From Tragedy to Triumph on a Trikke

Former female bodybuilder finds new life on three wheels.

In my mid-20’s, I had a bad self-image. Women’s bodybuilding was in its early stages and I decided to train with weights to get into shape. Soon after, sculpting my body with weights turned into one of my passions.

I went from training in my basement, to being the one of the first women to join a men’s gym, to becoming the Michigan State representative for the American Federation of Women’s bodybuilding, judging contests from town to town.

Eventually, I trained hard enough to enter a contest and came in second in the Lady of Iron contest (Tall Division).

My passion helped me overcome my bad self image.

I’m a firm believer that whatever you do in life — do it with passion. Passion can help you overcome many of life’s obstacles, even tragic situations, like the one I faced as a newlywed, when my husband was diagnosed with a painful and debilitating spinal cord disorder called syringomyelia.

He went from standing on his own, to crutches, to a wheelchair, to being homebound, all with me as his caregiver for many, many years. Eventually, the pain was too much for him. My husband took his own life.

That same month: my 7-year-old, yellow Labrador retriever had a seizure and died; and my dad moved far away to a Veterans home (a year after my mother’s passing). To make matters worse, my old van stopped running — for good — and it was a record-breaking-cold January (with three feet of snow).

I was fat, ugly, sick and unhappy. During that cold, dark and lonely time, I grieved with great passion.

Eventually, I got up, wiped away the tears and decided to find a new passion for life and take care of myself, physically, mentally and spiritually.


I began a quest — with no distractions — to rise up from the ashes and recreate myself. I juiced, I jumped, I cooked for myself. I began to paint, to sing, to find the joy in life again.

Carol Jennet on her Trikke
Carol Jennet on her Trikke

During my rebirth, while watching television one night, I saw an infomercial for the Trikke and knew it was for me!

In the summer of 2009, I ordered a T78 Deluxe, which arrived in August. I had found a brand new passion! Life was looking up! I rode for three months, until the first snowfall. I could feel my body changing.

In the summer and fall of 2010, I rode solo, not knowing another soul who owned a Trikke. I did, however, spend lots of time, being stopped by people asking about my three-wheel bike, and became known as “The Trikke Lady.” That summer, I lost around 20 pounds.

By November, 2010, I decided to attend the Chicago Trikke Academy, which was seven months away. I used the winter months to get into shape by jumping on my trampoline and doing “Trikke-like” exercises to avoid having to re-train my body when carving season returned.

By spring, I’d lost 10 more pounds; and by the time the Academy rolled around in June, 2011, I’d lost a total of 40 pounds. People were noticing that I was looking slim, athletic and healthy. I was feeling great and loving my Trikke.

During the two successive weekends of Trikke Academy events in Chicago (a Riding Skkool, followed by an Academy seminar), I participated in my first-ever group ride — with Bruce Weston and Michigan Carvers — and finally got to meet others who shared my passion, including Fred Welch (director of the Academy) and Gildo “G” Beleski (inventor of the Trikke).


It was an honor to meet “G” and tell him how much the Trikke had changed my life, and to thank him for what it’s meant to me.

Upon returning from the Academy as a Certified Trikke Trainer, I wasted no time in offering weekly Trikke demos at the local outdoor ice rink (unused in the summer). I’ve taught hundreds of people, made carvers out of some of them, and sold quite a few Trikkes.

I’ve shared my passion for the Trikke with thousands, by riding in parades (solo or with Michigan Carvers), and by carving it up at Envirofests, clubs, flea markets and parties.

I’ve ridden some of the finest trails, explored places I wouldn’t have otherwise, and made a lot of friends in the process, all because of my passion. Some of the greatest and happiest people I know are Trikke riders and they have added to my life in many, positive ways.

I gained a lot of inventory, too: two T-12s, two T78 Deluxes, two T78s, one T78cs, one T7 Fitness and one T5.

I can truly say that the Trikke has changed my life for the better. It’s been over two years since that first day I stepped on the foot deck and it just keeps getting better.

Recently, I went to my 40-year, high school reunion and met a really wonderful man who was a classmate of mine in junior high and high school, and who now has a passion for Trikke — and me.

If you follow your passion, your passion will follow you! Stay tuned!

This article has 2 Comments

  1. Wow! What a journey you have been on. It takes real strength to get through that tunnel(s) and out the other side. Congratulations to you, a powerhouse — figuratively and literally speaking. Keep carvin’, head high. The worst is behind you now, all downhill past this point!

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