Marquette teacher and ultra endurance mountain biker hopes to inspire kids
Elizabeth Sabin is a champion mountain biker out to make a difference
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and one Marquette-based teacher is encouraging her students both in and beyond the classroom to get outdoors.
Elizabeth Sabin is a third-grade teacher, track coach, and an elite athlete. She trains for 12 hours a week to compete in ultra-endurance mountain biking races across the country. Including the National Ultra Endurance Series (NUE), Sabin says “Last year, not one woman finished the NUE Epic series, and I want to help show that women can!”
Sabin coaches kids to ride saying biking is great for both physical and mental health.
“Biking is such an amazing medicine for mental health and obviously for physical health as well, but I really want to get more people out on bikes,” said Sabin.
Sabin encourages her students every day to “never give up” and to “try hard things.” It comes from experience; it hasn’t always been an easy ride.
“In eighth grade, I was diagnosed with anorexia. The next five to eight years were a really dark place for me.”
Sabin found her peace in mountain biking and in just being outside.
“I don’t think a lot of people realize how amazing of a medicine it is … it’s a free medicine and easy to get access to medicine,” said Sabin
Last week, the United States Surgeon General turned to social media to spread the word to get kids off social media. Dr. Vivek Murthy says it can put their mental health at risk. For more information and to see the full advisory, click here
Sabin notices her students struggle with self-confidence and suspects it stems from the internet.
“I think some of the reasons we see self-confidence issues arising in such young children is because of the internet and because of social media even though they have positive aspects “it can be really tough for kids to navigate. I think that’s another reason why I love athletics and getting outdoors. it gets them away from that social media. it gets them out experiencing those things in real life and building each other up rather than being torn down,” said Sabin.
Becoming an elite athlete has helped Sabin develop mental toughness and through her teaching and coaching, she inspires her students to believe in themselves.
“I tell my students to believe in themselves and try really hard to not worry about other people or what they think, try to not to compare themselves to other people and to work on being the happiest version of themselves that they can be,” said Sabin.
Sabin is also a mentor to ‘Little Bellas’ a mountain biking organization for girls looking to be active and get involved in the sport. If your child is interested in joining or if you would like to become a mentor, click here.
To keep up with Sabin and the races she will be competing in, click here.
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