• Route: Sierra
  • Ride Year: 2020
  • Hometown: McKinney, TX

About: Hello!! My name is Kathy Navarette and I’m currently a junior at The University of Texas studying Finance with an Accounting minor. At this very moment (4/1/2019) I am writing from Prague, Czech Republic as I finish the last few weeks of an incredible business exchange program! I’m a true Texas girl, born and raised in McKinney. After being away for a few months, I know that home is not home unless there are an infinite number of Tex-Mex options at one’s disposal. I’m a lover of music, a huge foodie and not a lover, but a doer of running.

Why I Ride

I was inspired to ride for both my grandfathers.

Some of the earliest memories I have with my siblings and cousins are of us at my dad’s parents’ house, listening to my Papa tell us stories about a little mouse. The little mouse who came and went; who was hiding with us during hide-and-seek, who wasn’t at our Thanksgiving because he was at his own family’s, who started kindergarten when we started kindergarten, and who I know had his first day of college when I had mine. These stories of our friend the little mouse are my most fond memories of my Papa. I was seven when my Papa passed from pancreatic cancer. I didn’t understand but I knew that whatever took him and the little mouse, made me sad. I wasn’t ready for the stories to end and to not know what else was happening with the little mouse. I wasn’t done asking all my questions.

I often think about everything I got from my other grandfather, my mom’s dad; my Grandpa. I got his sarcasm, his desire for adventure, and his love for the outdoors. I also definitely got his hard head. Sometimes, I hate that we had this in common, because it kept us from being vulnerable in front of each other. It kept me from asking the questions I wanted to when I felt incapable, and it kept me from saying the mushy things that I wish I could embarrass him with now. However, I love that we had this hard headedness in common because it made me strong, and one day I hope to possess the strength that was within him. In early February of 2017, during the second semester of my freshman year, my mom told me they found out my Grandpa had late stage leukemia. On February 27th of 2017, my mom called me and told me that my Grandpa had passed that morning. Since I was older, I was able to better comprehend what had happened, but in my mind I don’t think I fully understood. I was full of regret because I then realized all the questions I never asked. There were so many things I still needed him to teach me, so many stories I still wished to be told. I wasn’t done learning.

I ride for both my grandfathers. I ride for those who haven’t finished asking their questions yet, and others who haven’t finished giving their answers or telling their stories. I ride for my grandmother who battled and defeated breast cancer, and every member of my family who has shown strength and unity in overcoming the effects of this disease. For all of my friends and their families who have been affected, and anyone who I have crossed paths with who was generous enough to share their story. To Alaska and back I ride for hope, knowledge and charity.