Want to Level Up? Then Get Out of your Comfort Zone



I had one of those “practice what you preach” moments this weekend at my hometown bike racing weekend, the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. I’ll keep this brief, but I wanted to share this with you because I truly believe that the ONLY way we grow, succeed and up-level ourselves in all facets of our lives is to do things that scare us, and to stay uncomfortable as much as possible.

And I did just that on Saturday, May 28th, at the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic – oh yes I did!

I was already sort of uncomfortable around this year’s race. Why? Well, I had to go up an age group this year in my race category.

Also, my training wasn’t so spot on. My kids had an absolute ton of activities this spring and travel weekends for both lacrosse and soccer. And, I’ve been ass-over-tea-kettle with work. Not only have I been managing what I do normally with Verde during a time of year that’s super busy, but I also elected to launch my membership community, the A-Game Alliance for the Intrepid Entrepreneur for the month of May (also the month of the Iron Horse). I’d already missed three races (the Air Force road race, the Tour of the Gila and the Squawker Classic).

So, no racing in my legs to date and I was barely clinging to my training schedule as it was. And you know what? Who cares? I’m an amateur road racer and everything I just listed here equates to limiting beliefs – just so you know, I do it too! Big time!

I digress. So there I was a few nights before the race, perusing the Iron Horse website. I was researching the women I’d be racing against in my category, as I always do, and I noticed that only six women were signed up in the open pro category.

I decided to jump in… !

That’s right, I signed up to join the open pro category as an “OG” as my son likes to call me (Old Girl).

I reasoned that it was acceptable to do this because I had won my age group by six minutes the year before (the younger age group) and would have placed 8th in the pros last year, when there were 25+ women racing. My mind reminded me again and again that my training and racing had been much stronger last year, but hey, I knew I wanted to try it, and I saw through the limiting beliefs (thankfully).

Plus, I knew that the prospect of doing this category scared the sh*t out of me so, in that regard, it felt like it was the right thing to do.

Race morning got here and I went through all of my superstition and ritual to prep. I headed out the door at 6:50 a.m. sharp, trying to manage my nerves.

As I rolled to the start line, I realized quickly that I was definitely in over my head.

Mara Abbott was there at the start line. … And no, she was not a mirage; she really was there, right next to me!

What? The best climber in the United States was going to be in MY category?&^%%$#@!!!!??

In a split second, I faced and made the decision to stay in the open pros instead of gracefully exiting to my age group.

As the rest of my race category showed up, it was clear that the women (there were now 12 of us in total, six new people that morning!) who came into the race last minute were super-legit pros.

First, I asked Mara for a selfie photo with me. … Then, I asked her why I didn’t see her in the registration and she told me that a lot of the pros wait until the very last minute to jump in because the weather at the Iron Horse can be so iffy.


I did the race and  ended up with 5th place, which I was very happy about!

There were several college racers, and most of the racers were in their 20’s and early 30’s. The woman who won 2nd was 43-years-old, and I might have a new hero now (that’s RAD). She and I were the only people in our 40’s, and it was cool that we were both in the top 5.

All in all, it was SUPER hard to race with the pros, but I’m really glad I did it. I gained some confidence and great experience and I know I pushed myself far harder than I would have in any other category. I also gained a good bit of fitness, which accomplishes a lot for me (as my schedule is not looking to get much better in the next weeks).

How about you? What have you done to scare the crap out of yourself lately? As an entrepreneur, we live and die by staying in forward motion and this inherently means we have to stay uncomfortable because we’re out on the front, the sharp end, on lead. I’d love to hear what you do to keep your edge! Leave a comment below and thanks for stopping by to hear my story today!

Keep going bigger!



  • Yeah! Way to go, Kristin, you hero babe!

  • Corinne says:

    You’re awesome KC! I miss you and am inspired by your story! What I did to scare the crap out of me lately is perform in a Literary Burlesque show. That’s right, down to the bone, literally and metaphorically. Crazy! On stage in front of 100+ people – recited my work and took off some clothes at the end. I really do miss you and would love to see you some time. Sounds like you are a rad biker. I am 50 and starting to get hot flashes. Oh joy! xoxo