What goes up, must come down.

I like to ride my bike. I’ve been a cyclist since about the age 4. Went through my BMX phase, did a few triathlons, some bicycle touring, got into mountain biking in the 80’s, and do some road biking. I love to ride my cyclocross bike since it works well on both paved and dirt surfaces. I am not inclined to ride in a group, although I do wear lycra at times. I urge you to not demonize all cyclists based on the actions of some. I’ll wave at you with my whole hand if I recognize you while I’m tooling around West Marin roadways.

As some of you know, I took a nasty spill about one year ago that really put me back a few paces. I rocked my clock pretty good, broke a few bones and was badly shaken. I do not know what happened, only what the results were. As of this week, I’m officially “back on the bike.” I was huffing and puffing up a steep trail thinking about the similarities that exist between managing a non-profit and riding a bike up a big hill. It’s a lot of work, it can be tiring, the scenery is generally pretty awesome and the benefits are worth every minute of the effort.

I have a theory on climbing hills (and there are plenty of them around here – well theories and hills, I guess). The theory is that the hill will last forever. And then all of the sudden you are at the top! Pledge drives are sort of like steep hills.

Yesterday I got to the top of the hill and was so happy, pondering my theory and how I would write about it. It was lovely at the top of the hill. I drank some water and was looking forward, with anticipation to rolling back down the ridge the long way. Gravity is with you on the uphill AND the downhill. I took a beating, fell off once, and really got a greater understanding of the erosive powers of water and cows. It wasn’t really the right tool for the right job – meaning my steed of choice for the day. No suspension and relatively skinny tires. I was more thrilled to be at the bottom when I finally made it. The views were spectacular though and not a person in sight.

I got to thinking about my theory on non-profits and hills and it become more about non-profits and the effort one puts in to any activity. Whether it’s learning to play an instrument, mastering a second language or being a top notch pole vaulter, there is effort in it all – just like running an organization, or going up, or down hills.

I tend to cycle solo, I prefer it, or maybe with one other person. And when you are on a tandem you HAVE to ride single file, but you have company and you can chat. In this way, running a non-profit is different for me. It is not a solo endeavor. I get to be in the effort with one of the most amazing communities of people that I have found – from the staff, the volunteers to our loyal listener/supporters – yes YOU! You won’t find me in the peloton, but you will find me here at KWMR.

Thank you for making the effort well worth it.

Amanda Eichstaedt
KWMR Station Manager and Executive Director

P.S. I hear that it’s a killer skiing year due to all the snow.  Don’t forget to keep your tips up when you are listening to KWMR! Click Tip My Favorite Show!  A lot of KWMR’s programming is Black Diamond!