She used to be my coach – I was the impossible student – and we travelled together up to the Soggy Bottom 100 in 2007. Her resume reads strong – she may be the most accomplished female rider in the history of endurance racing. When I was at my peak of fitness…at Montezuma's Revenge…she was my benchmark. I knew I'd have to be on my game to beat her. I don't know that I would call her a good friend…the problem being that I wanted to beat her. More like a rival who you respect the living hell out of. That might be the greatest compliment you can pay a person…I wanted to beat her because she was that good. In the 2000 Montezuma's Revenge I got off to a flying start – I was in 4th coming off Grey's Peak – and then I started to fade. Near the end of the race, she caught me. I was sitting on the side of the trail, feeling sorry for my self. She said some of the more impactful words I've ever heard: "Get up." Words to live by.
I've been drifting, and lost touch with her, until I happened across her website today. I read that she's been through hell, but if I know Michelle…well, she's one of the toughest human beings I've ever met. She'll be back, stronger and better than ever.