I thought I learned a lot about myself last year during the Rebelle. This year taught me at least twice as much more.
My partner Penny and I started off kicking a$$! We honestly couldn't believe how well we were doing. A year of fretting about knowing our skills correctly was paying off. Day 2 we were in the top spot! That is an accomplishment in itself for me. However, the Rebelle gets harder as the days go on. Not only because it is about endurance, but the checkpoints can be on more difficult terrain or more difficult to plot precisely.
One of my favorite parts of the Rebelle is the comraderie that builds up between competitors. Everyone is working towards winning, however, when passing another rig, or seeing a fellow teammate stuck in the sand, it is more common than not to at least give a thumbs up or check and see if they need a hand. When I come back to the "real world" after this event I always want to keep this "Christmas" type spirit going. Maybe a small change will trigger a bigger one?
This year I loved the challenges the rally brought. I had more time to obsess over navigation and driving since it was my second year competing and I was not longer worried about weird questions I had about camping, food or anything else you might wonder about with an eight day off-road challenge. Penny and I still had our groove from last year down and bolstered with coffee and snacks we were good to go.
Now the part that many have already read about. Day 7. Penny and I were having a blast in Glamis. We were feeling pretty confident and had scored fairy well all week so we just needed this last day to go well! We were on our way to a black (not marked) checkpoint in the larger dunes when we got inevitably stuck in sand at the bottom of a dune. We got our trusty Maxtrax out and got ourselves out in not too long. I sped up to what I entended to be the top of the next dune, and where the black (we later found out) was exactly located!
However, whether it was the warm midday sand, the weight of the full truck, or a million other causes, I started to slip downhill and before I could turn the truck that way, Monty rolled once, landing perfectly back on the tires at the bottom of the hill.
You never realize how much loose stuff is in the car until it is all falling on you in slow motion- popcorn, rulers, water bottles- all tumbled on me as the truck overturned! The side airbags went off and I walked away without a scratch! Penny was still collecting Maxtrax and luckily wasn't even in the truck. Really, the truck didn't look that bad all things considered. However, it was completely full of glass (3 windows broke) and sand.
Penny and I drove across the finish line, but that was the last of our rally. We still placed in the teens, which was awesome since we didn't really get any points the last day. And the most import part being that everyone one was safe!
So coming full circle. I learned that you don't have to win to have the most amazing rally ever. To learn that you are part of the most amazing, caring, loving, exceptional group of ever. That sometimes you have to go down before you go up. And that 2020 is going to be an even more amazing year.