On last week’s show, I talked about my four-step quick goal-setting technique that I came up with on one of my bike rides. Yesterday, I was out riding my bike again, and thought I would head back almost as soon as I started. It was hot, I had been delayed till the hottest time of the day, and I was exhausted. In addition, I have really bad arthritis and was having a lot of pain that day.

All of a sudden, I remembered my friend, Keven Degen and thought, “What in the world are you complaining about Katana?” My dear friend, Kevin, had passed away six years ago on August 10, 2010 at age 52 after a bike accident.


You see, Kevin was born with cerebral palsy, and even though he only had the use of his left arm and leg, he became an avid cyclist, riding many thousands of miles to raise money for charities like Make-a-Wish.

Kevin raised over a half million dollars, primarily for charities that help children with special needs.  One of his biggest accomplishments was raising $50,000 for the Kenny Foundation in 1995 by riding his three-wheel bike from LA to Washington DC.

Kevin was an inspiration for so many. Riding was his main pleasure in life. He rode his specially-engineered three-wheel bike all over Michigan and throughout the country and received many awards. He even carried the Olympic Torch for the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

My Hero- Kevin Degen
My Hero- Kevin Degen

Kevin would fall or be injured often during many of his rides since he could only the left side of his body, but he never gave up. He had buddies that always had his back and rode with him on these big treks, so no matter how badly he was injured, he would get back on his bike and keep going – blood and all.

So, giving up on a bike ride for me is out of the question.  I think of Kevin every time I ride.

It’s time for each of us to shine and release any fear that could be holding us back from living from our hearts.  The way that Kevin led his life from his “huge” heart is a shining example to us all.

So even though you don’t know Kevin, I want you to think about what brings you joy in your life? Are you going for it with gusto? If not, what is it that’s holding you back? I’ll bet it’s simply a belief from a past experience, that may no longer be true today. I’ve worked with hundreds of women, and we all have these false or limiting beliefs that hold us back and sabotage us from living from our hearts and shining our light in the world.

Yesterday, I finished my ten-mile ride. I know it may not be a big deal for many, but for me, I’m thrilled to be riding again. The time flew by, and on my way back, I realized that I would have missed so much had I given up.

  • I saw a family walking the nature trails with their huge mastiff, Chihuahua, and calico cat. I am not kidding.
  • I also saw a woman walking with her newborn baby in a snuggly pack while pushing her toddler in a stroller.
  • Then as I passed the nature center, I became really present and grateful and started to notice the red-winged blackbird eating the cattails, the butterflies pollinating all the new wild flowers, the smell of the fresh pine trees that Kathleen and I saved with our petition a few years back — our cathedral of trees at Dodge Park.

I would have missed all of this had I given up and turned back. I called out to Kevin Degen and thanked him for all he has done for others and for inspiring me to live from my heart and never give up.

Find something or someone who inspires you to never give up on your dreams. Whether it’s getting back in shape, writing a book, starting a business, asking for a raise, being a better person, or whatever you dream about. There are stories like Kevin’s along with books and mentors and even programs like ours. But just remember, you are never alone. It’s time to live from your heart and create a life you love with purpose, passion and prosperity!

We have a terrific line-up of radio show guests as we close out the summer and head into the fall, plus over 300 archives of past shows.  Be sure to join our free community, check out our expert bloggers and receive your 100 days of inspirational quotes by women when you visit www.smartwomensempowerment.org and enter your name and email!


katana crtKatana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Life and Legacy Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books.

She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business.  She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts. www.katanaabbott.com