I like the challenge of proving people wrong (if I’m brutally honest about that). As soon as someone says to me ‘that can’t be done’, I think, well, I’m going to find a way to make it possible. I relish that challenge. So I think it’s about taking what potentially can be a negative and can be detrimental… and going ‘well, no I’m going to find a way to do that...'
You’ll meet 2 x Australian Solo 24 Hour Mountain Bike Champion, Kate Penglase, on Sparta Chicks Radio this week.
Kate grew up on acreage in East Gippsland and spent her childhood running through the paddocks, riding motorbikes and simply enjoying life in the outdoors.
An active, sporty child, it wasn’t until Kate was in her late 20s that she discovered mountain biking and quickly fell in love with both the physical demands of the sport, but also the strong technical and strategic elements of it.
By 2010, Kate lined up at the start of her first race on her entry level bike, complete with bell and reflectors - which just so happened to be a mixed pairs team in a 24 hour mountain bike.
Her team won their category and a love affair with 24 hour racing was born.
She’s now a 2x Australian Champion and has competed at 5 World Championships, finishing inside the top 5 in every year since 2014.
A fiercely competitive athlete, Kate also has a deep love and respect for both the sport and her competitors which is evident in this conversation.
- how she discovered mountain biking and why she fell in love with it so quickly,
- her first mountain bike race in 2010 on her entry level bike, complete with a bell and reflectors,
- the mind games that troubled her in her early 24 hour solo racing career,
- what appeals to her about racing her mountain bike for 24 hours,
- her advice for women who may be interested in racing but who are holding back,
- her first experience of standing on the start line at the World Championships in 2013 (at a time she wasn’t fully committed to the sport), and the difference in her experience a year later when she stood on the start line with a goal of finishing in the top 5,
- her frustration at being ‘so close but so far’ after finishing in the top 5 in the World Championships every year for 4 years,
- the constant struggle between worrying about things you can control vs things you can’t (and how when you wholeheartedly let go of concern over the things you can’t control, you can not only produce your best race but be deeply proud of it),
- the experience of crossing the line and winning her first Australian Championship in 2017 and what wearing the green and gold jersey means to her,
- what she’s learnt from the sport that she’s been able to apply in other aspects of life,
- why she relishes the challenge of proving people wrong and why you shouldn’t take on the energy of others who may be critical or judgemental of you,
- the power of choice and why you should funnel your energy into Plan B if Plan A doesn’t work,
- her experience with the Imposter Complex, especially when wearing the green and gold Australian Champion jersey for the first time, and
- whether she has any sense of ‘unfinished business’ after her performance at the World Championship in Scotland in 2018.
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