"I squeezed my eyes shut as the wooden board the size of a small cricket bat struck my bare bottom. Again and again. The swats eventually stopped. Uncle Dan put the board down as I pulled up my panties.' Now what do you say?' No prompting was necessary. I knew the routine well by now. 'Th...thank you for correcting me!' I replied dutifully between sobs. 'That's okay, sweetheart,' he cooed, hugging me like a benign father. 'We all make mistakes.'"
So begins the recounting of Juliana Buhring's childhood memories at the age of three and being fostered by other people in the religious sect she was raised in. We had the honor of interviewing Ms. Buhring. For our episode with her, we opted to spend time less time speaking about the book she wrote in 2007 with her two sisters- because she has done so many amazing things in her life since. However, to truly give her credit on overcoming adversity- I wanted to go a little into the book- so that the listener can really appreciate how much a badass she really is.
Buhring grew up in the Children of God cult, which not only practiced mental and physical abuse, there was also pornography, prostitution and sexual exploitation of children. Juliana was separated from her other sisters at a young age, moved around in communes and also had very little education and knowledge of the outside world. To check out her book to know more about her experience as a child growing up in a cult, Not Without My Sister is on paperback or on Kindle. There is also multiple documentaries and clips on Youtube.
As an adult, in order to raise money for the foundation that she created to help other individuals to leave the cult, she begin to do ultra endurance cycling at the age of 30. (Makes me feel like a failure!). Just some of her accomplishments include:
- She made the first woman's record for circumnavigating the globe by bicycle
- She participated in the inaugural Transcontinental Race, an unsupported race across Europe from London to Istanbul
- Buhring cycled from Oregon to Virginia, she came in first place for women and fourth overall
Juliana Buhring is a badass- all the way around. We hope that you enjoy her interview and please check out her website and find out ways you can support cycling, women or people leaving cults (or all three).
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