622)
Thanks for sharing all that great stuff with me. I really appreciate it and our audience.

galen Kirkpatrick (01:07:30.316)
Absolutely. It's our pleasure. Thanks, Gavin. Yeah.






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