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From 90 Degree Power Yoga...

The 90 Degree Ascent was born

It all started on a bike trip to Arkansas, September 2021...

The 90 Degree Ascent was born out of a conversation during a family mountain bike trip between co-founders and board members, Ben and Laura Terpsma. Ben, our Executive Director, an active-duty soldier in the Michigan Army National Guard and a Marine Corp Veteran, had fallen in love with mountain biking a few years prior. Laura, our Board Secretary, had closed her yoga studio, 90 Degrees North, due to Covid19; and so, they sat up one night brainstorming how could they take their passion for adventure, bikes, and mindfulness to be of service in the community. 


They wanted to use the platform of T9DA to empower veterans (active, reserve, retired, and their families) and first responders through mountain biking, movement, and mindfulness.


More than 35% of the current US Soldier population has indicated that they suffer from mental health concerns, specifically depression and PTSD. As these soldiers transition out of their service, mental health concerns are further exacerbated by the demands of civilian life, as well as the perceived inability to control the uncontrollable. There is significant evidence and research that shows the awe of nature and experiencing nature in daily life improves anxiety, depression, and PTSD.

 

The nonprofit’s goal was twofold, first improve the mental and physical health of the military community by providing a means to access nature on a bicycle and second improve their overall wellbeing by introducing mindfulness techniques they can deploy at home, mimicking the skills they will learn on the bike. 

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