My last post had some thoughts about change and what has empowered me to make some changes this year in my life.Read it here if you missed it!
This year, I got married, moved to another country, bought my first home with Matt, resigned from my job of 5 years with Ergon in August, started a new marketing business, and am leaving my team [Topeak Ergon] at the end of the year. As a racer, I will be working independently with a set of sponsors that I have handpicked (and luckily they want to work with me too!) All these changes took a great deal of effort, a lot of reflection about what I really wanted and what is right for me, and courage. When that moment came to take the next step forward in each instance, I felt both excitement and fear; fear of abandoning what was comfortable, excitement for the new adventures and opportunity, and resolve to trust my judgment.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know the difference between being complacent versus making change and taking a chance. With complacency, it can get to a point where you are no longer growing. At that fine line, there’s a fork in the road; taking a calculated risk and step into the unfamiliar. Then you have the other direction: deciding what you have is good enough. How do you define what is "good enough?" Where is the limit? I am not very good at being complacent. I constantly seek growth and challenges. Sometimes I wonder if life would be easier if I was happy being complacent. I wouldn’t have the adventures and experiences I’ve had, but I think life would be a bit more relaxing! For me, I choose change and growth! Of course, there are other factors involved when making big decisions, and those factors will change the limit (think kids, debt, etc etc)
Regarding Matt and building our life together, my decision was easy albeit the consequence of moving has been challenging at times. I miss my dear friends, my life in Boulder, the ease of plane travel, and being closer to my family. However, I have never been happier living with Matt in BC. There are plenty of wonderful benefits; the world class mountain biking and insane amounts of trail are just one of them. With any change, there are tradeoffs.
With Ergon and the team, it took awhile for me to figure out what I needed. It was scary to step away from a steady job with a known income (doing sales and marketing) and a cycling team I had been on for 5 years. Both my job and the team have helped me become who I am today. However, I had been at a point for at least 2 years where there was no more room for growth on my team or in my job. I felt that my efforts and ideas were going unnoticed and were generally unsupported. Every job has its ceiling and I needed to create a situation where I could reach higher. I was seeking other outlets to help me with personal development and so my writing career and clinic series took off in my spare time. I am excited to spread my wings with my new ventures. There is some uncertainty that goes with it, but I welcome the challenge. So here we go!
I got to talk with some of you at Interbike about my new direction and I was overwhelmed with support and encouragement. It has been a wonderful 5 years building Ergon into the brand it is today in the USA. Moving forward, I’ve started my own company called “Magnetic Branding” and am in the early stages of development. I am now working as a branding and marketing consultant with clients both in the bike industry and in other industries. I love the dynamics of multiple projects and I love the adventure of being independent. I also have more time to dedicate to writing, my clinic series, training, and speaking. I’m honored and excited that opportunities to be a keynote speaker at conferences outside the bike world are on the horizon as well!
Instead of racing for Topeak Ergon next year, I will be working as an independent athlete with a wonderful group of people and brands. Topeak Ergon was a great stepping stone and helped me become who I am today. However, there was no option for a support I needed or support for efforts I felt were well-earned. I am very excited to have more financial flexibility and to feel appreciated for being a brand ambassador with several new partners. I can’t wait to make official announcements soon! As an athlete, I have built my own branding program to support my partners and I look forward to taking it to the next level! Thank you to to all of you who have supported me in this venture and gave me the courage to take the next step!
There are a lot of organizational tasks I need to take care of and it’s overwhelming at the moment, but I’m getting my bearings. I have had to put other activities on the backburner. This may come as a surprise, but my training was one of those things. I was averaging less than 10 hours/week of training this year and relied on races to get me and keep me in shape! Thankfully, it worked! I had to make the most of the free time I had, but training was stressful for me. I was trying to squeeze it in between organizing trips, wedding planning, moving, and work. I stopped doing yoga and I have lost some strength and flexibility. I haven’t spent much time with friends. I’ve felt like I’ve been on the back foot and barely holding everything together, working incredibly hard to make things happen. I am happy to say that I am starting to catch up in my life. I was happy to make those sacrifices to restructure my life, and I am happy to find a routine again that has balance!
I’m heading to Colorado today! I can’t wait to see my friends and get my Colorado life more organized. I still have a home in Colorado to manage as well! It is important to me to stay connected to my community.
Thanks for reading!