What is your life’s purpose?
My personal mission is to make a difference in the world through bikes.
How are you living your purpose?
There are many pieces to what I’m doing; running an all-girls gravity team, hosting events, running classes and camps, travel coaching, and still competing once in a while.
My business, Sweetlines, primarily coaches kids and women in mountain biking. Summer camps are a big part of what I do. Sugar Showdown is our main ladies’ event with one day of coaching and one day of competition, with a focus on jumping bikes. I bring in some of the best coaches and jumpers in North America. Sweetlines Jr Racing is an all-girls gravity focused bike race team. The girls, ages 8 to 16, compete in downhill, jumping, and enduro. In the off-season (Seattle fall and winter), I get to coach in places like California, Arizona, Peru, and New Zealand. I’ll be going to Norway this year too.
How did you find your purpose?
Honestly, I was trying to be a pro downhill racer and got chronic fatigue syndrome. I felt like crap for a couple of years and moved from Lake Tahoe up to Seattle. I used to volunteer for Trips for Kids and realized they didn’t have a chapter in Seattle yet. With zero business experience, I ended up branching a chapter up to Seattle. I did that for 10 years, taking thousands of inner-city and low-income kids mountain biking. Simultaneously I worked for the Cascade Bicycle Club managing their youth programs.
Being an athlete for so many years has taught me to love challenge, whether it’s learning a new feature on the trail, jumping over a car, or starting my own business. It all relates. In 2011, I started Sweetlines and have been running my own programs ever since. I have an incredible staff and we serve over 500 participants annually. I also get invited to coach around the world. So far, I’ve been to New Zealand, Peru, and Canada, and I’m heading to Norway in the fall.
What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
My philosophy is to be a cautious risk taker: listen to your values and dream big, do your homework, and don’t take no for an answer. Even if you blow out your knee a month after quitting your job to be a full-time coach, keep finding ways to make it work (true story). I can’t tell you how many times people have questioned my decisions. If I listened to them I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now.
What resources do you recommend?
Books for inspiration:
The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. by Daniel Coyle
Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead by Tosha Silver
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris
Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes by Susan Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown
Connect with Kat Sweet
Instagram: @sweetlinesjrracing and @sweetlines
Kat Sweet – https://www.facebook.com/kat.sweet.3
Kat Sweet (athlete page) – https://www.facebook.com/KatSweetAthlete/
Sweetlines – https://www.facebook.com/Sweetlines-114218608658367/
Sweetlines Junior Racing – https://www.facebook.com/sweetlinesjrracing/
Sweetlines JR Racing (private) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/859486727454181/?ref=br_rs
Sweetlines JR Sisters Program (private) – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1505203792824062/
Sugar Showdown – https://www.facebook.com/Sugarshowdown/
New Jr Racing team video
There’s nothing quite like the rush of sticking a new jump for the first time, or of cleaning a gnarly section of trail that’s been challenging you, and no one knows that better than Kat Sweet. A former professional downhill mountain bike racer and X-Games ski competitor, Sweet has a passion for introducing this exhilarating experience to everyone.
A certified IMBA ICP coach and creator of the mountain bike program, Sweetlines, she recognizes the importance of using camaraderie to build courage in her programs and push riders to the next level.
Sweet produces events that mesh coaching with competition—such as the Sugar Showdown—and spends countless hours building and restoring mountain bike trails. She produced and starred in the movies, The Sisterhood of Shred, If She Can Do It, and was a guest rider in the movie Pedal Driven, and has been featured in numerous articles in Bike Magazine, Decline, Freehub, Wide Open Mag UK, ESPN Brazil, Momentum, NW Cyclist and Dirt Rag.
If you ever want to improve your dirt shredding skills or simply have fun riding trails, Sweet will gladly show you the way.