"Oh, yeah? Show us your 'fierce' face, Ruby."
She grits her teeth. Screws up her nose and fixes her eyes in a steely gaze. "That's the face that I pull when I'm going really fast," she says, her demeanor hinting at a growl.
We all have a fierce face—some of us have just put it in storage. But after 10 minutes with this kid you can feel yourself cracking the door to your "Girl Power!" attic and brushing the dust off yours. Her attitude is infectious. Ruby knows that whipping out her fierce face will help her channel her confidence and that equates to more speed, determination, and straight-up guts. It's like a secret weapon—a trump card she can throw on the race table to win the hand. And victory can be an actual win, a finish, or sometimes even both.
"My first ever race," she says, "I was on my little Apollo bike, which is orange, and then I remember it [the course] was just like a little circle but there's a hill you had to go up. And I remember I came last. I was, like, trying really hard and I was just crying. But it was just amazing that I finished that race, yeah?
Yeah, double yeah! It's the kind of story where you just want to crush her to you—she's so proud of herself and you of her. But then it gets better. "And then I went back a year after, and I won it."
Some call them Dreams. Some call what they seek Destiny. But for Ruby, it seems like it's really just about getting out there and having a go and just believing in yourself. Sure, she dreams of going to the Olympics one day, but it's all about the possibility of future, now. It's about trying new things and seeing if they fit; having heroes and believing in them; and above all else, just doing the very best you can.
"I like riding bikes because it's really fun. […] It's not just all about the racing—even if you want to race, it's just not all about that. It's just sometimes having fun as well. So, that's why I like it—because you can have fun."