We had the good fortune of connecting with Kate Ripley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kate, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is such an integral part of life and feeling alive. In my career, I’ve had times of really having to push through my slightly introverted tendencies and not a lot of self-confidence (which felt like a huge risk in the moment)–and walk into a room or rooms of total strangers and seem to be totally comfortable with selling myself and my expertise. Almost begrudgingly, I have to share that it has always paid off. I have always walked out of that room, glad to be leaving, but more grateful that I did it at all. It can be so, so easy to really hustle and grind for a period of time and then let go, and rest on your laurels. I’ve done that as well, and as in most things, it was necessary to take a break and appreciate the fruits of your labors. However, that call to push and take a risk always comes back and starts taunting me. “Is THIS all you want from your life?”or “Are you going to look back and truly be able to say that you REALLY tried to set yourself apart?”, These are the questions that start to roll around in my head, as I relax, as I work. Taking risks, little ones and big ones–they have always taught me and shaped me to be better. Less scared for the next time. More excited to share my experience, good or bad, to someone else contemplating taking a risk. More focused. Less afraid to just say NO. Less afraid to say “that is what I want, period” No wavering, I’ve taken huge risks by other peoples estimations, in my life. Leaving school when I was on the medical school track, moving to cities way outside my comfort-zone when my research showed they would be better for me, working for myself 90% of my career, opening clinics when I had zero business experience, divorce, moving out of state where I knew almost no one, opening an office with zero clients, starting a new business concept in the midst of a pandemic. They all took brain space to decide and weigh out the pro’s and con’s, but what is life without living fully? I don’t jump off cliffs, I don’t drive crazy, I don’t take foolish or stupid risks, I have far too much to live for.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?

I’ve owned my own sports massage business for most of my career, almost 20 years now. For the last 6 years, I’ve owned Boulder Bodyworker. I have a background in medicine, I was on the med school track after college and after A LOT of deliberation, I made a different choice. Massage therapy is not where I initially saw myself after years of studying western medicine. I was convinced that massage therapy was for elite athletes and “ladies who lunch”. I had never even had a massage before I went to massage school! The school I chose was very medically/anatomy-driven, I had a crap attitude about anything I considered “woo-woo”. I had the rare experience of my first clinic experience (the one time I worked for someone else) in Boston, Massachusetts to be in an office about 500 feet from the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It was also a clinically-based, sport-centric practice. It was so challenging and so amazing. From that experience of working my ass off, 6 days a week, morning into the night for 5 years–it taught me so much. About massage, about myself, about people. I met some of the most amazing people in that office, both as clients and especially, co-workers. Many, to this day, that I am still very close with because of that experience. The good and the bad taught us all a lot. I’ve always worked to make sure that the general public knew that the bodywork I do existed for them to just walk right in and receive, it wasn’t hidden behind a referral to another practitioners office, no hoops to jump through. They could just sign up, make an appointment and get focused bodywork, without all the “woo-woo” that they didn’t want. I’d like to add that after nearly 20 years of practice, I have opened my mind to the benefits of “woo-woo” for those that seek it out. It is beneficial work and I have a lot of respect for those bodyworkers who practice it. It isn’t my kind of practice, but I can definitely respect theirs.
The new business venture is Performance & Recovery Labs. It takes the last 20 years of sport massage and blends it with my love of business and getting to surround myself with amazing sports medicine professionals, personal trainers and bodyworkers. We collaborate as a team for the most efficient and effective road to health and recovery for our patients. Additionally, the opportunity for the practitioners to share and support each other on a day-to-day basis really elevates all of us. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely, this way we can continue to work for ourselves and still feel a part of something bigger than just yourself. 

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a bit more tricky. We would need to pretend we aren’t living through a pandemic right now to make this legit. We would need to start off with some early morning hiking, starting at the trail head around 5:30 am, headlamps and all the gear. I love hiking through the quiet stillness with only our conversation running through my brain. The process of watching the sky lighten and the sun slowly cast it’s light over the landscape and you finally really being able to see the beauty you are surrounded with, makes the 4:30am wake up totally worth it. Then getting to ride bikes on the Coal Creek trail and/or on the roads to the east of Boulder (I don’t ask guests to deal with elevation and altitude too much when they are visiting) to show them the stunning panoramas of the Rockies we get. Walking around Pearl Street is obligatory, people watching and shopping in some of the local shops that are scattered about are the most fun to visit. Getting to shop in fellow Boulder business’s makes me so happy to support local and show off all that Boulder has to offer. Having drinks at Corrida, the roof of the Rio, people watching at Locale–all a must. Having brunch in Louisville or Lafayette at Tangerine or Empire Lounge, so delicious and easy. Going for a drive on the peak to peak highway, maybe a drive up to Breckenridge to hang out and go for rides/walks. I can’t imagine a better trip.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband, from the moment we met, has been my biggest cheerleader and support system. Even when my stubbornness and determination to do things myself gets in the way, he has the patience to ride out my storms and still BE there. He has been unwavering in his dedication to helping me move ever onward and upward. He doesn’t let me fester in my frustration too long before gently nudging me to pick myself up and keep moving. His quick wit and smile and ability to always be ready with a hug. He has invested in me more than I can ever repay him. I truly cannot imagine being on this journey without him right by my side.

Also, my girlfriends who have been on this journey with me. Thank you for being there for me and always listening. Love you. 

Website: https://www.prsportslab.com

Instagram: @boulderbodyworker, @prsportlabs

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/boulderbodyworker/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BBodyworker

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boulderbodyworker

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/boulder-bodyworker-boulder-2?osq=boulder+bodyworker

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.