I finally did it. I graduated!!!!! Honestly, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done...top 3 for sure if not the hardest. I left the campus in 2007 and moved back to Whistler with the intention to 'just finish the rest up online". Well, that was a lot easier said than done. Online classes take a lot of work and some serious discipline. When everyone is out playing, teaching yourself Shakespeare or the beginnings of Christianity or Nuclear proliferation are not always the first thing on my list. But it had to get done, it was not cool having a half finished degree on my back. When I was in Whistler, I completed a Destination Resort Management Diploma program but my Bachelors was something I couldn't ignore, it was a chapter that I needed to close. So anyway, I just put the pedal to the metal and worked my ass off the past 9 months and I am happy to say that I now have a Bachelors in Political Science from the University of Colorado. And I kept my head up and focused and got the GPA I wanted which was the icing on the cake. Not that I am going to necessarily go to school again but I do love learning in general so who knows, not going to rule it out..a good GPA will make it that much easier to do what I want in life.

It's crazy, I mean looking back at my education at Colorado- to think of how much I grew up there, where my head is now and where my head was at then...how I look at the world and life in general. It's crazy. While sometimes I wish that I would have grown up a bit faster and been as focused and driven with my riding as I am now...I don't regret it at all. I think that's part of life and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Everyone has to grow up in their own way and experience the things they want and need to experience- the whole college experience was part of it for me. The dorms, the football games, the basketball games, the frat parties, the big houses of friends, the spontaneous trips, the late night feasts, the water polo, the ski days, the boys, the finals cramming, the teachers...student life...its rich and vibrant and exciting and I loved it! While riding was a part of my life when I got to college, college life was just as important and I was not willing to make the sacrifices or commitment for riding that I do now.

Now that I am done, there are so many things that I want to do that have taken a backseat during my education. Obviously I will have even more time to devote to my riding which I am so excited about...more training, more trips, more photo shoots, more product development, more sponsor projects...the WORLD CUPS!!! I really just want to make myself into a well rounded package that will stand above the rest. I can't wait to read for leisure...I have a massive book list that I have been building for a few years now and I got a Nook as a grad present so I am pretty pumped on that. I want to improve my spanish to the point where I am completely fluent. A couple of the major universities offer free classes via podcasts, might give one of those a go. I want to get a moto. And surf more. I want to get involved with a charity. I want to show kids what bikes can give them...health and freedom. I want to spend more time with the people who are important to me and whom I sometimes forget about. I want to surround myself with inspiring people who will push me to be the best that I can be in life.

I really want to thank my mom and dad for giving me the gift of education and loving me and believing in me. A couple of outstanding teachers at CU...Kaplan who completely changed my opinion of Economics and made me love it, Tecza who believed in me and showed me what it means to work hard and follow through and professor Chernov who showed me how important passion is in life through her love for SE Asian politics.  Andrew Cavaletto whose sincerity, positive attitude and work ethic are contagious...he just makes me want to be a better person- love you lover boy :).  Ross Kennedy who called me on all my bullshit...and then believed in me to make changes. My high school teachers at ICS who planted the education seeds in all of us and genuinely wanted to see succeed. And last but not least- WILLLARD...love all you guys and can't imagine my life without you all, you make me so happy!

Katie Holden