By Jessy Greenland
"I wanna go fast"... the famous line in the movie 'Talladega Night' always gets me going! I am the girl that when 'Thunderstruck' comes on the radio, it gets my heart pounding and my foot smashed to the throttle! I am a woman who wants to go fast; racing the need for speed. That was me, still is me, but I found another fast love. Most would say you don't want to go fast when you're off-road, I beg to differ! There is a place in off-road racing to go fast and that's where I want to be. I never had a father around much to teach me about trucks or cars. I was one of the girls that wanted to race and learn mechanics but never had any influences. I learned a little here and a little there, but that all changed to dirt about 3 years ago. I have been off-roading and have owned Jeeps, but never had anyone to teach me about them or show me what the love I have now is like. I just knew that I was in love with my Jeep. 2 years ago I got involved with a Jeep organization and stepped out of my comfort zone and met a lot of amazing people; people I now call family. I had a capable Jeep and they took me under their wing and showed me the ropes of the off-road world. My first adventure was at Arbuckle Off-road Park in Davis, OK. (Which is no longer open) and that was the end to the pavement for me. I fell in love, wanted more; burned for more, I was good at it and from there, it has been history.

Last year I entered into the 2nd Ladies Off-road Challenge of 2017. The year before was when I had just started off-roading and thought I was nowhere near ready for something like that. These women were amazing... could I be one of those? I had a lot of trials and tribulations in my teenage and young adult years, learned a lot, dusted myself off and kept going. I was determined not to let my past keep me down anymore. So I went for it and entered the 2nd Ladies Off-road Challenge in April of 2017 and I made it; I was proud of the accomplishment but still thought I wasn't worthy or good enough. A lot of these women had done more than I had and were more experience as well. But I pushed ahead and showed I was worthy enough and made it all the way to the Top 10 weekend. There, Charlene Bower, of Bower Motor Sports, had selected to train the ladies that she felt were good enough to move into the next challenge. It was a busy week of training and I learned so much. I pushed hard to prove to myself that I was good enough for anything in this off-road world.

I was selected out of these 9 amazing women to join Charlene personally as her co driver for 'Fury Rode'. Fury Rode takes place in Sand Hollow Utah with Trail Hero. Charlene would be driving the BFG Jeep, 'Frankie', and I would be her Co-driver. Fury Rode has several classes of off-roading vehicles from full body to buggy. It's a very challenging course consisting of 2 laps at a total of 80 miles with several checkpoints with tasks, which included a 1 Stage Rock Crawl, a Rock Race Course, Short Sand Race Course, 2 Winch Challenges, 'Blind Driving' Challenge, Marksman Challenge, and more. It's all timed and you have to make the check points before each allotted time. It was my responsibility to read the course and topo maps, keep us on the course, keeping our times and assisting with spotting. I had to do this at each of the checkpoints to get us through them and our time made up our scoring. I did get the opportunity to drive on the winch challenge with a 13 ft waterfall from a dead lift to the checkpoint finish line. Charlene did make sure our winch rigging was done correctly and was able to get us up the challenge within a good time.

Being in Sand Hollow was an amazing experience as it was so beautiful. We got the opportunity to take a break and see Zion National Park. I had never been to Utah, let alone seeing Zion so I didn't want to pass up on a hike in the mountains and a PB&J picnic with all the beautiful scenery. Mt. Zion was breathtaking, serene, and magical. We got to learn some of the history, see some of the wild life in the park and even saw mountain climbers dangling on the sides of the walls of Mt. Zion. The Virgin River ran through the Hollows trail giving us the opportunity to sit in complete Zen! One of the ladies even took the time to sit on top of one of the large boulder in meditation, it was surreal. We were told there is a 1488 foot rock formation at Zion called Angels Landing; which you can hike. The hike was about 2 and a half miles one way and is not for you if you are afraid of heights. We also got to see the Checkerboard Mesa and the Great White Throne Mountain from the Weeping Rock Trail we were on. Before we headed out, we toured the Visitors Center and explored all the information and checked out the gift shop.

The Ladies Challenge was tough, tiring and really put me to the test. While we were exhausted; we came in top of our class and ranked 3rd overall. I was proud of myself and had many opportunities to improve. I took away a lot more knowledge with the help of Charlene's guidance, she is a rockstar! I will be forever grateful to her for thinking that I was good enough! I left the Challenge with a new sense of purpose and goals. I am still reaching for that finish line every day and as I take this journey in my life, I see how I have grown. I hope to see everyone on the trails and to those women who think you aren't good enough, you are! My adventures on the road to racing are just starting and I look forward to my future in the off-road industry! This past year, I have been to so many new places and would have never been able to see if it wasn't for the courage I took to step outside my comfort zone and sign up for the Ladies Off-road Challenge. So come along with me and stay tuned for the next adventure!