Liv: What are some of the adventures that saying “yes” has allowed you to experience throughout your cycling journey? Is there any time you wish you had said “no”? Why?
Kaysee: Saying yes to Cape Epic and all the other races that Liv wanted me to go to that year is why I got a contract, but even before that I just always said yes if I got invited to do rides or races. "Like, why not?" is what I always said to myself. I have a hungry appetite for new adventures and obstacles that feel impossible, because there is nothing more satisfying than getting to do new things and feeling accomplished after doing something that felt impossible.
Saying yes is scary sometimes and a lot of times I start questioning my decisions when I'm suffering or overextending myself. I don't regret any of my yeses though. If anything, I have learned a hell of a lot from the times I said yes and should have said no. Those were painful but I grew so much from those.
Now I'm 31 and still say “yes” a lot, but I also say “yes” a lot more to myself and my time. When I first got into cycling it was all consuming, but it was because I loved to get outside and see new things. Now that cycling is my job, I have to manage the balance between races that come with expectations and time for me to keep enjoying cycling for the reason I fell in love with it in the first place.
Liv: What are some obstacles you’ve faced along your journey that have impacted you personally and professionally? What are the lessons you’ve learned from those obstacles?
Kaysee: Life is full of obstacles. Everyone everyday has to overcome obstacles, and just like everyone else I have had to overcome a lot of obstacles. My biggest obstacle is myself and how I internally handle situations. Whether it is choosing to ignore the connection of my feelings of abandonment and control of my food and overexercising myself, or just simply running away from all my feelings inside that made me feel yucky, worthless, and confused.
Getting help with my internal battles and feelings has left me happier than any race win could give me. Learning how to love me and understanding just how important I am has made living life a lot better. It's hard to live up to everyone’s expectations and when that becomes my only focus, I lose sight of my passions. Passion is what keeps me moving forward, and I get passion from things that fill up my cup, not what fills other people's cups.
Liv: As you say, “A commitment is something you choose to do” not something you have to do. How have your commitments changed over the past few years as you’ve made that distinction? How has drawing that line helped you set your priorities as a professional athlete, in your career as an accountant, and in your relationships?
Kaysee: In the past years I’ve started to distinguish the difference between “I should” and “I want” when it comes to goals. I have become a little more selective with my races. Racing is not my everything and it never will be. Racing comes with a lot of expectations, and I have found that keeping my mind busy and engaged in other goals keeps me happy. I’m currently taking my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exams and I’m halfway through. Becoming a CPA has always been an intimidating goal for me even though I have a graduate degree in accounting, and I have spent the past ten years juggling cycling with my accounting job. To finally commit myself to that goal was scary and full of a lot of studying that isn’t fun, but I know this is something I want. When I want something, I commit to it, and with that commitment comes drive and focus to help me achieve that goal.