I was recently asked to relate some little-known facts about myself, a question that led me to look up this piece, which I'd done for a blog a while ago. Just to mix things up a bit, I decided to post it here for fun.
1. I believe the universe is a friendly place. I believe in the good in people and in the world and do not care if that makes me naïve. I don’t really think it does.
2. I wish I could reasonably drink coffee all day long and have breakfast for every meal.
3. Between the ages of 10 and 22, I spent an average of almost 1,000 hours a year in swimming pools and feel grateful for every minute, even for early morning sessions. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.
4. In middle school, I won a hatchet-throwing contest.
5. I love cooking for other people. I once worked as a cook on a tall ship, cooking for forty people in a rocking, listing galley. It was some of the hardest work I've ever done: 18 hour days with a 20 minute break (if that), but it was also some of the most rewarding work I've ever done. Food has a great way of lifting spirits and bringing people together, and I love facilitating that.
6. I didn't know it at the time, but one of the best days of my life was the day I met the mysterious hot guy on my college cycling team in the grimy basement of Roble Gym to pack bikes. That guy turned out to be David - my rock, and now my husband.
7. I love big storms, especially thunder and lightening storms with pouring rain.
8. When I was 14, I made tips playing classical piano in a small town bar in Bryan, Texas.
9. Someday, I want to own a huge trampoline. I love trampolines and equate trampoline jumping to instant happiness.
10. I’m a fifth generation Californian, born in Berkeley.
11. I like all kinds of music, but I am not one of those people who say so to avoid naming a genre: I mean it. Back in my swim days my ‘pump up’ mix included Led Zeppelin, White Zombie, Vivaldi, Easy E, Van Halen, Sex Pistols, Tom Petty and Marilyn Manson. I love Opera and banjo and get the chills every time I hear live music.
12. I've swum with sharks in open water.
13. My most spectacular scar resulted from attempting to answer the telephone.
14. In fourth grade, I punched a fifth-grader on the school jungle gym, because he was kicking off all the smaller kids. It’s the only fist fight in which I’ve ever participated, and I threw the only punch (totally smoked him, though).
15. I have huge feet: size 42, which probably helped my swim career.
16. When I was little, I was painfully shy. My mom recognized this early and explained that I would be well-served to work on this. She explained this surprisingly well, given I was about five. I then embarked on a period of my life in which I forced myself to strike up conversations with people I didn’t know well, or didn’t know at all. I have vivid memories of the mix of angst and determination in this endeavor, but it eventually got easier and sure did the trick.
17. I learned how to drive a manual transmission on a tractor, and I’m proficient with a lasso.
18. I've surfed with dolphins and performed surgery on tuna.
19. I appreciate humor of all kinds, but especially the dry and dark varieties. I struggle in vain to suppress a compulsion for making puns.
20. I love that I grew up in Reno. I love Nevada and the beauty of the desert and mountains. I think more clearly in the mountains.
21. When I was in the fourth grade, I started a neighborhood recycling service, wheeling a red wagon from house to house collecting recyclables. I typed up pamphlets on water conservation, printed them on our dot matrix printer, and distributed them to neighbors. My dad bought me a can crusher, which increased efficiency and made me feel official.
22. While I don’t party often, when I do, I go big. I’ve thought of several examples not appropriate for this post, but which make me laugh out loud. Life is good.
23. I believe play is essential to health and a full life. Kids and animals play all the time. We forget this too often, which is why I also love swings: they’re a good reminder.
24. I believe in true love, from experience.
25. I am constantly moved by the depth and strength of all the people in my life.
Amber Pierce - An American expat living in Austria, Amber has made the leap across the Atlantic in pursuit of her dreams on the road. After making a name for herself as one of the top road cyclists in the US, she now faces new challenges in her life on the road in Europe.
Amber's path to full-time racing in Europe has been anything but linear. From high school valedictorian holding national swimming records, to scholarship athlete at Stanford University and researcher on the open ocean, she has found herself in countless adventures all over the globe. With 53 career victories under her belt, however, Amber appears to have found her calling on the bicycle.